Juicy J – “Mental Trillness” review

Juicy J is a 47 year old rapper, songwriter, producer & record executive from Memphis, Tennessee who rose 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’s 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 Continuesunder his new MNRK Music Group imprint Trippy Music. Last year he dropped Stoner’s Night with Wiz Khalifa as well as Space Age Pimpin’ with Pi’erre Bourne over the summer & the predominantly Lex Luger-produced Crypto Business in the fall, but is surprise dropping his 6th album out of the blue.

After the “Help You Need” intro, the first song “Going Thru Sum Shit” is a dark trap opener detailing the struggles of what Da Juice Man has been dealing with as of late whereas “Gettin’” takes a more chopped & screwed route talking about all the things he’s chasing. Xavier Wulf’s verse on “No Man” is underwhelming despite the slowed down vocal loop, hi-hats & theme of not being able to trust a single soul just before “I’m Stressin’” has more tense vibe sonically opening up about his stresses.

After the “Falso Reality World” interlude, Aleza comes into the picture for the vibrant “Ain’t Cool” to discuss how motherfuckers ain’t cool with one another hence the title even though they from the same hood leading into “Drink to Escape” returning to chopped & screwed turf touching on alcoholism as a way to cope with depression. “Memphis Made It” is a more heartfelt trap ballad paying tribute to the city that raised him, but then La Chat joins him for the bluesy “Deadbeat” portraying a toxic relationship.

“Different Type” weaves in some more hi-hats & a syrupy vocal sample to talk about the new times we’re in while “Demon of Addiction” symphonically tackles the complex disease that there is in fact hope of overcoming. “No Rapper” has a more rowdier vibes calling out the phonies even though Aleza, K Carbon & Slimeroni’s performances don’t do much for me at all with all respect until “Pay Attention” makes up for it with a cloudy trap joint about schizophrenia.

After the “Mental Health Crisis”, the song “Work Out” aggressively asks where the dollas at with a boring Finesse2tymes feature attached to it while the final song “Follow Home Robbers” prior to the “Juicy’s Pain” outro brings the late Gangsta Boo into the fold which is fitting because I’m sure the album as a whole was inspired by her unfortunate passing at the beginning of the to portray themselves as such so vividly over a morbid trap beat.

Some people including myself have felt like Juicy’s last couple solo albums tackle the same subject matter as solid as they all are, but I think Mental Trillness is the most personal we’ve heard from him in a while. The production plays to the Memphis trap sound that he helped popularize when Triple 6 broke out onto the scene & as he gives everyone a look at how he’s been handling Lady Boo’s untimely death throughout the past couple months.

Score: 4/5

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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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Juicy J – “The Hustle Continues” review

Juicy J is a 45 year old rapper & producer from Memphis, Tennessee most notable for being a founding member of the seminal Three 6 Mafia. He’s also had the most successful solo career out of everyone in the Mafia, releasing 4 full-lengths & a handful of mixtapes. But after being released from Taylor Gang Entertainment/Columbia Records & starting up his own E1 Music imprint Trippy Music earlier this year, Juicy is celebrating by dropping his 5th full-length album.

Things start off with “BEST GROUP”, where Juicy claims Three 6 as the greatest hip hop group of all-time over a sinister trap beat. The next song “GAH DAMN HIGH” with Wiz Khalifa is an off the wall weed-smoking anthem as one would expect while the track “SPEND IT” with Lil Baby & 2 Chainz finds the trio talking about their wealth over a piano inflicted-beat. The song “PO UP” with A$AP Rocky sees the 2 paying tribute to all the celebrities we’ve lost in recent years over a supernatural-sounding instrumental while the track “KILLA” with Conway the Machine finds the 2 talking about being posted with their gangs over a maniacal trap beat.

The song “THAT’S THE WAY IT GOES” talks about how hoes gon’ be hoes over an instrumental with some keyboards & rubbery bass while the track “SHOPPING SPREE” with Young Dolph sees the 2 getting materialistic over a tense beat. The song “1995” with Logic finds the 2 talking about whippin’ through their cities over an uptempo instrumental while the track “WHAT I NEED” is a well-transitioned 2 parter about getting high.

The song “SHAWTY BAD” reunites with Logic to get raunchy over a rambunctious instrumental while the track “LOAD IT UP” with NLE Choppa sees the 2 getting braggadocious over a suspenseful trap beat. The song “SHE GON’ POP IT” with Megan Thee Stallion finds the 2 coming together for a fun, atmospheric strip club banger while the track “MEMPHIS TO LA” with Jay Rock & Project Pat sees the 3 talking about having options over some snares & keys.

The song “DATZ WHAT IT IZ” talks about how he ain’t cool with fuck boys over a grim instrumental with some hi-hats firing off like gunshots towards the end while the penultimate track “IN A MIN” gets celebratory over an exuberant beat. The closer “I CAN’T STOP” then discusses how a big booty bitch makes him feel rich & the bass on here just hits so goddamn hard!

Overall, I thought The Hustle Continues was pretty solid. I think Juicy kinda overdid it on the features but at the same time, he shows listener that he still has it all these years later on the mic & on the boards.

Score: 3.5/5

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