Juicy J’s staying power as a solo artist in hip-hop is due to three constants: instrumentals from the most exciting producers in the game, lyrics that never surprise yet masterfully cater to their audience, and a wholly drugged-out persona that ‘90s-born listeners continue to consume. Combined with his awareness to not oversaturate the scene with material (he’s only released 2 mixtapes since 2012), Juice is poised to keep his name as relevant as ever on 100% Juice.
Following the February release of Blue Dream and Lean 2, a mixtape featuring prominent Atlanta-born names such as Future and Mike Will Made It, his newest project finds him tapping further into the minds behind the dirty south’s resurgence. Thus, the speaker-rattling bass of TM88 and overall trap excellence of 808 Mafia is naturally present alongside contributions from Sonny Digital and a handful of others. While not used to their fullest potential (seriously, Sonny deserves better than the Flockaveli and ‘Bitch U Guessed It’ biting cut that is ‘Shut Da Fuc Up’), the producers deliver an array of thunderous tracks that provide a whole new outlet for the streets-and-strip-club residing persona of Juicy J. Never has the Memphis native sounded as assertive as he does atop the booming ‘Tap Back’ beat while spitting “I love when you ratchet,” or as outright aggressive as he does on ‘Details,’ a creeping production strung together with 8bit synths and clattering snares to match.
While the new sounds indeed bring out previously unheard nuances in Juice’s delivery, he sticks to the script when it comes to his lyrics. Consisting of hit-or-miss punch lines surrounded by endless references to lean, weed, and general lit-ness, the mixtape’s words are an exercise in party-abundance that serve the purpose of the release as stated by J himself: “It’s too much stupid ass shit happenin’ right now mane. It’s time to just turn up, mane. Don’t worry ‘bout that shit mane.” He knows how to play to his strengths while staying relevant in the context of hip-hop as a whole, and ultimately, this leads to another successful project in the form of 100% Juice.