Juicy J – “Crypto Business” review

This is the 13th mixtape from Memphis rapper, songwriter, producer & record executive Juicy J. Rising to stardom in the 90s as the co-founder of the seminal Three 6 Mafia alongside his Tear Da Club Up Thugs cohorts DJ Paul & the late Lord Infamous, he also had the most successful solo career out of everyone in the Mafia whether it be the Taylor Gang Entertainment/Columbia Records-backed Stay Trippy & Rubba Band Business: The Album or even his last full-length The Hustle Continues under his new MNRK Music Group imprint Trippy Music. He just dropped Stoner’s Night with Wiz Khalifa at the beginning of the year & then Space Age Pimpin’ with Pi’erre Bourne over the summer, but is reuniting with longtime collaborator Lex Luger to surprise drop Crypto Business.

“Night at the Club” is an insane trap opener with Juicy describing the lavish lifestyle that he lives whereas “‘Cause I Live It” with Wiz works in some pianos & hi-hats talking about why they never talk it. Finesse2tymes’ verse on “Be Careful” is a little underwhelming to me despite the themes of watching out who you consider to be friends over more hi-hats & a creepy loop but after the “Big Triece Talk” skit, “Hit the Smoke” works in a soul sample talking about getting higher than a motherfucker.

Moving onto “Coinbase”, we have Juicy over a trap instrumental with some keys & horns calling money his league leading into the Lil Keke-assisted “Kill dat Shit” jumping on top of a repetitive “murder” vocal chop & heavy bass co-produced with BeatKing to get nasty lyrically. “Respectfully” laced some strings & hi-hats from Hitkidd admitting he can’t give bitches anything as well as giving a middle finger to those who be hating, but then “R.I.P.” gives condolences to a number of things ranging from Michael Jackson to the clothes he’s ‘bout to fuck up & the beat here has an uneasy quality to it that I like.

“I Got” however admits he has issues accompanied by some rattling hi-hats while “Send Her Down” returns to a more dramatic approach in sound talking about still being here in spite of those who want him dead for whatever their reasons may be. “Shrooms” with LXST CXNTURY finds the 2 tweaking out on the titular recreational drug with a more darker quality to the production while “Clap” with Trey Dizzle is basically an inferior successor to “Kill da Shit” down the raunchy lyricism.

La Chat though reunites with her former mentor on the self-produced “Mind Yo Business” warning not to stick your nose where it don’t belong over a misty trap instrumental while the bell-laced “Let It Go” betting that a sucka isn’t gonna play with him. The chopped & screwed sample through “Hot Sauce” is a really nice touch talking about being posted on the curb where he used to get rocks off & the final song until the outro “Know What’s In It” truly the ends the tape by charmingly detailing the shit that he got inside of his turn-up cup.

I already knew going into Crypto Business as soon as it was announced merely hours before it came out that it would be the best thing that would give us this year. Lo & behold, I like it more than both Stoner’s Night & Space Age Pimpin’ combined. There are most certainly a couple questionable features & production choices during it’s 47 minute run, but the joints with Juicy & Lex are some the highest points on the tape because of how well they continue to bring the best out of one a dozen years later.

Score: 3.5/5

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DJ Paul – “Power, Pleasure & Painful Things” review

DJ Paul is a 42 year old MC, producer, DJ, songwriter & entrepreneur from Memphis, Tennessee known for co-founding the seminal Three 6 Mafia with Juicy J. He made his solo debut in 2002 with Underground 16: For da Summa but for the past decade, Paul’s has delivered a total of 7 more albums through his Scale-A-Ton Entertainment record label including his 2015 magnum opus Master of Evil with the help of Psychopathic Records or the Year of the 6 duology in conjunction with Slumerican the following year. However after spending the last year & a half producing & doing features, he’s returning with his debut EP.

After the “Journey Begins” intro, we go into the song “Creepin’”. Where Paul teams up with Wifisfuneral viciously brag over a chaotic trap beat. Then after the “Life Figured Out” interlude, the song “Easy Way” with Yelawolf & the Seed of 6 sees the 4 vividly describing life in the gutter over a dark beat. After the “Cleaner Way” interlude, the song “Came Up” with Rob Vicious is a mediocre anthem about making money. Especially with the tedious “me so horny” hook.

After the “No More Small Time” interlude, the song “Real Money” with Beanie Sigel is pretty much a sequel to the last joint except it’s way more tolerable & off the wall. After the “Life Got Real” interlude, the final song “They Beefin’” is a menacing diss towards people who choosin’ sides. Then the EP finishes off with the “Gettin’ Caught Up” skit & a spoken word outro.

While it’s not bad, it could’ve been a lot better in my opinion. Paul pretty much sticks to his guns both lyrically & sonically, but the interludes before every song are highly annoying. Nonetheless, still a neck-breaking prelude of something bigger to come.

Score: 3/5