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Juicy J: “I’m the Quincy Jones of the rap game”

REVOLT caught up with Juicy J to discuss his career, Three 6 Mafia days, and why no one in the music industry can see him in a Verzuz battle.

Juicy J Getty Images

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What Juicy say? Shut the fuck up! Once you hear this tag, you already know the song is a banger. Juicy J needs no introduction. The Memphis rapper has been consistently creating hits in the rap game for three decades straight and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Coming up as the founding member of the legendary Three 6 Mafia, he has endless accolades including winning an Oscar for the group’s song “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from the movie Hustle & Flow.

And still, beyond his solo artistry with an endless catalog of hits from “Bandz a Make Her Dance” and more, Juicy has been in his producer bag. This year alone, he co-produced Megan The Stallion’s viral smash “Hot Girl Summer” from 2019 and most recently three records on her latest album titled Good News.

The rapper, producer, and entrepreneur is even bringing us more heat of his own. Released via eOne in November 2020, Juicy’s latest album titled The Hustle Continues hails standout features from Lil Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, NLE Choppa, Young Dolph, Key Glock, Logic, A$AP Rocky, 2 Chainz, Conway, Ty Dolla $ign, Rico Nasty, Jay Rock, Lord Infamous and Project Pat.

REVOLT caught up with the star to discuss the Three 6 Mafia days, working with Megan, his entrepreneurship, fatherhood during quarantine, his new album and more! Peep below.

Can you bring us back to when the “yeah hoe” ad lib originated?

Three 6 Mafia in the studio back in the day, we’d always get in the booth and chant shit. “Tear the club up! Yeah hoe!” Back then in the early 90s, we recorded on the track tapes. We chop it up from the real tapes to the drum machines, sample it ourselves and keep it in there. Me and my engineer wiped the floor one day and started stomping. We’d have these crazy sound effects, always make them up ourselves.

Did you think it’d catch on three decades later?

Never in a million years.

Fondest memories from the Three 6 Mafia days?

We used to have disco ball in the studio. We’d have the lights off, disco ball moving around, strippers dancing with everybody. Crazy parties, drugs and weed everywhere. Thank God I survived.

With three decades in music, what inspires you to create music today?

I love doing It. I produced three songs on Meg Thee Stallion’s new album. It’s just fun. Going in the studio, making a record, people loving the music, I get a rush like a drug. It’s not even about the money. I’m blessed, look at everything on my wall. This is [a] little something, I make most of my money off my investments. A lot of my money.

Investments in what?

I have investments in Keurig, they make coffee pots and Dr. Pepper. Every time you buy a Dr. Pepper, I get a check. I got money in Fortnite, Turo, a lot of real estate. A lot of great investments. I have a weed company with Gary Vee.

What’s the premise of your new cannabis brand?

My management team connected me with Gary Vee, it’s been love ever since. We’ve been putting out new strands like Mystic Potion and Wildflower, came out and sold out everywhere. We’re finna get it in all the stores. It’s in a lot of stores in L.A., but since a lot of states are accepting weed now, it’s not illegal anymore, we’re trying to get it in every state. The pandemic slowed down a lot of stuff, but I have patience. We’re moving forward, it’s coming out real good.

How was it working with Megan?

It’s such a blessing. When I first met her, I knew she [was] a superstar. She was getting started, had a little underground buzz. It was bubbling. She came in the studio, we vibed. I call her my little sister, she’s really cool. I played some beats, she knocked out every verse back to back. I call her the Verse Killer, she’s killing every verse in here. That’s my family. I love Megan, salute to her for even reaching out and wanting to get into the studio with me. That’s amazing, she told me she grew up on Three 6 Mafia and Project Pat. She’s super talented.

Did you think “Hot Girl Summer” would be what it was?

Yes. I never call a record a hit because I’m superstitious with that, but I’d say a strong single. When I sent her the record, “This is a strong single. Top 10, outta here.” Look at it, it’s close to double platinum.

How does it feel to be the most sampled producer of 2020?

It’s amazing. I can’t complain, a blessing. I knew the music was special because Three 6 Mafia, we’ve made a lot of accomplishments in life. Winning an Academy award, overcoming a lot of obstacles. We had so many doors slammed in our face. We’re way before our time, we had a reality TV show when nobody was doing reality TV. I always thought the music was special because it’s so different, it doesn’t sound like nobody else’s stuff. I never thought in 10 or 15 years, it’s the most sampled shit of all time. I’m so surprised.

What are you most excited for with your new album, The Hustle Continues?

One of my best albums. I produced the whole album. My homie named 6ix, he produced a song on there with me. TrapMoneyBenny produced a song with me, Internet Money, Lex Luger. The rest is 100% me. I’ve done this back in the day on some underground shit, but I’ve never done a big release like this producing my whole album. I took it back to the old Three 6 Mafia days. I went in the studio and did what I did. Didn’t try to think or pull my hat around, I’m going to have some fun with this. It’s independent, I own 100% of everything. Some great features on there. It’s crazy.

