a, Arts & Entertainment, Music

Juicy J: Stay Trippy

For Juicy J, being ‘trippy’ is both a state of mind and a lifestyle, and in Stay Trippy, he raps about living it for 20 years. Throughout, the former Three 6 Mafia member condones codeine, crime, and cannabis, detailing his experiences with each. Dipping between tempos, he will rap pointedly over a beat and then continue in double-time. In his intro, ‘Stop It,’ he speaks of “getting high like I’m eighteen but I been rich since the late eighties,” and continues to reference themes of intoxication and career longevity throughout the album.

Juicy J never strays far from his mantra of sex, drugs, and other vices, and his articulate and frank lyrics result in a series of reckless, escapist anthems. With a total of 16 songs, Juicy J would have done well to cut weaker tracks, such as “So Much Money” and “No Heart No Love,” where extended and repetitive hooks are grating rather than exciting. On nearly every other track, however, Juicy J’s charisma shines through. Ridiculous lines like “Got a house on the hill cost a couple of mill/Juicy J got bank like Uncle Phil” cleverly combine braggadocio and over-the-top, jokey hyperbole.

As a rapper in the midst of the third stage of his career—he is now signed to Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang Records after 2002 and 2009 solo releases that resulted from his split with Three 6 Mafia—Juicy J is a rarity, and one would expect new ideas and artistic progression to be the only way to succeed in a subgenre that creates such transient artists. Juicy, however, easily surpasses trendy raps that lack his experienced, confident flow. On Stay Trippy, Juicy J ultimately succeeds by doing what he does best—producing party bangers better than any of his imitators.

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