“Here I Go!” Those three words was all that was required for the diehard fans packed in the House of Blues last night (May 11) to know that Mystikal, the New Orleans-bred MC with the trademark guttural flow, was back in Houston to perform for the first time since his release from prison in January.

“Houston was the biggest batch of my supporters,” Mystikal said. “I appreciate all the love, support and letters.”

Mystikal no longer wore the signature twisted braids and had obviously touched a few weights during his six-year bid for a sexual battery and extortion charge. He was jeweled out with a sizeable medallion representing the logo of his label, Big Truck Records and brought out producer Mannie Fresh to join him onstage while he performed. Michael Tyler engaged the crowd in a “We Miss You Mystikal” chant before tackling the first song on his set list, “Mystikal Fever,” from Let's Get Ready.

From the jump, it was obvious that his stint in the Louisiana State Prison system did nothing to vanquish his uncontainable energy. His rapid-fire bark was evident on familiar hits like, “Here I Go,” "The Man Right Chea," and “It Ain’t My Fault.”

The multi-platinum rapper’s Michael Jackson-esque dance moves in the middle of “Y’all Ain’t Ready Yet,” after the “Bad like Mike” refrain, were the highlight of the night. Mystikal then offered up “Tarantula,” “I Smell Smoke,” “Move Bitch” and the chart-topper “Danger (Been So Long).” The former No Limit soldier then assured fans that his new album will “make people shake the teeth out they muthafuckin’ face” before offering his newest single, “I’m a Beast,” from his yet untitled comeback album to be released on Jive.

Before ending his 45-minute set, Mystikal invited five ladies from the audience to join him onstage to shake their money-makers to the performance of the most popular song in his catalogue, “Shake Ya Ass.”

The hip-hop wolrd is glad to have Mystikal back home. —Maurice Bobb

Photos courtesy of Xphaqtor. Click on image to enlarge.