FEATURE: Juicy J, Southern Comfort

Way before OJ started buzzing, Memphis had its own Juice man. As a member of Three 6 Mafia, Juicy J has been repping for the South long before it was cool to be country. Even after putting out countless material over the years and even snagging a well publicized Oscar for penning “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp” a standout track off the Hustle & Flow soundtrack, Juicy is still hungry. Though you may be used to seeing his partner in rhyme DJ Paul by his side, J is stepping out on his own for his latest project, Hustle Til I Die. Still as wild as ever, XXLMag.com chopped it up with Juicy while on a liquor store run to get his new favorite drink (vodka and Red Bull) to talk about coming out of pocket for his new album, why artists should stay indie, his new cooking show and reaching back to artists in his hometown.

XXLMag.com: OK, let’s clear up the rumors out the gate. The first thing that people start wondering when they see you have a solo project is what’s up with Three 6 Mafia as a group…

Juicy J: The group is definitely not broke up, it’s stronger than ever. We got a new Three 6 album coming out at the end of the year, so it’s all good. I understand that people think that but look, it’s not happening man.

XXL: You’ve accomplished so much as an artist from platinum plaques to Oscars. What’s your motivation to still put out music?

Juicy J: I make beats every day man, I love doing music. I did this album basically to keep something in these young people’s faces because nowadays, it’s almost like they’ll forget about you. So I put this album out, [DJ] Paul’s putting his out to keep something out there. Plus an extra check in the mailbox would not hurt.

XXL: You got the Hustle Til I Die album that just dropped and you’re back on your indie grind for this record…

Juicy J: Yea, I got Gorilla Zoe, Webbie, Project Pat, Gucci Mane and it’s all independent, it’s not on a major scale. I’m putting it out myself. All the promotion I did myself. Whatever was done, it was all me. It came out of my pocket. Sony wasn’t involved, so there was no major push. But it’s all good, I’m not trippin. If I sell 30 or 40,000 copies at the end of the day, that’s cool. It’s money. It keeps the fans satisfied.

XXL: Are you doing anything different sonically this go-round?

Juicy J: It’s just that same Hypnotized Minds sound. We’ve always catered to the clubs and the parties and made records you can have a good time to. People are chasing radio but they’re going to play on the radio what’s poppin in the clubs, no matter what. So it’s just more of that sound.

XXL: You started on the underground mixtape and indie scene, has that independent route changed from then to now?

Juicy J: The indie hustle never changed, it’s always been around. It’s just that now the major labels aren’t signing people like they used to back in the day, forcing these young cats to have to put it out themselves, which is actually better if you think about it. You can develop yourself. You put out an independent album, but it’s gotta be good, you can make some money and develop your swag. If you good, you’re gonna shine. Then if you decide to go with a major you can do that 100,000 [units] the first week because people are familiar with you. But I advise anybody that wants to get into rap music to stay independent for at least 3 years, at least.

XXL: I also heard you’re jumping back into the reality TV thing…

Juicy J: Yea, we got a reality show coming right now, it’s a cooking show called “Cooking Ain’t Easy.” We shot the pilot with our own money and it’s being shopped right now. No network has picked it up yet but there are a couple networks that are interested in it. It’s a comedy show man, it’s funny than a muthafucka, how bout that?

XXL: That’s crazy. You gotta give me a few details or a run down of an episode or something…

Juicy J: Man we cooking Asian food, Indian food, Jewish food, Italian…everything you thought we couldn’t cook. We ain’t cooking soul food. It’s some stuff that’s way to the left that people never would have thought we could cook. Big Treese and Paul do the cooking, I commentate and it’s hilarious man. We got SugaFoot [from Adventures In Hollyhood] on there too. You know she gotta do her sexual recipes. When you see it you’re gonna laugh your ass off.

XXL: We recently did a blog about the best white rappers and one of your artists Lil Wyte came up in the comments. What’s up with him and the Hypnotize Minds roster?

Juicy J: He’s working, he’s got an album that’s coming out later this year. We always believe in our artists, we believe in Hypnotize Minds. We’ve just been focused. You’ll be hearing from him real soon.

XXL: A lot of cats say they put on for their city. Being legends in the Memphis rap scene have you tried to school the young dudes coming up after you?

Juicy J: Man, if we had really blown up big when we first started, in the ’90s, man I would have lost my fucking mind. But as you get a little older, you see that truthfully, this music thing comes and it goes. I try to show these guys that. Where I’m from, North Memphis, we came from nothing. I mean nothing man. You didn’t know if you were gonna get out. Project Pat’s my brother and he can testify to that. Back in the ’80s in the hood, it was terrible. So I’m blessed to have made it and I just wanna help some other people. We have artists and producers that we’re working with like a guy by the name of V-Slash and other people and just reaching back to the hood and trying to help some of these young niggas out. They got a lot of talent and they’re not signed to us or anything. No paper ties to them. We’re just trying to help them out, that’s all. It’s time for a change and time to put some new cats in the game. Helping out a young cat who can do this and feed his family, whoever it is, that’s where my heart is. –Anthony Roberts

  • SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN

    i’m sorry. i was the BIGGEST Three 6 Mafia fan i knew, til’ dem niggaz went hollywood. “lolli lolli pop that body”. WTF??? dat is not da get crunk get buck shit i fell in love with. STICK 2 DA SCRIPT!!!

    3-6 tracks i love: Still Gettn My Dick Suck, Name It After Me, da whole Choices Soundtrack, Testin My Gangsta… where did them type of hits go?