Talk about naming it The Hustle Continues. That speaks volumes.

The Hustle Continues, that’s it. When I finished my last album, Stay Trippy, I said The Hustle Continues. I’ma keep on moving. I could do anything. Years ago, that day Three 6 Mafia won an Academy award, I said, “Man if I can win an Academy award and make history, I can do anything in life.” Anything I want to do, I can do it. Regardless if the odds look like I can’t or if I get a door slammed in my face, I love proving people wrong. I love to surprise people like alright, I’m back.

There are people who’ve wanted an Oscar their entire lives. How does it feel for it to kind of fall into your lap?

It’s a blessing, we put a lot of hard work into that song. It happened, we kept that faith in God. Still going at it, still moving. Got some other stuff coming out, hope I can get another Oscar again. I’m working on some movie shit, a lot of things in store coming out 2021. It’s been a great, great run. Had these runs three times in my life, it’s about to be my fourth run.

How was linking with NLE Choppa on “Load It Up”?

My cousin knows his mom. I like his music, he’s from Memphis. I said, “Man, I like that dude from Memphis. I like his energy, he’s always dancing and moving.” My cousin/manager reached out and made it happen. Shout out to Ray, he hooked it up.

What did the collab mean for Memphis?

Memphis always had the most talented people in the world to me. Now people are starting to realize that. I knew what it was back in my day. I signed who I could sign from Project Pat to La Chat to Gangsta Boo, solo acts coming out of Hypnotize Minds. I tried to expand it and we did. Now the doors are opening, everyone wants a Memphis artist and producer. So much talent. Every day I see a new rapper, a new producer. Memphis always had talent, it’s just been overlooked.

Did you tap into Gucci vs. Jeezy Verzuz?

Oh yeah, that was dope. Legendary. The best one, I loved it.

Who did you have?

I went for both of them. I like the idea that those two dudes have been in feud for over 15 years, they came together and made it positive. For the youngins because a lot of rappers been passing away, rest in peace. Right now, we need more positivity. For people to see these dudes who’ve been into it for 15 years, coming together and saying “fuck the beef,” that’s for the culture. They both won, I’m a fan of both. Salute to them.

Who would you want to battle in Verzuz?

Anybody. My catalog speaks for itself, I could go up against anybody. Anybody if it makes sense, even if it doesn’t make sense I don’t care. I have a producer catalog, an artist catalog, a group catalog. I can go against producers, rappers. My catalog’s deep. When you mention Top 5, you’re going to have to mention Juicy J somewhere up there.

How’s your journey with eOne, and owning your own masters?

It’s great. I own some of the old Three 6 Mafia masters. Moving forward to 2020, I own everything. The dude that runs eOne, Alan Grunblatt, is my homie. He’s the first person that signed Three 6 Mafia. Man, let me get back in business with my homie from 20 plus years ago. We’ve always been friends, always had a connection. Been knowing him forever. I’m familiar with the team, it’s lovely. It’s a blessing, really good to be working with friends again. Salute to Columbia, he did a lot for Three 6 Mafia. We made a lot of money over there, did a lot of great things. It’s time for me to move on.

When did your new baby arrive? How’s fatherhood during quarantine?

My new baby’s here, born October 7th. It’s great. I have two kids, I love it. It’s a part of life, the gift of life. It’s what life’s all about. I can’t complain, it’s amazing watching my daughter run around the house. Watching them grow up is amazing, I love them deeply. Such a blessing, kids are everything.

Are they bumping the new Juicy J or what?

My daughter’s two, I let her listen to the clean version. My son doesn’t know what’s going on.

As a strong Black man in America, how can you continue to push the narrative?

I want people to be more independent. We should all try to figure out some things for ourselves and our community. Very very important. We’ve got to get ourselves right, our community right before we can try to do anything for other people. That’s the main thing: We should focus on our communities, better ourselves as people and buy some land — buy two pieces of land and buy one chain. When you buy a car, buy two more pieces of land. Invest that money, don’t spend it all at the strip club. Have a ball, enjoy life, but definitely save some for a rainy day.

That’s what my dad always told me and I did that. When we come into situations like pandemics or we break our legs, we can sit back and let our investments make our money. We won’t have to be like, “Damn I had 10 shows, I can’t pay my rent. I can’t pay my car note.” Don’t rely on shows because in this rap game, they’re here today and gone tomorrow. Make sure to invest that money, that’s very important. If you don’t want to invest, save it.

What’s one thing you want fans to get from your new album?

I want them to understand I’m here to stay. Anytime it’s Grammy Awards, you’re going to see me. Anytime you hear about someone at a Top 10 record, my name’s going to be somewhere or somebody I signed will be somewhere. I signed a dope ass artist from Boston, Massachusetts named Henry AZ — 21 years old, he got bars. I love doing music, I was born and raised to do music. I’m the Quincy Jones of the rap game.

Anything else you’d like to let us know?

I have glass bong coming, Juicy J Glass. A lot of things jumping off, be the lookout. The Hustle Continues!

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