Three 6 Mafia's Juicy J readies solo album
Published: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 at 8:26 a.m.
Since he began his career more than two decades ago, the hip-hop artist Juicy J has garnered acclaim as a rapper, a founding member of the immensely successful rap group Three 6 Mafia and a record producer. He even won an Academy Award in 2005 as co-songwriter of "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp" from the film "Hustle & Flow," which won that year's Oscar for Best Original Song.
Who: Juicy J, with A$AP Ferg
When: Thursday, May 9
Where: The Brikhouse, 208 Market St., Wilmington
Tickets: $30, $50 VIP, $75 meet and greet
Juicy J, who will be at the Brikhouse in Wilmington on Thursday, May 9, for a show with A$AP Ferg, is preparing to release a solo album, "Stay Trippy," in July on Columbia Records in partnership with Kemosabe Records, the imprint of producer Dr. Luke.
Born Jordan Michael Houston in North Memphis, Tenn., it was back in 1991 that Juicy J first took the steps of forming the now-renowned hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia with pals DJ Paul and Lord Infamous. The Southern rap group was signed to major labels and toured the globe, setting themselves apart from similar groups by helping to create the "crunk" sound, with tracks composed of heavy bass lines, synthesized drums and shouted vocals.
For Juicy J, this was a period of self-realization. He knew that he had the talent and the drive to accomplish more on his own, and found the inspiration to do so from a somewhat surprising source.
"I looked up to Isaac Hayes. I always wanted to be like him because the man is a producer and a songwriter, which is what I am now," Juicy J said during a phone interview. "He had success in all parts of the entertainment industry, awards and hits. I really wanted to be like him, and I'm lucky because he was a good role model for me, and I have been able to do what he's done."
After having been with a successful group for nearly two decades, one might think that the process of going solo would a daunting one. Not so, said Juicy J.
"Well, it's different, you know what I mean?" he said. "It's new. It's kind of like starting over. I feel like a brand-new artist, because I make most of the music myself. I'm still doing (what I did) before, but I do feel like I'm starting over again, too. It's a cool feeling. I like it."
"I did the group thing, you know, and I'm done," he added. ... "I'm very lucky I can do what I do and be who I am."
Juicy has released two previous solo albums – 2002's "Chronicles of the Juice Man," and 2009's "Hustle Till I Die," but always as side projects of Three 6 Mafia.
The upcoming "Stay Trippy" has become highly anticipated. Its recently released single, "Show Out," featuring Young Jeezy and Big Sean, has gotten more than 7 million views on YouTube. The album's first single, "Bandz A Make Her Dance," featuring Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz, has gotten more than 21 million views.
"They're like brothers to me," Juicy J said of Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz. "It was great to work with them."
Juicy J said fans can expect the same sound and vibe from "Stay Trippy" that they've grown to love.
"I didn't try to change anything too much, because my fans like that trippy, crunk, raw music I put out," he said. "They're definitely going to get what they want."