Juicy J has been at it a long time. From his time in ‘Three6Mafia’ back in the 90’s to becoming one of the hottest rappers around right now, he continues to make new strides. So how do you follow up smash #1 hit, a performance on the Grammy’s, and preparation for a huge tour with Travi$ Scott and Project Pat? With an interview with Independent Philly of course. You say no to Independent Philly, Juicy J can’t.
Independent Philly: We hear you’re working on a follow up album to last year’s ‘Stay Trippy’. What can you tell us about it?
Juicy J: When I finished my album ‘Stay Trippy’, I went right back into the studio and started working on another album. I labeled it as ‘The Hustle Continues’, know what I’m sayin’, and I’m actually like 90% done with it now. I’m knockin’ out songs everyday so I’m like 90% done.
IP: When do you expect it to be released?
JJ: Maybe August or September.
IP: You just celebrated your first Billboard Hot 100 #1 hit, ‘Dark Horse’ with Katy Perry. This was a cross-over hit, you being a rapper and she being a pop-star. Who are some other artists you’d like to work with outside of the rap realm that could produce another cross-over hit for you?
JJ: Man, I would love to do something with ‘Adele’ man, I love her voice. She’s super dope man, I think that would be a crazy collaboration. Hopefully it’ll happen someday.
IP: What was the experience like of performing on the Grammy’s with Katy Perry?
JJ: So amazing man! That was my first time being at the Grammy’s so to perform on stage is just amazing man, know what I’m sayin’. It was like a dream come true man, hell, it is a dream come true. I never thought that I was going to be, still, even in this music business. To be on stage with a huge star like Katy Perry was just amazing, man, so amazing.
IP: GQ Magazine had you on their list of ‘Best Dressed Men at the Grammy’s’. How important was it to you to make sure you rocked something fashionable?
JJ: You know what? That wasn’t the main thing. My main thing was making sure the show went great, know what I’m sayin’, and being on time for everything. I wasn’t even thinking about someone was going to say…I was shocked! I’m like, ‘What?!’ (laughs). I’m like, that’s great though man, people are paying attention, that’s super cool.
IP: You’re about to embark out on your ‘Never Sober Tour’. What can fans expect from a live Juicy J show if they’ve never seen you perform in person before?
JJ: A lot of energy, man. Get ready to turn it all the way up. We have fun at my shows, man. We have so much fun, I love performing, signing autographs, taking ‘selfies’ with the fans. Man, this is just what I feel like I was born to do, man; help people and meet people, and meet some new artists. I meet new artists all the time on the road.
IP: Speaking of new artists, you work a lot with the new generation of rappers. Who are some up and coming talented kids that you see really taking the next step in 2014?
JJ: Aw man there’s a lot of them. ‘Lil Bibby’, there’s so many of them out there, man. Woooo, I like ‘Young Scooter’. I could name them all day man, I could name them all day.
IP: Thanks for giving us a few. You recently partnered with ‘Worldstarhiphop.com’ to award a $50,000 college scholarship. How important was it to you to be able to award that money to someone young, who is struggling more than you are, and do you have any plans to do something like this again in the future?
JJ: I came from that, man. I came from the struggle, man. I felt like, me being in the game, and being an O.G. in the game, I should start giving stuff back to the community. So, the award was to help somebody go to college, know what I’m sayin. To be able to award a $50,000 scholarship, that’s great, man. She’s a great person, the person who won the money. She’s smart, know what I’m sayin’, she’s a student/mom, she’s hustlin’. You know back in the day I was a hustler just like her. So it felt great, I’mma keep doin’ that. I just started the ‘Juicy J Scholarship Foundation’. It’s not going to be the same kind of contest; it’s definitely going to be something fun, something cool. Like I’m sayin’, I might not even do a contest. I might just show up at your front door with a check and say “Hey, here’s a $50,000 scholarship you just won”.
IP: You’ve been in the game a long time, almost two decades now. How have you seen the rap game change over the past 20 years and where do you see it heading in the future?
