Juicy J's fourth studio album has its stand-out moments, but ultimately falls short of expectations.
Rubba Band Business: The Album is exactly what you might expect from a Juicy J project: lyrics about drugs and money layered over production from Metro Boomin, TM88, Lex Luger, and Mike Will Made-It. Earlier this year, Juicy dropped the Highly Intoxicated mixtape, and the chemistry between Juicy and The $uicideBoy$ was reminiscent of the classic Three 6 Mafia Sound. Despite lacking the aggressive edge of Highly Intoxicated, Rubba Band Business' production remains solid throughout, and Juicy consistently reminds us that he’s a rap veteran and should be respected as such.
“Flood Watch,” featuring Offset of Migos, exemplifies Juicy's aptitude for making great turn up music, as TM88 lays down an enjoyable piano loop that doubles as chill track and a party record. Offset delivers one of his more memorable appearances of the year, and his comparison of smoking “bomb” to ISIS is a creative and funny display of the winning Migos personality. Juicy’s boss and labelmate Wiz Khalifa appears on two tracks back-to-back, “Too Many,” and “Ain’t Nothing.” The former is by far the superior of the two, with a standout verse from Denzel Curry and production from Murda Beatz, the Canadian mastermind behind Drake’s “Portland.” Unfortunately, Wiz delivers an uninspired chorus, but Denzel and Juicy mesh well together over the slightly Hispanic sounding instrumental.
Offset, Wiz, and Denzel are but a few of the artists that Juicy employs to paint his portrait of debauchery and lavish living. Travis Scott assists the Trippy One on “No English,” another standout record. As expected, La Flame's chorus will penetrate your brain, and play on repeat in your mind for days on end. Even the Tory Lanez assisted “On & On” sounds amazing, although I initially skeptical about the collaboration. Surprisingly, the least enjoyable feature was A$AP Rocky’s appearance on “Feed the Streets.” To be fair, Project Pat’s verse on the track is forgettable as well, but Rocky and Juicy usually work so well together. This time, their collaboration seemed uninventive and formulaic.
Although Juicy does have entertaining solo tracks like “A Couple” and “Hot As Hell,” the rest of his unaided songs feel a bit stagnant. "Dodgin’ the Snakes" has a decent beat, but Juicy’s flow is lackluster, and “Only One Up” feels like it belongs on a mixtape from a few years back. By the time Rubba Band Business ended, I couldn't help but feel robbed. Highly Intoxicated was such a great Juicy project, while Rubba Band Business simply feels inconclusive. The Trippy One continues to stick to the same methods that launched his solo career, although nothing even comparable to “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” or “Bounce It” graces this album. Instead, we get a slew of formulaic party records, with a few bangers stashed in between. The features and the production are the best parts of Rubba Band Business, and while Juicy shows flashes of brilliance, he ultimately falls short of creating the album that we know he’s capable of.