As he enters the next chapter of his career, Mozzy says he just wants to inspire the people around him. The CMG signee takes XXL through the creative process behind his new album Children of the Slums and speaks on how his life has changed since getting out from behind bars.

Mozzy was unexpectedly incarcerated in 2022, after authorities pulled him over in Culver City, Calif., and discovered a loaded Glock 26 and 16 rounds of ammunition in his car. The 36-year-old Sacramento rapper was hit with a federal gun charge and served 10 months at the United States Penitentiary Atwater before his early release in May of 2023.

His incarceration couldn't have come at a worse time. Mozzy's career was picking up considerable steam following a lucrative deal he had just signed with Yo Gotti's CMG Records. He was on tour, "making new money," as he puts it, and his time in jail brought all his momentum to a grinding halt. To make matters worse, he found out while behind bars that he had become a father.

"It was lightweight discouraging of course," Mozzy tells XXL of the experience. "I take full accountability for my rights and my wrongs so just being accountable I understood what came with that. I kinda knew what was gonna happen before the label, so I tried my best to transition in a positive manner. I tried to keep it down."

When Mozzy was released, there was hardly any fanfare. Neither he nor his team made an official statement following his release. There was no "First Day Out" track of any nature to announce Mozzy's return, he didn't want to glorify his jail time in any way, and that goes for his music. On Children of the Slums, Mozzy hardly speaks on his time inside, instead choosing to pen inspirational street tales for the people in his community and beyond, to "give a voice to the voiceless," he reveals.

"I'm not one to glorify my L's," Mozzy expresses. "And I feel like that was a big L, but everything happens for a reason and I used it to my advantage. To sit down, reflect, make some new material, and here you have it Children of the Slums."

Mozzy also has a few thoughts to share in regards to what's been on everyone's mind recently: Kendrick Lamar's beef with J. Cole and Drake. He notes that Cole's apology was respectable in his realm of lyrical hip-hop, but adds there were certain areas of rap where apologies remained unacceptable.

Watch the full conversation with Mozzy below, in which he speaks about fatherhood, shares his thoughts on apologies in rap and talks about how Children of the Slums changed over time.

Watch Mozzy's Interview With XXL

See 50 of the Most Clever Hip-Hop Lyrics