Fans haven’t heard a lot from New Orleans rap vet Juvenile since he dropped Beast Mode last year. The former Cash Money marquee artist has watched his ex-Hot Boys rapping partner, Lil Wayne, ascend from being a role player on a heavyweight roster to arguably the biggest hip-hop star of the last few years. Most recently he’s witnessed, Weezy’s protégé, Drake, turn his 1998 smash single, “Back That Azz Up,” into an R&B song, on a track titled “Practice” off Drizzy’s forthcoming sophomore album, Take Care (hitting stores on November 15). XXL recently dialed up Juvie the Great, to find out his thoughts on the track, the new generation of Cash Money and what he’s been cooking up with fellow NOLA boy, Mystikal. Bounce to this! —Jesse Gissen @JesseXXL
XXLMag.com: Drake’s album leaked a couple days ago and he covers “Back That Azz Up.” Have you heard that yet?
Juvenile: Yeah, the crazy part is we still trying to get the business part together on that. But yeah, man, I’m aware of the record. I’m saddened that the record got leaked, but you know Drake’s a good guy. I’m just glad that there’s someone out there that appreciates my music and it’s not forgotten about. So I think it was a great thing. I just didn’t wanna see the album get leaked, though. That kind of hurt.
When did you first hear that record?
Maybe about a month ago. Universal reached out to me. We started going through the clearance process and stuff like that and when I heard it I was impressed because I really thought that “Back That Azz Up” was a hard song to remake and the fact that he took it somewhere else, I think it was big. I like that.
Word. Were you surprised to hear it as an R&B song?
Well, you know what, the record could be used a whole bunch of ways. It all depends on who the person is that does the remix. But I’m kind of flattered that it was Drake and that it’s an R&B song. I never pictured it to be used that way but he did a great job with it, man. And I’m quite sure that New Orleans, the people down here, are gonna do our own New Orleans remix version of it, so we’ll have another version that sound more like a bounce sound to it.
Did Drake ever reach out to you personally to do the song?
No, no, no. We know mutual folks and that’s how it went about. Nah, [but] that’s what’s kind of more flattering, somebody would like my music that much on his scale right now to remake one of my records. So I like that even more that he didn’t know me. And you know, in the future we gonna get to know each other.
A couple weeks back you told us that Drake is gonna appear on your new studio album.
That’s what we was doing. We was negotiating on this particular song and him appearing on my album.
Have you recorded that song yet?
Nah, dude’s been kind of busy with this project. You know he got that deadline, so I understand what’s been going on and he got a whole lot of people trying to do features before his album come out. My album is later than his.
So I’m pretty surprised nobody from that camp reached out to you, like Baby didn’t hit you up?
Nah, and I talk to Baby. I don’t know. I think Drake and .40 pretty much put the album together themselves. I don’t know what the process is over there ’cause I don’t be around them all the time. But I still have contact with Baby and them.