JJ: You know it’s changed, man, but I still see it like, getting bigger and bigger. Every time I turn around I see a rapper/actor in a movie, a rapper on a commercial, a rapper getting a big shoe deal. You know back in the day rappers weren’t gettin’ shoe deals and rappers are getting they own shoes now. So that’s great man, I see it just, expanding. On the music, you know, it’s a little different, but nothing is going to stay the same; nothing’s gonna sound like, you know, 1952. Like right now there’s some stuff that has some elements of back in the day, like back in the 90’s, back in the 80’s or whatever. Some elements, but it’s not going to be the same, exactly, sounding. And I love it, know what I’m sayin’. I’ve seen the music change. I’ve seen the flow and the energy go from turned up to turned down to back to turned up. I’ve seen it all, and I guess it’s just a way of life; you gotta deal with it. But I mean, I love it, man, I enjoy it. So, I don’t have no problem with doing different stuff. I like to try different stuff anyway. I don’t like to do the same old thing over and over again. I don’t like to be repetitive like that, that gets on my nerves. I like to try some new ideas, know what I’m sayin’. That’s how I am, man.
IP: You’re fairly active on Twitter. What’s the best ‘Tweet’ you’ve ever received?
JJ: I have to think man, um, “Keep up the good work” (laughs). “I’ve been a fan since back in the 90’s” or “You’re motivating and inspirational”. “I wanna be just like you”, not worded exactly like that, but stuff like that.
IP: We love “Bandz a Make Her Dance”. What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble saying no to ratchet pussy?
JJ: (laughs). You know what, man? I knew you was gonna say that, man. What advice (laughs)? Tell ’em to keep up the good work, man (laughs).
IP: Tell us something about yourself that would surprise, or even shock our readers.
JJ: I do a lot of my own management. I don’t know if people know that. I do a lot of my own management, know what I’m sayin’. I know how much money’s in my account, and I pay my taxes. I look over my taxes, I sign documents, I pay my taxes. I do stuff that’s very important in the music business, cause it’s a business. Some artists don’t think it’s important to pay their taxes. Make sure, you know, that you don’t spend all your money. I spend my money but I don’t spend all of it. I save some for a rainy day. And I do take care of my family, know what I’m sayin’. Stuff like that man, you know? When I don’t have to do out on tour I go to church. Church is a good place to be.
[Interview by David Miller]
We’ll be catching Juicy J when he plays the TLA in Philly on March 13th. Here’s the full tour schedule so you can catch him in your city:
02/20 Jacksonville, FL @ Plush *^
02/21 Orlando, FL @ Firestone Live *^
02/26 Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade *^
02/28 Raleigh, NC @ Lincoln Theatre ^
03/01 North Myrtle Beach, SC @ House of Blues *^
03/04 Baltimore, MD @ Rams Head Live *^
03/05 Cleveland, OH @ Agora Theatre *^
03/06 Washington, DC @ The Howard Theatre *^
03/07 Richmond, VA @ The National *^
03/08 Norfolk, VA @ The Norva *^
03/11 Boston, MA @ House of Blues *^
03/12 New York, NY @ Irving Plaza *^
03/13 Philadelphia, PA @Theatre of Living Arts *^
03/14 Sayreville, NJ @ Starland Ballroom ^
03/15 Rochester, NY @ Main Street Armory ^
03/16 Clifton Park, NY @ Northern Lights *^
03/19 Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Zoo *^
03/22 Chattanooga, TN @ Track 29 ^
03/23 Nashville, TN @ Marathon Music Works *^
03/25 Pontiac, MI @ The Crofoot *^
03/26 Indianapolis, IN @ Egyptian Room at Old National Centre *^
03/27 Clive, IA @ 7 Flags Event Center *^
03/28 St. Paul, MN @ Myth *^
03/29 Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave *^
03/30 Lincoln, NE @ The Bourbon Theatre *^
* = Travi$ Scott
^ =Project Pat