I told you I was gonna do it, but maybe you didn’t believe me. Would YN deceive me? No, ye of little faith—your boy is great, and a man of his word. Not to be Doctor Doom, but Hurricane Katrina’s impact isn’t gonna go away no time soon. The damage is done, and we’re all still struggling to understand it. You may have moved on, but we haven’t. Neither has Juvenile. Oh yeah, that Hot Boy from N.O. goes way back with YN and the fine folks at XXL—’specially my deputy editor ’Nessa Satten. They’re tighter than Kanye’s jean jackets. Sorry, 50. Oh, ’Ye, sorry!

See, before we present the entire new-and-improved G-Unit in Cannes (XXL’s first European cover, fuckers!), we reunite with an old friend who has a lot more on his mind than his upcoming album, The Reality Checka. Hip-hop historians know it was four long years ago in these rap pages that Juve went AWOL from the Cash Money Millionaires. We broke the story. Since then, Juve has reunited with old boss Baby, taken a Soulja Slim hook to the top of the charts and—with his UTP imprint—partnered with Lyor Cohen’s new record company. That’s right, he’s flown Tha Birdman’s coop for good. Finally, like Ce Ce Peniston! But all this seems petty in light of recent events.
As you’ll find out from our revealing cover story, Juve is hurting. And it’s not because of the loss of material items (houses, cars, clothes… houses, cars, clothes). He lost his hometown. He lost his foundation. His spirit isn’t broken, though, but it’s severely sprained. Still, he trudges on, holding things down in Houston with old homies. His future plan is to help rebuild his city. But, for now, he’s focused on maintaining his fam’s morale. First up, resurrecting a party called Juve Tuesday—a weekly N’awlins shindig where he’d live it up with friends and preview new music to his peoples. New locale, same old fun.

Still, I can’t even imagine what it’d be like to lose so much. I might snap like a rubber band, kiss Dan’ on the forehead and squeeze until they all dead. Nah, son. I’d eventually wipe the tears, regroup, rebuild and come back stronger. I have the same hope for Juve and others. The brothers gonna work it out. Right, Chuck?
Back to me—my album comes out November 15. That’s right, in case you ain’t noticed the big-ass ad in the issue. It’s called XXL Raps Volume 1. (There will be another one, you nonbelievers!) It came out of nowhere, didn’t it? We got a fourth-quarter CD in stores, you industry whores (that’s males and females). I hate you ass-kissing fucks, in case y’all forgot. That’s why we’re rollin’ with Razor and Tie. That’s Razor and Tie! We threw the bleach in your eye. It stings, don’t it?

We’re here to cause a commotion, so here’s more promotion. Take a wild guess on who are some of the artists featured on my new CD. That’s right, Eminem and 50 Cent! Who woulda thunk it?! And it’s not just 50 who’s reppin’ G-Unit. We got Lloyd Banks, Young Buck and Tony Yayo. Shit, that’s the way I began the album. (YN is an A&R. Can’t fuck with my sequence game, lame!) One Interscope record after another. Live with it. Then I drop a slept-on gem from Fabolous. Take things down South with T.I., Lil Jon, Paul Wall, and David Banner. Knock you upside the head with TS’s Bonnie and Clyde: Remy Ma and Joe Crack. Give the Roc some shine with Young Gunz and Memphis Bleek (we ain’t sweatin’ SoundScan). Jim Jones. Common. Obie Trice. Trick Daddy. Then it’s over.
Unless you got the one with the bonus joint from Saigon. Yup, Just knows—Sai’s that dude. But when the music stops, reeewiiind and play that shit again, friend. I’m sure you didn’t digest it all the first time.

Elliott Wilson