WE TRIPPY MANE! Yes, it’s that time. Roll one up, ‘pop a bean’ as Juicy would say or just get ready to TURN UP.
Although Juicy had released two other studio albums before ‘Stay Trippy‘; ‘Chronicles of the Juice Man‘ and ‘Hustle Till I Die‘, there was still only a very small group of fans who were interested in the ratchet lifestyle Juicy proclaimed.
However, Juicy towards the end of 2011, signed a deal with the Taylor Gang emcee, Wiz Khalifa. Although on wax it doesn’t look like a great deal, to say the least, Juicy has remained the same and being signed to a major still hasn’t affected or disallowed Juicy to make the most ratchet, turnt-up and hysterical songs he is known for.
Proceeded by a few mixtapes, most notably, ‘Blue Dream & Lean‘, which is one of Juicy’s most consistent and wildest projects to date, ‘Stay Trippy’, released in the summer of 2013 was a perfect time for the Juice Man to showcase himself as not a demanded featured guest on other people’s records, but also as a solo artist and his diversity of production.
The opening track, ‘Stop It‘, which Mike WiLL Made-It is behind the boards of, provides thunderous production with alien synthesizers, heavy bass and wicked hi-hats. Juicy in this song is declaring his relevance to today’s Hip-Hop industry. Not only was he 38 when ‘Stay Trippy’ dropped, but he showcased to the industry and his haters that he is not like the majority of rappers who have no influence over their competition and peers, but he is their competition.
“Still rich and ain’t gon stop getting rich
Told you niggas I ain’t gon’ never gonna stop getting money” – Juicy J
The second track, ‘Smokin’, Rollin’‘ which features the late-great UGK rapper Pimp C for an unheard verse and sampling The Weeknd’s ‘High For This‘ is a highlight off the album. Not only does Juicy and his second-in-charge, Crazy Mike, re-work Abel’s smooth track into a ratchet trap-track, it shows that Juicy is one of few Hip-Hop artists who works behind the boards as well as being a writer.
One of the best tracks on Juicy’s major studio album is the Young Chop produced and Project PATTTTTAAAA featured banger ‘No Heart No Love‘. First off, out of all the features on this album, Pat’s is one of the best. Anyway, Chop produces a heavy Drill instrumental layered with flattering hi-hats, heavy keys and the love/hate DJ tags of a gunshot and screams. Juicy however, provides verses of the gangster-ific actions he’ll take to keep his enemies in their place. He even goes to the extent of comparing himself of that of a guns’ trigger.
“The trigger ain’t got no heart, the nigga behind it ain’t got no love” – Juicy J
The tracks that come after it, ‘So Much Money‘ and the radio single ‘Bounce It‘ featuring MMG signee Wale and devious Trey Songz, are a waste for the project. Although the latter came out a mere two months before the albums release, like always, radio stations just overplay songs and eventually are the death of them. Coming back to my point, these two on the albums tracklist are two of the weakest. Although they follow J’s typical yet always appealing song-making-formula, there’s something about them that doesn’t give off the same amount of volume as others.
The solo banger, ‘Wax‘, which has Freda Payne‘s ‘I Get High (On Your Memory)‘ vocals pitched to that of a chipmunk and used throughout as a sample to create this wicked smoke-up tune, which you can’t help but smile and think back to all the joints you’ve smoked or have waiting for you back at home. If any rapper could make a love song about weed, it would always be Juicy. Although, New Orleans spitta, Curren$y could with ease do the exact same.
The next track and collaboration is still one of my favourite’s off the album. ‘Gun Plus a Mask‘ is a terrific Trap/psychedelic/gangster inspired bumper. Juicy and Crazy Mike return with subtle hi-hats and a minimal drum-kit that creates an atmosphere of fear. Yelawolf provides one of the best featured verses of his career as well as double-time flow that fits perfectly well with Juicy’s lazy-smokey verse.
“But I’ll get dirty if I gotta get dirtier then a mothafuckin piranha up in a Alabama creek
I’m hotter than you in the middle of the summer
Sitting in a sauna under the sun up in a Alabama street” – Yelawolf
Another pop-inspired like track that shows up on the album and is the first feature from TGOD boss, Wiz Khalifa. ‘Smoke a Nigga‘ is a wavy track which Mike WiLL Made-It produces perfectly with beautiful synths and a sample of vocal harmonies which fit incredibly into the beat. While I’m not one of Wiz’s biggest fans, he still comes through for a sort-of-memorable verse.
Another highlight off the album is the Timbaland produced and forever sexy Justin Timberlake on ‘The Woods‘. Timbaland produces a mellow-lovesick beat, which has Timbo’s signature beat-boxing and drum kit on it as well as keys that sound like they were meant for the first instillation of ‘The 20/20 Experience‘. Although J.T. is only the chorus and would’ve been amazing hearing him doing a verse, Juicy holds the track down by himself well. I couldn’t imagine Juicy doing a track like this before hearing it, but afterwards, an EP or collaborative tape with either Timbo or J.T. (BOTH) would be a nice addition to Juicy’s building discography of a solo artist as well as his ability to move throughout Hip-Hop, Trap and R&B.
“Money a Do It“, the following track, is the best solo Juicy track on the album as well as a contestant for the best track on the album. The beat has a dark melody supported by the keys, wild hi-hats and a bass so addictive and irresistible, it’s impossible to not bang your head to and there are incredible Juicy quotes throughout. The breakdown of the beat after the second chorus, which Juicy details extreme gang activity and the lengths he’d or the
modern gangster would go to get the money.
“I got partners that smoke, I got bitches that sniff
I got killers and goons, and they all with the shit”
“Buy that bitch a bag, buy that bitch some beans
I keep her caked up nigga that’s a happy meal
Full of codeine in my Styrofoam cup
I can turn a church girl into a stone cold slut
Bad red bone, puttin’ on the show
No I’m not gon’ wife her cuz she errbody ho”
“And Juicy J throw with some killas on the boat
Best believe I’m a pimp, nigga ain’t goin broke
Ride in the car with a body in the trunk
Three niggas deep, and we rollin’ up a blunt”
Although the majority of the better songs on the album have already come and gone, alike most studio albums, the last couple tracks are either hit or miss. ‘Bandz a Make Her Dance‘ originally showed up on the bonus track EP of ‘Blue Dream and Lean‘, 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne turn up for some ratchet-inspired-bars about the type of action they get up to in the club, and Tity Boi’s opening bar just leaves you speechless.
A$AP Rocky also appears on ‘Scholarship‘ however, the track is another lackluster. Although the beat is banging, both rappers provide some pretty unmemorable verses and is not a track I would show a Juicy J virgin.
To conclude, it is a strong debut project for Juicy entering into the mainstream. Although he’d never not been part of it, it was a great solo debut from distancing himself from Three 6 Mafia and if anything, hopefully ‘Rubberband Business: The Album’ will follow and provide the rest of Juicy’s fans with a project alike to his most recent tapes.