Mystic (singer)

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Birth nameMandolyn Wind Ludlum
Also known asDU Goddess
Born (1974-03-28) March 28, 1974 (age 45)[1]
Lower Lake, California, United States
OriginOakland, California
GenresHip hop
Occupation(s)singer, rapper
Years active1990–present
LabelsGoodvibe, DreamWorks
Associated actsDigital Underground, Aceyalone

Mandolyn Wind Ludlum (born March 28, 1974),[2] better known by her stage name Mystic, is an American hip hop artist from the San Francisco Bay Area.[3] After touring and recording with Digital Underground she released her debut solo album in 2001.


Born Mandolyn Wind Ludlum on a hippie commune in Lower Lake, California to a white mother and African-American father, she was raised by her mother after her parents split up when she was three years old (an experience she explores in her song "Fatherless Child").[4][5] She grew up in rural California, Hawaii, Mexico, and Oregon before settling in her eventual home base, Oakland, California.[6][7][8]

She began taking part in MC Battles in the Bay Area in the early 1990s.[5] After dropping out of high school in 1991, she began teaching art in 1996, and also began her recording career, her version of "Gloomy Sunday" appearing on the soundtrack to Abel Ferrara's film The Funeral.[7][9][10]

Early on in her musical career, she collaborated with fellow female producer The Angel and toured with Digital Underground between 1997 and 1999, appearing on Digital Underground's Who Got The Gravy album under the name DU Goddess.[6][11] She worked as a writer for Rude Gal Music before establishing herself as a solo artist.[6]

She signed a solo contract with Goodvibe Recordings in 1999 (signing on the same day her father died of a heroin overdose) after label co-chair Matt Kahane heard her on a mixtape by Bahamadia.[4][12] She worked with respected underground hip-hop producers including Shock G and A-Plus on her 2001 critically acclaimed debut album, Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom, which was labelled as "conscious rap" and saw her receiving comparisons with Lauryn Hill.[3][7][13][14][15][16] She participated in the summer 2001 Tree of Life tour with her labelmates to promote the album,[3][6] whose lead single, "The Life", was featured in the ESPN show The Life and a commercial for Bud Light in 2004. She also toured with The Black Eyed Peas in 2001.[12]

The album track "W" featuring her collaboration with Planet Asia was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2001 for the brand new category, at the time, of Best Rap/Song Collaboration.[7][17] Mystic was also nominated for a BET Award in 2002 in the 'Best female hip-hop artist' category.[18]

The album was reissued with five extra tracks in 2003 on the DreamWorks label, including two new tracks produced by Kanye West, one a collaboration with Mos Def.[7][19]

As of early 2007, Mystic was on a European tour along with fellow artists Dave Ghetto, Hezekiah, and DJ Munch and working on her second album.

In August 2011, Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom was released as a digital download for the first time via Universal Music Group, with a website also opened featuring stories from fans related to the album.[20]

Mystic currently serves as the Bay Area Coordinator for the Hip Hop Caucus, a non-profit organization that aims to promote political activism for young U.S. voters using hip-hop music and culture.[21]



  • Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom (2001), Goodvibe - US #170,[22] reissued (2003), DreamWorks
  • Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom (Learning to Breath) (2003), Goodvibe, DreamWorks
  • Beautiful Resistance (2014)


  • "Current Events" (2000), GoodVibe
  • "The Life" (2001), GoodVibe
  • "The Life" remix by Erik Rico (2001), GoodVibe - featuring Talib Kweli & Kam
  • "Girlfriend Sistagirl" (2001), GoodVibe - promo-only
  • "Elusive Freedom" / "The Judas Factor" (2001), Raptivism
  • "No Competition" (2003), DreamWorks/GoodVibe
  • "Breathe (Better Days)" (2003), DreamWorks/GoodVibe - featuring Donell Jones
  • "The Forecast" (2004), GoodVibe
  • "OK...Alright" (2006), Supa Crucial - digital download only

Compilation appearances[edit]

