August 28, 2013

Juicy-J-Stay-TrippyDeen originated the Bombay Gin dance.

I wasn’t planning to write anything about Stay Trippy due to my pre-existing bias in favor of Juicy J’s music. He’s my spirit animal, you see. There’s also the fact that I’m so overly pleased with the album that a review might begin to tread into uncomfortable and vaguely homoerotic prose. Trap Lord in stores right now. But I’ve never been one to let important tasks stay undone, so here we are. Get ready for some muthafuckin hyperbole.

Stay Trippy is essentially a leaner, more focused version of the mixtapes Juicy J has released over the last few years. Every element of his persona is intact and he does himself a great favor by limiting the insanity to 16 songs. The fact remains that there isn’t a lot that separates a “normal” or album track Juicy J record from a “single” if you analyze both kinds of songs from a sonic perspective. For the umpteenth time, Juicy J and DJ Paul, as part of Three 6 Mafia, have influenced most of today’s most prominent beatmakers, so he sounds right at home over these updated beats. I still think he sounds best over the beats he makes with Crazy Mike, but the chemistry with Mike Will Made It is pretty impressive. Lex Luger is a welcome presence on three tracks that harken back to his not too distant radio dominance without sounding like retreads. Juicy J makes songs like this at a prolific clip with what would appear to be no effort, but the man has just mastered his craft over a 20 year career.

The singles you’ve come to love and chant over the past year or so (‘Bandz’, ‘Show Out’ and ‘Bounce It’) are all present and as effervescent as ever, accompanied by even more potential hits and some straight up classic Three 6 Mafia murder music. There are classic threats, bragging and taunts delivered via clever similes and the required Project Pat appearance – he makes everything better. Plus, there’s hilarious life advice on everything ranging from real estate investments (“I might go buy me an island and bring your bitch to my beach”) to bail posting procedures (“I shoot and I run, that’s how a nigga post bail) and career development (“a gun plus a mask, that equals cash”). Shockingly enough, this album might actually cater more to Juicy’s older fans, as opposed to the new generation of kids that found him via Wiz Khalifa. Both sets of deviants will be pleased with the results though, especially since everything is obviously delivered through a codeine, weed and alcohol induced haze.

The only anomaly of sorts would be the Timbaland produced and Justin Timberlake featuring ‘The Woods’ – which also happens to feature a great, if slightly uncharacteristically simpish turn from the usually cold Juicy J. I suppose the song is Juicy J calling in the favor JT owed him from Three 6’s hilariously raunchy and cred-lending appearance on ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds,‘ however the fuck many years ago. Plus they’re both from Tennessee or whatever.

I’m slightly loathe to use this term, but Juicy J has given us the “Ratchet Thriller.” Every song on this thing is great, even when he’s repeating himself and if record labels still worked albums like crazy, they’d get like 10 singles out of this shit. Maybe a more accurate characterization might be “2013 Doggystyle” in the sense that even in this ADHD generation, I can envision tons of parties (college, frat or otherwise) being soundtracked by ‘Stay Trippy’. I can’t count the number of parties I attended where the host would just throw ‘Doggystyle‘ on and let it ride on repeat for the entire night and we fuckin loved it. And no, I didn’t just age myself – ‘Doggystyle‘ has been THAT good for THAT long.

Minor criticism appears in the form of verses from some rappers I don’t care for anymore, but if I’m being honest, I don’t mind. Anyone that gets me to willingly sit through a dated Wale verse is something approaching a god. I still enjoyed Chris Brown’s appearance more though. That’s how much I dislike Wale in 2013.

So I guess we could conclude that I’m impressed and excited by ‘Stay Trippy’. The only tragedy is that I’m at stage in life where I can’t do the requisite amount of drugs required to truly experience this album. But that’s a small quibble. I’m sure I’ll run into a young strumpet that’ll be more than happy to let me do things with her good bits while this shit is playing and that’ll more than suffice. A lotta rappers have made some decent music this year and there’ll be a lot more made before the year is out, but none of that shit will sound half as fun as ‘Stay Trippy‘. This shit is a testimony to the power of knowing and mastering your lane – regardless of how vulgar and violent that lane may be. Long Live Juicy J…

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