"Hit Me"

The Louisiana rapper, finally unincarcerated, leaks hip-hop's most blatant James Brown tribute in decades – fronting what sounds like a full funk band. Riding chicken-scratch guitar vamps, Mystikal mimics awed white folks, confl ates "Brick House" with Seventies porn, remembers Abbott and Costello, rumbles through Ali's jungle, and climaxes saying it proud: a lesson in rap's prehistory.