    • Bobo D

      Co-sign. I was late to the music, the first I heard was “When the Smoke Clears”. They where talking about syrup before niggaz where standing around where styrofoam cups.
      Any way I felt after they got that oscar it was downhill in they’re quality of music

    • YOMANE

      YO your comment is wack as fuck, they never went hollywood nigga,they never sold out, They drop 1 bad song lolli, and they sold out, WTF ever, Count they hits nigga before you callin them sellouts. YOu aint no fan, u Don’t know shyt about Three six mafia, FUCK BOI

    • http://myspace.com/estreetfresh 16 year old producer

      If you’re a music artsit……s true 1 you’ll tske anythang and turn it out. and you gotta draw a new crowd so when the album drops you make more sales but at the end of the day the artist is just expressing the style of music the he or she brings to the game dog. rememba im 16.

  • SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN

    ^^its cool to have growth in your music & all, but the fanbase man… dont just forget bout us, give us a WHOOP A NIGGA ASS track every once in a while or somethin.

  • valdez

    yo, i started listening to 3-6 back in ’97 when i 1st saw the video for “tera the club up.” my cousin went out & bout ch 2. world domination off that single and it was a wrap from there.

    early on, i knew there was something missing in hip hop that i was desperately looking for, but could not find until i heard 3-6. it was their production. hands down some of the absolute best production in hip hop history imo.

    thing is tho, when u get older, u don’t wanna hear the same negative lyrics about poppin pills, whoopin a nigga’s ass, etc. so eventually i had to move on.

    they should def. go down in hip hop history as top 5 greatest producersof all time imo, tho.

    • DetroitDraper

      Its crazy how they get slept on on the production side of the game. There early work was the shit. More dark grimier type of music than they produce now. I hate them now because they mostly only make bs ass club records that arent even good? lol. Man I miss the old 3 6. They may have lost their sound when they dropped all their talent.

  • BeeJay

    Where is the bud? was the first track i heard then tear the club up.Hypnotized minds album was the best with 3-6 and cash money thats what they need to go back to.
    But i haven’t heard his new album.

  • L.a Vet

    nah homie…

    they always had shit like lolli… tongue ring, chicken head, and all that shit… juicy j shit go hard…

  • http://pimpinpens.blogspot.com enzo

    36 been putting it down since 90 with the underground tapes. i also first heard them back in 97 with Tear da club up. Chap. 2 World Domination is such a fucking classic record. i can’t think of anyone more deserving of an oscar in the rap game then 36. their production is mad original. they pioneered the crunk sound. it is sad that they’ve gotten kind of soft now, but the way i look at it is they get a pass for keeping it real for so long. the first time i noticed their musical content shift for the worse was da unbreakables album back in 03. it was the first album without Koopsta Knicca and Gangsta Boo and as a result it was weaker than usual. But they had a good run 1990-2003 makin hard shit is no easy feat. they deserve a pass for making all this club shit with T-Pain as of late. But they brought back Lord Infamous for the new DJ Paul solo which is a huge plus.

  • SOUTHSIDE A-TOWN

    they pioneered the crunk sound. it is sad that they’ve gotten kind of soft now, but the way i look at it is they get a pass for keeping it real for so long. – enzo
    ^^ i’ll give u dat one. but, dat lolli lolli shit was a str8 jack from lil birdman shit, pop like a muh fucka. da chicken head, tongue ring, etc. was not THAT pop.

  • $ykotic

    N*ggaz used to look at me sideways when I would play 3-6 in Brooklyn. Them foolish minds would actually say I’m listening to “devil” music. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    “Testin’ My Gangsta” was my anthem riding to work and “Chicken Head” was the club prep song.

    These n*ggaz’ beats are bananas! Can’t say I miss Black though… And bring back Boo!

  • RiKaShaE

    Juicy J new album,imo,is da best album since most known unknowns from da whole camp.i hope he bings that type of energy to da next triple six album

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  • Kang

    Word is BonJovi

  • http://xxlmag.com Bobby

    I’ve been a fan of Triple Six Mafia since the days of Smoked Out Loced Out, the first DJ Paul Vol 16 and the first CD Mystic Stylez. The group and style have changed so much since 94. It’s time to bring back Lord Infamous, Playa Fly, Gangsta Boo, and Koopsta Knicca.

  • http://www.XXLMAG.com Lateef C.Brown

    Look I will say this and end mines. If UR a true Triple Six Mafia fan you will cop the CD 4 yourself and be your own judge B4 U let on of your homies tell U about it. Me personally I am going to spend my 15 bucks and judge 4 myself. Personally I going spend my 15 dollars and judge 4 myself. Fuck what the media or some of these hating ass DJ’s got 2 say. This nigga won a motherfucking OSCAR 2 years ago 4 “HUSLE AND FLOW”. Like my niggas Pimp C. and Willie D. said quit hating on the SOUTH.

  • http://xxlmag.com Bobby

    With the help of DJ Paul and Frayser Boy he won a Oscar.

  • http://pimpinpens.blogspot.com enzo

    da unbreakables and most known unknowns were still hard albums in their own right. their best era however was 95-2001
    and i still fucks with crunchy blac the greatest hype man ever next to flavor flav

  • phillylfu24

    man fa real 36 has been that group for a minute but im sorry they fell off just like no limit wat happen to all the members and shit thats when they went hard but just like this whole music world they too got watered down
    its just the real watever happen to comin dope man?

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