Bandz Part One: Juicy J

(This is the first of a three-part series by guest blogger Jake “Sea Breezy Be Easy” Wolfe.)

Q: Who is Juicy J?
A: So I may be biased, but Juicy J is one of best rappers all time. Juicy JWhile he may not have as many Grammys or award nominations as the likes of Eminem, Jay-Z, Kanye, Nas, and other rappers who make up the upper echelon of hip-hop, Juicy J has managed to stay culturally and musically relevant in ways that many of his contemporaries have been unable to. In 1991, Juicy J founded Three 6 Mafia with DJ Paul and Lord Infamous. Shortly after its founding Gangsta Boo, Crunchy Black, and Koopsta Knicca completed the six member rap collective.

They released their debut album Mystic Stylez which was produced by Juicy J and DJ Paul. To me it was a brilliant album with a very eerie tone, over some dirty south beats, with a straight up confrontational rhetoric. Throughout the album Juicy and Three 6 spit bars about violence (“Tear da Club Up”), drugs (“Now I’m Hi, Pt. 3”), sex (“Porno Movie”), and occultism (“Mystic Styles”). In juxtaposition of the gritty themes pervading the album is the song “Da Summa.” I liken it to a Memphis version of “It Was a Good Day” or the other laid-back summertime anthems in the mid-90s.Due to the horrorcore nature of the album, it was far from mainstream. When I think of talented rappers with gritty lyrics who push the violent content of their raps further than other artists, acts such as Tech N9ne, Jedi Mind Tricks, and Necro come to mind. Talented rappers who have not scored mainstream success. Mystic Stylez is definitely one of my favorite albums of all time, and while it came and went at the time of its release, it became a sort of cult classic years down the line. But that is where the unique musical relevance of Juicy J comes to play.

Three 6 continued doing their thing, putting out albums and making hits such as “Tear da Club Up ’97,” which was released in 1997 and “Sippin on some Syrup,” which was released in 2000. At the time, however, Three 6 were not being broadcasted nationwide on the radio. That would change in 2005. The year 2005 was an era of crunk music, tall tees, and throwback jerseys. In 2005, Dem Franchize Boyz released “I Think They Like Me”, Ying Yang Twins released “Wait (The Whisper Song),” and Lil John & the Eastside Boyz released “Crunk Juice” and “Get Low.” In an effort to stay relevant, Three 6 put out “Stay Fly” which departed from the gritty style of songs off of previous albums, and released a single tailored more towards the hits at the time.

Three 6 finally had a major hit on their hands by releasing “Stay Fly,” off of their album Most Known Unknown. “Stay Fly” was a straight banger. The single used a screwed and chopped hook and Three 6 members Juicy J, DJ Paul, and Crunchy Black each have a verse, along with Young Buck of G-Unit, and Memphis duo Eightball and MJG. The six verses each have a distinct flavor that build off of one another. The song became a club favorite and ushered Three 6 into the mainstream. Ironic that this was the single was off of their album Most Known Unknown. (In the video, Juicy sported one of my favorite t-shirts of all time: an iconic green and black skulls all-over printed shirt to stay true to the style at the time.)

The latter half of the 2000’s was not kind to Three 6. Crunchy Black left the group due to money disputes, Lord Infamous caught a charge and spent time in jail, Koopsta Knicca left due to money disputes- and also was incarcerated. Gangsta Boo found the Jesus and quit Three 6 Mafia. But Juicy J wasn’t going to quit. The 2000’s was the age of the mixtape, and Juicy J cranked out numerous mixtapes in order to stay relevant, my favorites being Rubba Band Business 1 and 2 and Blue Dream and Lean. Around the time of Blue Dream, Juicy realized it would be a good business move to befriend Wiz Khalifa, the general of the Taylor Gang, and Juicy J formally joined the group. With Taylor Gang, Juicy redefined his style, adopting a more laid back flow focusing more on drugs, Bombay Sapphire (the adopted liquor of choice among Taylors), lean, women, and strip clubs. Or, in his words, the “trippy lifestyle.”

Sidenote: A popular term among teenagers and young 20-somethings is “turnt up.” The phrase can be used in context as a verb or adjective. As a verb it means to party hard or have a good time. As an adjective it can mean very drunk or high. It was Juicy J who invented and popularized that term. Impressive that a late 30-something rapper was able to create such a widely used term among people 20 years younger than him.

All of this is to say that Juicy J’s longevity and versatility is underrated. He has continually rapped through three decades and stayed relevant the entire time. That’s pretty good, considering that rappers such as Cam’ron, Ja Rule, DMX, and Nelly, among others have not been able to enjoy that level of longevity.

Alright, enough slobbing on his knob. Onto the next question.

