Juicy J Talks "Stay Trippy", Slasher Flicks, and More
Wed, 11 Sep 2013 08:21:30
There's nothing quite like getting Trippy with Juicy J.
His brand new album Stay Trippy inebriates after just one listen. Merging tripped-out psychedelic production and some of the smoothest raps you'll hear all year, it's the kind of record worth concentrating on from start-to-finish. It's also one of the year's best hip-hop journeys…
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Juicy J talks Stay Trippy, horror movies, and so much more.
Did you approach Stay Trippy with one vision in mind?
I tried, man! I just picked out the best songs. That was pretty much it. I felt like "Stop It" should be first, and "Smokin' Rollin'" needed to be second. I just sequenced it right. From my old stuff to my new stuff, I've got to still satisfy my old school fans as well as my new school fans. That's why it sounds like there's some smoking here, some killing there, and some cutting up here and there.
Is there anything you did this time around that you haven't done before?
I've got a song called "One Thousand" on the album. It's got like a hip-hop beat. From back in the day until now, I never really made a song with a hip-hop beat over it. I definitely wanted to do that. It's one of my favorite songs on the album because I haven't done it. People get to hear me rap over something different. I never did it so I was like, "Yo, I like hip-hop". I wish I could've done more on the album. I put one song on there.
What's it about lyrically?
It's telling you what it is. It's talking about chicks and how you manage your money. I'm giving some knowledge. If you listen to it, there's some knowledge in there.
Was it important for you to include a lot of life experience in the album?
Of course! That's just me. When I go into the studio, if I'm not talking about weed or getting high, I'm talking about what took place in life from back in the day to what's going now. I'm giving people knowledge about everything. "Pay cash" and "no vacation" are the first couple of lines on my album from "Stop It".
You can see the album almost as much as you can hear it.
I just go with the flow. It's not like I have to be on a certain subject. I just do it. I go in the studio with what I'm feeling that day and I record.
When you first heard The Weeknd's "High For This", did you know you wanted to use it on something eventually?
I always loved that song. I've smoked a lot of weed to that song. We had the beat. That record was done weird. We actually did the drum beat first. I was thinking about what kind of sample to use because I wanted to use a sample with the hook and everything. I was thinking about "High For This". The name of the song was "Smokin' Rollin'" so we chopped that sample on top of the drum beat, and boom, it was made. I reached out to Pimp C's wife and asked for that verse. That made it even bigger.
What's the story behind "One of those Nights"?
We just did that one. They had most of it done with the hook and the beat. They sent it to me, and I was like, "This is dope!" I laid a verse on it, and they put the rest of it together. Abel came up with that.
Was "Scholarship" particularly fun?
Oh yeah, that was super dope. We finished that song, sent it to Rocky, and he killed it. One of Dr. Luke's producers produced it.
How did the "Scholarship" competition idea come about?
Dr. Luke came up with the idea, and we just put it together. It's a $50,000 scholarship. You don't have to twerk if you don't want to. You have to send a video in telling me why you deserve this $50,000 scholarship. The contest ends at the end of September. I've been watching a lot of crazy videos. By the way, it's ladies only too! Ladies only…
What's it like dividing your time between being a mogul and an artist? Are they different mindsets?
They are. You've definitely got to separate them. I handle a lot of my own business. In the day, I handle my business. At night, I'm in the studio. It's not hard. It's easy. I've been doing it for so long.
If you were to compare Stay Trippy to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
I'd say The Dark Knight. That movie had The Joker. He's trippy, but he's still serious at the same time.
What are some of your favorite movies?
I like old school flicks like back when movies were really good, you know what I mean? I love Friday the 13th. I like a lot of scary movies like Halloween and The Exorcist. I do like The Dark Knight and the Batman movies. I liked the first Iron Man.
The horror movies from the eighties were fun and creepy.
Yeah, they were real! Those were the ones. Nowadays, they're doing all of these supernatural movies, and it's not good, but back then they seemed genuine. A guy walking around with a mask and a knife…there wasn't too much added.
You could be afraid of it.
Exactly, it seemed believable. Now, you see these movies now, and you're like, "Oh, that's not going to happen".
Slasher flicks weren't overly gross either.
No, now there's too much blood, guts, and people's heads falling off. It's stupid! Back then, people would be getting stabbed, and you could see it actually happening.
The three bonus tracks could've made the main tracklisting!
I wanted them, but you know, they have to have those bonus tracks. I believe everybody should get every song.
How did "Bandz a Make Her Dance Come Together"? When you heard it, did you know it was special?
Wayne's family. I just hit him up. 2 Chainz is too. I've known him since I met Ludacris. He used to be a DJ at the radio station, and 2 Chainz was in the DTP clique. I've known him for 10 years at the most. I asked them to be on the track and it was cool. I never call a song a hit until it's a hit. I knew it was a good record. It was strong, and I thought it could be a single. I wasn't trying to press it. I just put it out online, and it got hot. That was it, and now I'm here. It just took off. It still goes. I still play it a year later and people still go crazy.
How was the Stay Trippy tour with A$AP Ferg?
It was sold out and a lot of fun. Ferg and I had a great time. I'm just going with the flow. When everything gets talked about and figured out, I'll see what I want to do.
Are you already working on the next album?
I've been putting together some ideas. I'm actually working on it already. I'm going to let people know what I went through. There might be one or two songs about what I went through in the music business coming up, the deals I've signed, and the people I've worked with. It's some knowledge to anyone else who wants to get into the music business. People just need to hear that. I' going to tell it.
What's next for you?
I'm producing some tracks on this Pimp C album. I'm working with Wiz Khalifa on his album. It's going to be crazy.
What's your favorite Juicy J song?