After a resurgence in his career and a brand new label to call home, former Three 6 Mafia member Juicy J proves he is invincible with "Stay Trippy."
Few rappers get a second life in the rap game. It’s nearly unheard of to lap around the competition a third time around. But then again Juicy J is not the typical rapper. He started out with his fellow Memphis native rappers and friends DJ Paul and Lord Infamous to form Three 6 Mafia in the early 90’s. A classic hip-hop come-up story, the trio dove head-first into a non-stop grind of hustling mixtapes out of the back of car trunks until they finally caught on with “Sippin On Some Syrup” and a platinum selling album in 2000. Another relatively quiet six years followed when Three 6 Mafia saw a rebirth with an Academy Award win for “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp,” the official song for 2005’s "Hustle & Flow" movie starring Terrence Howard.
Never quite reaching the fame and success of their earlier hits, Three 6 Mafia went through a shuffle in its line-up before there were just two standing: Juicy J and DJ Paul. Soon the group disbanded altogether. Juicy J kept himself busy by doing features with other rappers, one of them being Wiz Khalifa. By the end of 2011, Juicy J was signed under Khalifa’s Taylor Gang imprint and was soon joining the rest of the crew on various mixtapes. Then the strip club anthem “Bandz A Make A Dance” came along and Juicy J was once again a household name. With the lead single now a certified-platinum hit, Juicy J preps the release of his third solo album.
Although it suffered a series of setbacks and after a few release dates came and went, Stay Trippy finally hit the shelves as one of the last rap albums of the summer. 20 years into his rap career, the 38-year-old rapper has finally found a formula that works for him and he knows it. As the King of Trippy, Juicy J’s third solo effort is a celebration of the fruits of his labor complete with kush, codeine, lean, Molly, Xanax and a few other tripadelic items.
Juicy J is truly on the top of his game when stays in his lame with the self-described “simple raps” and discusses what he knows best. Joined by his boss Wiz Khalifa on “Smoke A Nigga,” Juicy J rhymes:
“Peeling bank rolls, condo full of bad bitches/ Lot of pills, lot of weed and a lot of liquor/ Sprinkle hash on a blunt, bitch I’m rich and double cup/ Ain’t no time being wasted, time to roller another up/ Trippy niggas getting high, man that’s what we all do/ She know I’m with them Taylors, wanna fuck the whole crew”
Between the trips to space, Juicy J frequently reminds us that he’s amassed an insanely sizable amount of dough after 20 years in the game. In “So Much Money,” Juicy J thumbs through so much money, he needs three hands to count it:
“I woke up in a Bugatti and parked it by my Ferrari/ Took my Rolex and chopped it and stuffed it in my Buggari/ I got your bitch on a Molly, she ride me like a Ducati/ If giving head was a college, she would be summa cum laude/ She treat my dick like a pistol, I treat her face like a target/ I told em ‘Bandz A Make Her Dance,” I turned my head, that shit charted”
Though much of the album is about enjoying the fruits of his labor, he does revert back to the old Juicy J circa the Hustle Til I Die album in “No Heart No Love.” Teaming up with his older brother Project Pat, J warns those that mess with his money:
“I tell you one time, don’t play with my bread/ Nigga, you do, they gonna find yo ass dead/ Body in trunk, hands tied to yo legs/ Tape on yo mouth, a hole in yo head/ Fronted some dope, now the nigga in debt/ How you gonna pay that? Nigga, don’t sweat/ Goons on deck. You know what’s next/ Send ‘em to yo house, now it’s time to collect"
For his third solo album, Juicy J enlists some big names for feature appearances. Alluding to a few surprises on the tracklist in an interview earlier this year, Juicy J resurrects the late great Pimp C for a verse on “Smokin Rollin.” Justin Timberlake hooks up once again with his favorite Memphis rapper for “The Woods.” Wale and Trey Songz help Juicy J encourage the opposite sex to “Bounce It.” Young Jeezy and Big Sean lend their services in “Show Out.”
A$AP Rocky and Juicy J team up for “Scholarship,” a song that encourages women to earn money for college by taking a page out of Miley Cyrus’ book and get to twerking. The song has caused a bit of controversy when Juicy J recently announced a grand prize of $50,000 to the woman age 18 to 25 that’s currently enrolled in an accredited two or four-year college with the best twerking moves.
Juicy J has become one of the best when it comes to picking superb beats that goes with his cadence and sound of voice. Juicy J’s selection of producers places the already sky high album into another atmosphere. Handling some of the production himself, Juicy J (with the help of Crazy Mike who offers his services on several songs from the album) turns Freda Payne’s “I Get High Off Your Memory” into “Wax,” an ode to all things psychedelic. Aside from “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” Mike Will Made It provides much of the production bringing his signature strip club feel to every beat. Lex Luger, Dr. Luke (who is currently on the cover of the latest issue of The Source Magazine with Juicy J) and a few handful of others also help to sonically shape the album. True to its name, Juicy J Stays Trippy throughout his ride, providing listeners with a drug-laced and joyful soundtrack to his life.
Chime in with your thoughts on the album in the comment section.