Juicy J has had an unconventional career, to say the least. The former Three 6 Mafia member hit rarified heights in 2006 while winning an Oscar for “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp,” and really announced himself as a solo artist with last September’s “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” featuring 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne. That track served as the debut single for Stay Trippy, Juicy’s new album which just debuted at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, Juicy’s highest ranking by far on the metric, almost a year after the single dropped.
Since then he’s been just about everywhere, cropping up as a guest on more than fifteen tracks and dropping a handful singles in the buildup to his release, finally capping it off by streaming the album on his website using a game where fans could throw money and paint at strippers. He’s got a surprising collaboration with Justin Timberlake. He’s worked with Timbaland and Mike WiLL Made It. He’s producing a bunch of tracks on the upcoming Pimp C posthumous album (securing an unreleased verse from the late Houston legend for his own album by asking Pimp’s widow). And he wants to be the next big record label head honcho. Juicy’s got a lot of plans, and he’s not going anywhere. Last week, he stopped by the XXL offices to dish on his new album, working with Timbaland and Justin Timberlake, and how he dealt with success after his Oscar seven years ago. —Interview by BJ Steiner (@DocZeus)
You released a video game to coincide with the album. What made you want to do it?
Juicy J: I just tried to have some funs with things, man. A lot of times, I think it’s better to have fun with whatever you doing—even if you are working with McDonald’s have some fun with it. Play that Juicy J Stripper Game while you are working at McDonalds.
I’ve noticed on the album there were definitely elements of your classic sound but it also had a smoother, more melodic sound on the album. Did you feel that there would be a backlash from your fans used to the aggressive style of Three 6 Mafia?
I figured it was going to hit in the right place because it’s different ears now. A lot of people don’t know that I was in Three 6 Mafia. They don’t even know that I did music back then. So the ears are different. Not everybody is looking for that 1999 sound, that 2000 sound. I just try to put a little bit of this in it, a little bit of that in it. Plus, I’m the type of person that try to do stuff that’s different. I’m not trying to do the same stuff I did ten years ago. That would be stupid.