Juicy J be trippin’

Clichéd themes, static deliver sink rapper’s latest effort

Juicy J has enjoyed quite a surge in popularity this year. His aptly named banger “Bandz A Make Her Dance” made its way into dance clubs across the world, and the success led to features on tracks by a slew of popular artists: will.i.am, Miley Cyrus, Ke$ha, Rihanna and Lil Wayne. He’s been a consistent presence on the charts this year, leading up to the release of his latest studio album “Stay Trippy,” which hit stores earlier this month.

On “Stay Trippy,” Juicy J stays true to his typical lyrical themes: drugs, sex and law­breaking. Though these may not be ideal things for a prominent rapper to vocally support in his music, Juicy J markets them as part of his lifestyle. He’s constantly encouraging us to “Stay Trippy” which, though ambiguous, makes it seem like we’re in for at least a mildly entertaining ride. Sadly, Juicy J fails to deliver.

The album’s style is incredibly static, with each track sounding like a carbon copy of the one that came before it. If you’ve heard “Bandz a Make Her Dance,” you’ve heard the beat to every song on the album.

Beyond the dull production, there’s Juicy J’s one­note delivery and lyricism. His short, staccato phrasing is his signature style, but halfway through the album it becomes unbearable. The rapper’s lyricism, however, is even worse. With tracks entitled “Smokin Rollin,” “Bounce It,” “So Much Money” and “Gun Plus a Mask,” Juicy’s intentions are clear. The amount of profanity packed into this album borders on ridiculous — I almost wonder if the album is meant to be a parody. iTunes offers an explicit and clean version, but the clean version is predictably unrecognizable.

There are a few gems on the album, however — mostly found in his collaborations. “Stay Trippy,” offers a host of features, ranging from rappers Big Sean and A$AP Rocky to pop heavyweights like Trey Songz and Chris Brown.

The most surprising — and disappointing — collaboration, however, is “The Woods,” which features the talents of none other than Justin Timberlake. I was expecting a tamer Juicy J on the track, given JT’s smooth pop persona, but I was tragically mistaken. Juicy J brought nothing new to the table and spoiled what could have worked nicely as a Timberlake single. Ultimately, none of these superstar collaborators were able to save Juicy J from the sinking ship that is “Stay Trippy.”

For those seeking some good dance tracks or a bit of mindless “hood rap,” this is the album for you. But just as even the most enthusiastic dancers eventually grow tired and stop, I suspect listeners drawn in by Juicy J’s music earlier this year will quickly tire of this album.

1⁄5 stars

Stand Out Tracks:
● Bands A Make Her Dance
● The Woods (feat. Justin Timberlake)

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