Happy Birthday, Juicy J!
Juicy J hasn't been on a hot streak recently. He's been working on his sophomore album, but he hasn't found a true hit to support it. "Low," featuring Nicki Minaj, Lil Bibby and Young Thug, was supposed to be that song. Unfortunately, it went before it even came. While he gets his next project together, Juicy could at least rest knowing he's going into his 40th birthday with a solid legacy.
As fellow Memphis native Justin Timberlake noted durng a Hot 97 interview, trap music wasn't really a new trend when it blew up 2012-13. Three 6 Mafia was pioneering it throughout the '90s, and they were infusing it with a bleak aesthetic. They earned a good following before they hit big time with "Stay Fly," their ode to liberation via materialism. That effort peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100.
That wouldn't be Three 6 Mafia's peak, though. The group made ""It's Hard out Here for a Pimp" for the Hustle & Flow soundtrack. The song ended up becoming more popular than the movie partially because it became the second hip-hop song to win an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2005.
Terrence Howard once again rose to prominence by doing the same; add Cookie, substitute prostitution for drugs and add a little Hamlet to Hustle & Flow and you get Empire. Things changed for Three 6 Mafia. After a failed MTV reality show and less successful albums, Juicy J found shine on his own. Peak ratchetness was reached in 2012 with "Bandz a Make Her Dance," a Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz-featured jam that went platinum.
People sleep on Stay Trippy, Juicy J's sophomore effort, but it does work by how it showcases the rapper at his essence: his unfairly catchy hedonism. Here's to more of it in 2015.
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