Interview: Juicy J Gets Trippy in SF

With last year’s breakout mixtape Blue Dream and Lean and the hit “Bandz A Make Her Dance,” Three 6 Mafia rapper Juicy J has emerged the unofficial spokesman for lean and molly party rap and what he brands the “trippy movement.”

Juicy J The Fillmore

Photo by Musashi Ono

We caught up with him during a phone interview from a stop on the “Stay Trippy Tour” to find out how he likes to party on the road and talk about some of his favorite Bay Area rappers. The tour stops at the Fillmore on June 4.

What are some requirements backstage for a Juicy J show?

Bombay gin, turkey jerky, maybe some fruit, Doritos for the munchies and cash—lots of cash.

You’re hitting almost 40 stops on this tour. Is it basically party all the time for you?

Everything is business, but I have fun with everything I do. You think I’m partying, but I’m handling business. Business comes first, fuck everything else.

When did your solo career first start taking of with the trippy movement?

I would say 2010. I was just doing mixtapes and trying to get the buzz back up, not really knowing what I was going to do. I didn’t really have a goal and shit just popped off. It’s a blessing.

Trippy historically references tripping on acid and mushrooms. Is that something you ever dabbled in?

That’s from the 60s. We’re living in 2013, in the present and not the past. I just consider it getting high—smoking a blunt, hitting a doobie, sipping on some lean or whatever. It’s just having a great time and getting trippy. It can be whatever fits for the person. I don’t do no acid.

What’s your drug of choice at the moment?

I smoke weed, man.

What gets you turnt up before a show?

It depends. Sometimes it’s gin or sometimes it’s some champagne, and sometimes I go on stage with nothing at all. I’m turnt up, naturally.

Project Pat, who is also on tour with you now, recently said he’s focusing more on party music instead of gangster tracks because that’s what people want to hear these days. Do you agree with that?

We still make gangster music and street music. Right now, I think people like listening to what I call trippy music but maybe next year it will be something else. I still have gangster tracks and real-life stories and situations in my music. I’ve been blessed because over 20 year, I never stopped doing what I was doing. It’s pretty much the same thing and I’ve never really changed anything up.

You’re known for having some pretty wild music videos. Is there any one video that really stands out for you?

The first video I shot for “A Zip and a Double Cup”—I have two versions, a remix video and a the original—because I wasn’t really trying to do anything. I just came home and got kind of high and shot a video in the parking lot. I just shot the video how I wanted to do it and posted it online and the next day it went crazy.

There has always been a lot of crossover from with the Bay Area and Southern rap. Who are some of your favorites form out here?

I like everybody out there. I’ve worked with Spice 1, Too Short and E-40; you know, the legends. I just worked with E-40 not too long ago. We have a crazy song together with 2 Chainz. The Bay Area and the South have a lot in common. The Bay Area was one of the first areas to embrace Three 6 Mafia’s Music.

Juicy J performs at the Fillmore on June 4. More details.