Q: Who is Mike Will?
Mike Will is the producer of this strip club banger. Though he is exactly a month younger than me, Mike Will has clearly done a lot more in life, having gotten his foot into the door making beats for Gucci Mane. Burrrr. Mike Will’s first big single just so happens to be this blog owner’s favorite song, “Tupac Back.” While that beat was a certified banger, I have to imagine Tupac Shakur was rolling in grave hearing Rick Ross reciting his song titles and believing his thug nastiness is reincarnated in the Teflon Don’s image.

Rick Ross, demonstrating his idea of rolling

Rick Ross, demonstrating his own idea of rolling

Mike Will’s resume also boasts production credits for artists such as Future, 2 Chainz, Waka Flocka, and G.O.O.D. Music. He produced two of my absolute favorite party songs that just get me so turnt up- Rihanna’s “Pour it Up” and Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop.” The way Miley says, “can’t you see it’s we who ’bout that life” and “we all so turnt up here/getting turnt up yea yea” is so white it’s right. So trill it gives me chills. The only way she got this gangster was from hanging out in the studio with the likes of Juicy J and Mike Will. Interestingly enough, the “Bandz a Make Her Dance” beat was made in Mike Will’s girlfriend’s apartment in the city I reside in, Washington DC.

Q: Should I watch the music video?
Yo if you haven’t watched the video then you needed to have watched it yesterday. First of all, the video was embroiled in a little controversy. The Miami-Dade School Board approved members from the Miami Northwestern High School’s marching band to appear in the video, rocking their official uniforms and everything. After the video debuted, Northwestern Principal Wallace Aristide claimed the students “were taken advantage of…They’re playing their instruments and thinking it’s something innocent, wearing our uniforms, only later to find out they edited the video with racy content.” The school board sought counsel and looked into whether they could sue production members for “unauthorized publication of likeness of students.” In my opinion really the only option was for production to counter-sue Miami-Dade School Board for complete and absolute ineptitude. Maybe the principal legitimately thought, “Hey, I’ve been to my school’s sporting events, I’ve seen the Northwestern marching band perform and I’ve seen the students dance, my band would be perfect for this song.” Or maybe he just a huge Nick Cannon and Orlando Jones fan. Either way he agreed to let his students perform in a music video with the following rappers: Juicy J, whose holy trinity of content is sex, substance use, and money; Lil Wayne, currently the undisputed box-munching champion of hip-hop; and 2 Chainz, artist formerly known as Tity Boi. So, sorry Principal Aristide, but you walked right into that one. Just do a simple Google search next time.

Second, just check it out:

Now let’s get into the hook that starts the song, as rapped by Juicy J.

(Strippers!)
Bands a make her dance, bands a make her dance
All these chicks popping pussies, I’m just popping bands
Bands a make her dance, bands a make her dance
These chicks clappin’, and they ain’t using hands

(Strippers!)
Juicy is just going to be real with us, no surprises, no gimmicks, this song is about strippers. He’s a straight shooter and that’s what I like about him.

Bands a make her dance, bands a make her dance
This is the line from which the song got its name. So, much to Principal Aristide’s surprise, Juicy isn’t talking about a band that plays instruments. No, he is talking about a thick stack of money held together by rubber bands. Juicy throws money from the stack and the stripper dances. I guess you have to give credit where credit is due, as Juicy’s wordplay was able to fool a man who presumably holds an advanced degree.

All these chicks popping pussies, I’m just popping bands
“Pussy poppin'” is a term I first learned from listening to Ludacris. In the song Ludacris rapped about strippers shaking their butt while balancing on a hand stand. Since Juicy is neither a woman, nor a stripper, he elects to simply break open the band holding his cash together, rather than dance on stage.

Bands a make her dance, bands a make her dance
See above.

These chicks clappin’, and they ain’t using hands
Typically to show appreciation or congratulate someone, we clap our hands together repeatedly. However in this context Juicy is letting the listener know they are actually shaking their butts allowing the right cheek to hit the left cheek, or vice versa, thus simulating hand clapping. As someone who has a bigger than average butt and practices rump-shaking, I respect the ability to make your butt cheeks clap. Keep doin’ you.

Now for Juicy’s verse:

Short hair, like Nia Long, loose ones, she don’t need a loan
Start twerking when she hear her song, stripper pole her income
We get trippy and then some. So nasty when she rollin’
She put that ass up in my hands, I remote control it! (Yeah ho)
She give me dome when the roof gone, at the K.O.D. she leave with me
She got friends, bring three. I got drugs, I got drinks
Bend it over, Juicy J gon’ poke it like wet paint
You say no to ratchet pussy, Juicy J can’t
Racks errwhere, they showin’ racks, I’m throwing racks
In the V.I.P, rubber on I’m stretching that
Rich niggas tippin’, broke niggas lookin’
And it ain’t a strip club if they ain’t showin’ pussy

Nia Long

Smokeshow? Smokeshow.

