The Impact of Ferguson
"The day after Michael Brown was shot, Muhammad Austin, known musically as Mvstermind, left a protest in Clayton, returned home, sat down in his room, and produced a song addressing the tensions and frustrations he felt regarding Brown’s death. Austin is one artist among many painters, graphic designers, actors, and musicians producing work to give voice to their thoughts on the shooting of Michael Brown." -St.Louis Public Radio
"The powerful track is rooted deeply in current events, with "don't shoot" repeated again and again as its closing lyrics. The group released a video for the song, shot by Mike Roth of Louis Quatorze video production, which features Mir, Con and Mvstermind. Each rapper delivers one verse, starting in the street and walking toward the camera before arriving at his home and posing with his family. The overall message: Behind every kid on the street is a life and a group of people who love him. These young men aren't an anonymous "other" — they are us."-Riverfront Times
Black lives matter
The impact of Ferguson and the Black Lives Matter movement have been tremendous to Mvstermind's music and creativity. Being a black male living not that far from Ferguson, Mvstermind couldn't help but to feel emotionally connected to the death of Michael Brown. The aftermath of Ferguson has lead Mvstermind to embody what he calls a "cultural revolution and renaissance" within his artistry which also prompted him to become involved in uplifting his community through music. As a black man that's consciously aware, Mvstermind doesn't create your "typical" rap, instead his lyrics embody his experiences as a black man growing up in North St. Louis encountering the good and bad that life can offer either by his personal experiences or through the experiences of the people he once knew so closely. Mvstermind's music has always been about uplifting the mindset of its listeners, TeamBackPack eloquently stated while discussing his latest single Mali Moolah,
"To the casual and careless listener this is a song about making money an all to common theme of the genre. In reality the track has powerful origins. At one time the country of Mali was flourishing of mathematics, astronomy, literature, and art. In 1300, the Mali Empire covered an area twice the size of France and stretched to the west coast of Africa. But in the late 19th century, during the Scramble for Africa, France seized control of Mali, making it a part of French Sudan and such after Mali much like other countries suffered. In many ways Mvstermind is referencing wealth that was stripped from an entire people. Although Mali is no longer wealthy in dollars they have been known for their spiritual dedication. Hence the importance of knowing ones worth, particularly as black person on this earth. This is significant in two ways; society would like us to believe that the black experience started with slavery or colonization, as school curriculum and popular culture have yet to entertain a time before that. A time when Mali was apart of an Empire. And as for the present day many black men and women who have acquired wealth but lack knowledge of their self worth don’t necessarily know who they are but are assimilating to a life they always wanted. So we come back to where we started, one must be rich in spirit and pocket"
Mvstermind is on the mission to empower and uplift the black community, while also proudly letting the whole world know that black people have always and will always matter one song at a time.
"Muhammad 'Mvstermind' Austin, leader of the hip-hop collective MME, led a group of young people at the Arts Speak Youth Summit, hosted by St. Louis Positive Change (Ferguson Commission), to express their emotions and concerns around the issues brought up since the death of Michael Brown."