It’s been quite a ride for Three 6 Mafia’s Juicy J. Since his group’s emergence in the mid ’90s, Juicy has evolved from an underground favorite to an influential gold and platinum-selling trail blazer. His career peaked when the Memphis outfit won Best Original Song at the 2006 Academy Awards for penning “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” off the Hustle & Flow soundtrack. An hilarious reality show—Adventures in Hollyhood— followed on MTV a year later, but Three 6′s next album, Last 2 Walk—despite the pair’s newfound visibility—generated underwhelming sales. The group has since been relatively quiet, but Juicy has been making a lot of noise on the solo tip as of late. He was named president of the A&R department for Wiz Khalifa’s new imprint, Taylor Gang Records and is heavily featured on the Pittsburgh MC’s recently released, Taylor Allderdice mixtape. Hard at work on his upcoming Taylor Gang debut titled, Stay Trippy, Juicy J recently chopped it up with XXLMag.com about his new deal, the status of Hypnotized Minds, his relationship with DJ Paul and his feelings on Gangsta Boo’s return. —Ralph Bristout (@XXLRalph)
XXLMag.com: You’ve been dropping quite a number of mixtapes within the past few months and just recently starred on Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Allderdice. How does it feel garnering all the praise from fans about your current situation?
Juicy J: It’s a blessing, man. I’ve been doing this so long and people still acceptin’ and fuckin’ with a nigga all these years, still listenin’ to the music and enjoyin’ it. I really appreciate it from all the old and new fans.
What was the process like recording with Wiz on Taylor Allderdice? Were you and all of Taylor Gang in the studio together?
Yeah, we was all in the studio together. We get high and make good music. We work 24/7, all day everyday, get trippy and make music.
What’s the chemistry like in the studio between you all? How did you guys figure out what song goes where?
We was knocking out like three, four songs a day. Wiz might do a couple songs. I’ll do a couple songs, Lola do a couple songs, Chevy do a couple songs and then we all come together on songs, collaborations. We got so many songs [and] don’t worry about what we’re gonna put it on, we just make music. We just go in there and make [music].
Sounds like you guys are ‘Team No Sleep.’
No sleep, man. Just gettin’ trippy. It’s all family love. We like family. With a positive mind and make good music and have fun with it while we did it.
Being that you’re now signed with Taylor Gang, what’s the deal with Hypnotize Minds?
I still own it. Me and Paul still got it. We just ain’t sign nobody and [only] got what we got. We still do shows [but] I’m just doin’ my own thing. I tell everybody, “I got 30 different ways of getting paid.” I don’t just sit around and put all my eggs in one basket. I always keep other things rollin’. I was always like that, we always sold beats, did stuff for movies, shot our own movies, did music, we always did everything. I consider myself a full-time businessman. We got an online store, clothing line, 30 different ways to get paid.
So what do you think about Gangsta Boo’s recent resurgence? She was on the Yelawolf record with Eminem and recently opened up for Rick Ross at the Fader Fort at SXSW.
That’s good. I got love for all the old members, man. I haven’t really seen or talked to anybody, but if they out there workin’, do your thing. But that’s good, man. She can rap her ass off. I mean she got that work ethic and she’s good. That’s what it’s all about stayin’ out there and stay workin’. The hard work is payin’ off. I’m happy for her.
For those that don’t know, can you elaborate on Trippy?
Trippy is just doin’ you and doin’ what you wanna do. When you wanna do it, however you wanna do it. Just doin’ you and bein’ trippy. It can evolve into other stuff like ‘lean’ or weed, but it’s just doin’ you and not worryin’ about what people [have to] say. I’ma trippy muthafucka. I just do me.
Have you started recording your Taylor Gang debut yet?
Yeah, we recordin’ everything. Wiz is gonna drop his album, then we gonna drop a group album—which is me, Chevy and Lola—and then we gonna [each] drop solo albums. We got some more people we signin’ to Taylor Gang. It’s gonna be big man. We [even] got in-house producers. We got some stuff up our sleeves, some surprises.
How’s work on the group album been going? How many tracks have you guys recorded?
We prolly got over 50 tracks recorded; we still workin’, still droppin’ songs.
FOR MORE ON JUICY J, GO TO THE NEXT PAGE