Short hair, like Nia Long, loose ones, she don’t need a loan
Juicy giving a shout out to short-haired smokeshow whose been in classic movies such as Friday, Made in America, Boyz n the Hood, and Big Momma’s House (both of them), as well as The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Juicy J got long money, but likes short hair. As stated earlier, Juicy is throwing money from his “bands” at the stripper. He is throwing so much money, she does not need to take out a loan for her different expenses.

Start twerking when she hear her song, stripper pole her income
Ahhh, twerking. There’s so much to say about twerking that I feel like it deserves a blog of its own. So all I will say is that twerking involves women bending over and shaking their butts, that everyone is doing it, and that Juicy is a big fan. Presumably, these strippers have rehearsed a couple routines to pre-selected songs and once she hears her song she hits the stage. To make dat money.

We get trippy and then some. So nasty when she rollin’
Obviously him and his crew are drunk and high. The girls he hangs out with do unspeakable things when high on ecstasy.

She put that ass up in my hands, I remote control it! (Yeah ho)
Juicy is receiving a lap dance and all he has to do is hold up a stack of ones and point it at the lady dancer like hes using a remote control, and the lady dancer will do anything he wants. Money rules the world.

She give me dome when the roof gone, at the K.O.D. she leave with me
Ah, the word play in the line is so on point, I can’t even stand it. So as we all know domes are the round part of a roof that covers a building. Because it is the round part at the top of structures, a dome resembles a head. So as the transitive property states, dome is receiving head, aka getting fellated. He then uses the words “roof gone” when talking about getting fellated in a convertible. So clever. K.O.D. is the King of Diamonds strip club in Miami, Florida. It is one of the most well known strip clubs as it is frequented by rappers and athletes alike, and referenced in hip-hop songs. A frequently used line to make fun of someone and make him sound stupid and hopeless is to say, “He probably even thinks that stripper loved him,” meaning “Come on dude, don’t be so naive.” However, for Juicy J, he claims the strippers do love him and he brings them home after work.

She got friends, bring three. I got drugs, I got drinks
Juicy J is a rap legend. You think he parties with just one stripper. Hell no. Power move city. Bare minimum is four strippers at all times. He has far too much libido for just one stripper. And apparently far too many drugs and liquor as well.

Bend it over, Juicy J gon’ poke it like wet paint
As a little kid I feel like I always heard my parents tell me “Don’t walk through that puddle, your feet will get all wet,” “Look both ways before you cross the street, you don’t want to get hurt” “Don’t touch the wet paint, you’ll stain your clothes.” Having listened to nearly all of Three 6’s discography and Juicy’s solo work, I have come to the conclusion Juicy and I had very similar upbringings. Plain and simple, we’re ’bout that life. If you’re not living on the edge you’re taking up too much room. So as kids, if we saw a “Do Not Touch: Wet Paint” sign, we wanted to touch the wet paint. As adults, we see a stripper bent over, we want to play with the butt.

You say no to ratchet pussy, Juicy J can’t
And just as I say Juicy J and I are basically twins he spits this verse, ruining my dreams of twinship. There are a lot of things to which Juicy can’t say no, including, prominently, drugs, and now he lets it be known he cannot say no to ratchet pussy. Women who have diseases and/or are mentally unstable should be kept at arm’s length. But like I said earlier, Juicy doesn’t conform to traditional wisdom. He ’bout that life. It would be a shame to lose another legend the way we lost Eazy E. But on the flip side we could be treated to another banger from Juicy about a different type of clappin’.

Racks errwhere, they showin’ racks, I’m throwing racks
There are lots of breasts and money.

In the V.I.P, rubber on I’m stretching that
Juicy is better than us and he sits where us common folk can’t bother him. So he can have safe sex with strippers.

Rich niggas tippin’, broke niggas lookin’
Him and his fellow rich African Americans are enjoying the strip club and paying the strippers handsomely, while the more financially insecure African Americans can only dream of stunting on the same level as Juicy J.

And it ain’t a strip club if they ain’t showin’ pussy
Classic. Many of us would be content to see some bare breasts and a couple of butts shaking in a thong. Hit up your boys the next day, tell them about all the boobs you saw, maybe go on the internet and write a review about the liquid lapdance pants, wishing you had brought home a stripper. Not Juicy J. He’s got four strippers back in his house. He’s a strip club veteran. He’s a strip club connoisseur. He’s seen too much in his life. It’s vagina or GTFO.

Summary

Plain and simple he’s ’bout that life. He opens the song the only way he knows how, yelling “strippers.” So simple it’s brilliant. Through his verse, it’s pretty easy to figure out the way to his heart:

  1. Be a female. Doesn’t matter if you are clinically diagnosed with a mental disorder or riddled with disease, he wants you and he needs you.
  2. Stay trippy. He is a man of simple desires. Dude has put some miles on that body, but it doesn’t sound like he’s letting up anytime soon.
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1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Bands Part Two: Lil Wayne | Bored and Literate

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