Juicy J Lets Us Into His Trippy World.
Juicy J's not the type of artist who needs much of an introduction. He's just Juicy J, member of the famed Memphis rap group Three 6 Mafia, Oscar winner, producer and, now, solo artist.
Well, OK, he's mostly just technically a solo artist.
Since branching out on his own a couple years back, it's not really like Juicy has been working by his lonesome. Quite the opposite, actually. Over the course of the last two years, he's worked with some of the biggest names in the game — Wiz Khalifa (who signed Juicy to his Taylor Gang imprint), Lil Wayne, Young Jeezy, The Weeknd, 2 Chainz, Future, Mac Miller and B.o.B., just to name a few.
And, really, why wouldn't these young artists want to work with Juicy? He's created a lasting reputation and brand for staying trippy (read: partying hard and staying high through a mix of high grade marijuana, the popular syrup and just about any other drug in the rap lexicon). “Top 10 get high rappers, Number 1 is my rank / You say no to drugs, Juicy J can't,” he raps in “A Zip and a Double Cup.”
Sure, maybe it's something of a formulaic model he's working. But the formula works. In January, J's quote-unquote comeback single “Bandz a Make Her Dance” went certified gold, selling over 500,000 copies. As of this writing, it's close to going platinum with over 912,000 copies sold.
No resting on his laurels, though, Juicy is preparing to release his third solo album this summer, the appropriately titled Stay Trippy. And, just this week, he hit the road to drum up some support for the new album alongside the buzzing A$AP Ferg. Together, the rappers will be appearing at South Side Music Hall in Dallas on Thursday night.
In advance of this show, we caught up with Juicy J to talk about the new album, to find out what it's like working with all of these young artists and to see if we could glean any information on the possibility of a Three 6 Mafia reunion.
I checked out your Twitter and Instagram last night and saw that you were working on a new song. What can you tell me about that?
Yeah, man, I stay working. I never stop. We were doing a beat.
Is this track you were working on going to be on the new album?
Actually, yes. Because sometimes I make a song or a beat and may not like that beat, y'know? Then I might say I wanna change the beat up or something like that. So we wanted a song me and my engineer Crazy Mike already had, but we just did the beat over.
When you're making a track, are you thinking about who you want to be featured on it?
How do the features on your songs usually come about? Like the song you did with The Weeknd recently, “One of Those Nights.” What can you tell me about that?
Just when it's done and it's finished. I hit The Weeknd up about doing a record for my new album, and he produced it. Then they sent me the track and I did the verse and then they finished it. It came out to be a great record. It's super hot.
Since you have some 20 years of experience on them, what advice do you give to these younger artists you work with?
Just keep interested and stay working. Stay busy. Don't give up.
What can we expect from the Stay Trippy album?
I mean, man, it's kinda like how I did my mixtapes. It's kinda how I did Blue Dream & Lean. I stuck to the script. I'm not really trying to change too much, y'know? It's a dope album, though. It's real dope. I put a lot of work into this album.
What can we expect from the Stay Trippy tour?
The tour starts on 4/20!
Got any particular places you hang out when you stop through Dallas? You've been here more than a few times over the years.
Man, lately, the times I've been to Dallas, I've just been going straight to the [venue] and do what I do. Then back to the room, y'know? I haven't had a chance to hangout in a while. I went to some club without even leaving my condo one time. Like in a hotel thing. I always have a nice time in Dallas. Always.
What else is going on Juicy J's world?
I've definitely been doing a lot features, man. Y'know, enjoying life, man. It's great.
When asked, you've said there are no plans for a Three 6 Mafia reunion. But do you ever see a reunion happening?
Not really, man. Not right now. That album is on the shelf. It depends on what you mean. Like Three 6 Mafia with all the old members?
Maybe even just you and DJ Paul.
Yeah, because me and Paul were the only ones left over and that would be the only people that would do a reunion. But, I mean, like, that's probably not gonna happen till Sony figures out what they want to do with that group. They put that group on the shelf, and that's where it's been sitting all these years. That's why people haven't heard from us. It was up to the managing label. And they haven't really decided to exercise that option and, in that time, I've been doing my own thing and it just popped off.
Since you've been doing your own thing, what's your writing process for tracks like these days?
Man, just smoke some good herb and do it! I mean, I come up with music all the time. I could be driving down the street and I could make a beat. In the bathroom!
I read that's how the “Bandz a Make Her Dance” track got started, right?
Yep! In the bathroom!
Juicy J performs Thursday, April 25, at the South Side Music Hall.