*** (out of 4)
Do you have a “cool uncle?” The one on a never-ending mission to prove he’s “with what these young kids are about,” and spends the entire family reunion telling stories about how he used to get after it in back in his day—even though you’re just trying to eat some damn ham and get through this hangover? This album reminds me of that, in a good way. You get to see someone with supreme confidence and zero filter wax poetic about sex, drugs and the finer things.
An elder statement of ignorant party rap (if there’s a Mount Rushmore of the sub-genre, it’s Juicy, Too $hort, Uncle Luke and Kool Keith), Juicy continues to pave the way with this, his first album since joining Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang Records. “Stay Trippy” shouldn’t be taken for more than it is: A compilation of sonic assault (a good thing), drug endorsement (a bad thing, unless you’re responsible about it) and stripper appreciation (throw your money wherever you see fit; this is America).
No stranger to big beats from his days producing for Three 6 Mafia, you will never be able to say that a Juicy J record doesn’t have great production. Mike Will Made It (who provides the smashes “Bandz A Make Her Dance” and “Show Out”), Lex Luger, Timbaland and Chicago’s own Young Chop all lace Juicy J with the kind of thump that should make you buy some good speakers already. J even takes matters into his own hands on The Weeknd-sampled “Smokin’ and Rollin.’ “
This album is chock-full of guests, from 2 Chainz to Jeezy to Big Sean to the late Pimp C. A guest roster that size would usually lead to the main artist being overshadowed. J takes an approach that other less-than-lyrical artists should follow: Talk about what you know and have fun doing it. He spits legit laugh-out-lines (“Your baby mama is not a 10, but when I’m drunk, she’s close enough”) and never tries to fight above his weight class. After listening to this album, I made it a personal life goal to party with Juicy J. (You may call it aiming low, I call it managing my expectations.)
The Justin TImberlake-featured “The Woods” is a misstep, a oasis of clarity in a desert of depravity. Other than that, this is a bonafide big-budget thump-a-thon. This is the music you should make bad decisions to, and I’m sure some of you already have—but I ain’t one to gossip, so you ain’t heard that from me.
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