Three 6 Mafia have managed some amazing feats in their time, as the duo of Juicy J and DJ Paul, not only have created some anthemic hits like “Tear The Club Up”, “Sippin’ On Syrup”, and “Stay Fly”, but also have 1) beat Martin Scorcese to his first Oscar (that’s Oscar, not Grammy) and 2) collaborated with Tiesto just before the stateside EDM boom. It’s safe to say these dudes have always been ahead of the game. So it was not surprising that just when you thought they were done, that Juicy J comes back with “Bandz A Make Her Dance”, a downtempo strip-club anthem that helped shape the sound of club-hop for 2013, dominating the space at a 60 BPM pace.
“Bandz A Make Her Dance” is the exact opposite of songs that inspired the late 90′s / early 2000′s crunk movement, like the aforementioned “Tear The Club Up”. Rather than being a wilding out club track, the song is almost laid back, propelled by it’s tales of strip clubs and dollar bills, inspiring many similar songs around the same tempo, and about the same subject matter. A surprise hit, naturally the next move was for Juicy J to follow-up with a new solo album, now under Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang camp, and thus, Stay Trippy is upon us.
But for all the viral success of “Bandz…”, The Juice has had a hard time replicating that success into another massive hit single, despite a few lukewarm follow-ups. “Show Out” with Young Jeezy and Big Sean is a close second, yet “Bounce It” with Trey Songz and Wale failed to hit the mark. While the brilliantly degrading “Scholarship” with A$AP Rocky is sure to take it’s place as next year’s strip club anthem, it’s more or less the same song.
That’s the big problem with Stay Trippy, a redundant 16 track album that repeats the same themes, over and over again. When not rhyming about money, weed or women, Juicy gets thuggy on songs like “No Heart, No Love”, “Gun Plus A Mask”, and “Smoke A N***a”, but these are literally three iterations of the same idea. The same can be said for both “So Much Money” and “Money A Do It”, or the two Wiz Khalifa songs. Sadly, “The Woods”, with Justin Timberlake fails to capture the same magic on 2006′s “Chop Me Up”, from JT’s Futuresex/Lovesounds LP.
While neither Juicy J or DJ Paul are rap scholars by any stretch of the imagination, they did compliment each other well. Unfortunately on Stay Trippy, Juicy’s simplistic A-B rhyme style and “yeah ho!” propulsion quickly wears thin on the listener, even a third of the way into the album’s hefty 16 tracks. It’s clear there’s a strategy of throw-it-all-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks, but unfortunately it just seems like a bunch of wadded up, glitter-stained $1 dollar bills.
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