Though an all-but ubiquitous presence in hip-hop for decades, Oscar-winning rapper Juicy J is only just getting around to putting out his fifth solo album.
Due out October 14th, The Hustle Continues features guests including Lil Baby, Megan Thee Stallion, NLE Choppa, Rico Nasty and Young Dolph. In addition to these contemporary rap stars, he also reaches back to his roots in the seminal Memphis group Three 6 Mafia with appearances by Project Pat and Lord Infamous, the latter placement coming posthumously.
Unlike his prior full-length Rubba Band Business from 2017, which dropped via Columbia Records and Wiz Khalifa’s Taylor Gang imprint, The Hustle Continues is coming out via eOne Music. According to Juicy, the arrangement allows him to own 100% of his master recordings there, a deal that could prove especially lucrative should the album or any of its singles prove a hit. “Gah Damn High,” the first official single, drops today with a feature from Khalifa.
During his tenure as a founding Three 6 Mafia member, Juicy garnered six Hot 100 hits. Two of these, “Stay Fly” and “Lolli Lolli (Pop That Body),” peaked in the chart’s top 20. (He also earned an Oscar for Original Song for his role in the Hustle And Flow track “Hard Out Here For A Pimp.”) As a featured artist, he’s had four tracks do the same, and a dozen overall. The highest performing one was Katy Perry’s chart-topping smash “Dark Horse,” followed by producer Mike Will Made It’s Miley Cyrus posse cut “23” (No. 11 peak), Usher’s “I Don’t Mind” (No. 11) and Ne-Yo’s “She Knows” (No. 19).
From an album perspective, however, Juicy’s chart performance has long been a mixed bag. During the Three 6 Mafia days, he dropped two albums—2002’s Chronicles of the Juice Man and 2009’s Hustle Till I Die—that peaked on either side of No. 100 on the Billboard 200. His first full-length for Taylor Gang, 2013’s Stay Trippy fared far better, reaching No. 4 on that chart thanks in no small part to the RIAA platinum certified hit “Bandz A Make Her Dance.” Though the TGOD Mafia project with Khalifa and TM88 claimed a No. 26 peak with Rude Awakening in 2016, his proper follow-up Rubba Band Business barely scraped the chart’s bottom at No. 191.
Though he hasn’t had a single chart on the Hot 100 in some two years, the last being Rae Sremmurd’s 2018 hit “Powerglide,” Juicy’s role in hip-hop is an exalted one. Beyond his growing catalog of features as both a producer as well as a rapper, his influence remains deeply felt and frequently paid homage to. The aforementioned Megan Thee Stallion included him prominently on her 2019 mixtape Fever, and he served as one of the co-producers on her iconic cut “Hot Girl Summer.” Part of Travis Scott’s Astroworld track “No Bystanders” bore such a striking resemblance to “Tear Da Club Up” that Juicy’s erstwhile Three 6 Mafia partner DJ Paul sued, resulting in a settlement and credit for the original track’s co-writers in September of 2019.
In non-music news, Juicy also announced a brand new cannabis venture called Asterisk* in partnership with entrepreneurial public figure Gary Vee and artist Cody Hudson. Operating via the Green Street agency, the brand joins that firm’s other hip-hop collaborations in this space with the likes of 2 Chainz and The Game.