  • The Funeral: Music from and Inspired by the Motion Picture (1996), BMG/Critique - "Gloomy Sunday"
  • The New Groove: The Blue Note Remix Project (1996), Blue Note - "Kofi"
  • Dark Angel - The Original TV Series Soundtrack (2002), Artemis/Epic - "The Life"
  • MTV2 Handpicked (2002), Columbia - "The Life"
  • Biker Boyz: Music From The Motion Picture (2002), DreamWorks - "No Competition"
  • Underground Airplay Version 1.0 (2001), Rawkus - "Current Events"
  • Budweiser commercial (20??), - "The Life"



  • Soundz of Spirit (2003) - documentary film


  1. ^ "Mystic Davis, Born 10/18/1988 in Portland". Missing or empty |url= (help)
  2. ^ See Kenon - aged 26 in June 2001, and Mendez Berry - 29 in June 2003
  3. ^ a b c Birchmeier, Jason "Mystic Biography", Allmusic, retrieved 2012-01-24
  4. ^ a b Chonin, Neva (2002) "Going 360 degrees: Mystic turns her pain into acclaimed album", San Francisco Chronicle, February 3, 2002, retrieved 2012-01-26
  5. ^ a b Lentz, Andrew (2002) "Mystic Moods", LA Weekly, June 19, 2002, retrieved 2012-01-26
  6. ^ a b c d Kenon, Marci (2001) "Mystic Doesn't Mince Her Words", Billboard, June 2, 2001, p. 51, retrieved 2012-01-24
  7. ^ a b c d e Mendez Berry, Elizabeth (2003) "Back to Life", Vibe, June 2003, p. 106-110, retrieved 2012-01-24
  8. ^ Brown, Ann (2001) "On the Verge: Mystic", CMJ New Music Monthly, July 2001, p. 38, retrieved 2012-01-24
  9. ^ Keast, Darren (2001) "Into The Mystic", SF Weekly, July 25, 2001, retrieved 2012-01-25
  10. ^ Baker, Soren (2001) "Mystic Uses Age To Her Advantage On Album", MTV, April 19, 2001, retrieved 2012-01-25
  11. ^ Capobianco, Ken (2001) "Hip-Hop Her Way Without the Attitude, Mystic Gives Fans Music That Matters", Boston Globe, September 21, 2001, p. C14
  12. ^ a b Mitchell, Gail (2001) "Mystic and Her Quest for Goodvibe's 'Freedom'", Billboard, November 24, 2001, p. 13, retrieved 2012-01-26
  13. ^ Baker, Soren (2001) "MYSTIC, Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom", Los Angeles Times, July 29, 2001, p. 1 (Calendar/Entertainment)
  14. ^ Conaway, Matt "Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom Review", Allmusic, retrieved 2012-01-24
  15. ^ Allen, Kyle (2001) "Mystic Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom", CMJ New Music Monthly, August 2001, p. 74, retrieved 2012-01-24
  16. ^ Hageman, Lisa (2001) "The Year in Hip Hop", CMJ New Music Report, December 2001, p. 20-21, retrieved 2012-01-24
  17. ^ Keast, Darren (2002) "Smooth Operator", SF Weekly, November 20, 2002, retrieved 2012-01-24
  18. ^ "Aaliyah Tops BET Awards Nominations", Billboard, retrieved 2012-01-26
  19. ^ Koslow, Jessica (2003) "Mystic Cuts for Luck and Scars for Freedom", CMJ New Music Monthly, June 2003, p. 43, retrieved 2012-01-24
  20. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (2011) "Mystic To Reissue Debut "Cuts For Luck And Scars For Freedom” To Digital Retail", HipHopDX, July 6, 2011, retrieved 2012-01-25
  21. ^ Hip Hop Caucus (2017) "Hip Hop Caucus: Team"Hip Hop Caucus, retrieved 2017-06-04
  22. ^ Charts & Awards, Allmusic, retrieved 2012-01-24

External links[edit]