I’ve never been a huge Three 6 fan, and certainly know that what I have heard barely scratches the surface. While I’ve always heard something in their trademark sound, it’s straightforward style kept me away telling myself I was more complex looking for deeper sounds. Bullshit. Growth usually opens the ears and sooner or later the Three 6 Mafia discography will get attacked.
Regardless of the satanic leanings of their early work, Juicy J and the Three 6 clique have come a long way and achieved much. Across the board, the rappers in their position with the same history and success seem to be looking at the new music industry with either confusion or disdain. It’s no longer the get rich quick scheme they all were lucky enough to experience, and they are now being tested by a younger generation that doesn’t give two shits about their “legendary” status.
A number of young west coast talents have spoken on the lack of mentorship, or even just acceptance from the previous generation. It’s an interesting experience for a genre that has never really seen this situation before. Here is where Juicy J can teach something.
This year has seen Juicy J release three free albums to the masses, two of which were entirely produced by star of the moment Lex Luger. I slept on those, but will be going back. I couldn’t sleep on something titled Blue Dream & Lean.
I’m not sure about the Rubba Band Business tapes, but on Blue Dream & Lean he has gone steps further from the Lex Luger collabs and reached out to a number of the youth talent making rumblings these days. 2 Chainz, Kreayshawn, Key, Tha Joker, Alley Boy, ASAP Rocky, Spaceghost Purp, Casey Veggies and his now boss Wiz Khalifa all show up here. Project Pat is still riding too, but he doen’t really fit with those kids.
Musically it’s pretty much what you’d expect. At 28 tracks it covers a lot of ground. The final tune features an ill soul sampling beat that would almost seem an odd choice for J if he didn’t flow to it so smooth. Juicy gives himself a few beats, Luger is here for many, along with a number of other names most of which I’m not familiar with. Expect heavy bass, some synths and tin can like drum rolls. As is always the case with a Hypnotized Mind production it’s best for the club or the car.
Lyrically you know what Juicy J is all about. Ladies and drugs. His Wiz affiliation is firmly embeded with a lot of tree talk and he is still serious about his syrup, were they not the first to reference the codeine drank in a national song?
Take the content how you may, if you can look past it you will hear a vibrant rapper who still has the energy to rhyme next to a bunch of hungry emcees. Call it simple if you want, but there is an appeal here and a talent that has made a living off that simplistic talk for probably close to twenty years.
Blue Dream & Lean won’t have me shouting Three 6 but it does give me a lot of respect for Juicy J and his whole crew, while so many old rappers seem to be scarred of and ready to fight with the youth, J has wholeheartedly embraced a new generation and fucked with them on their level. It’s good music, it’s fun music and it’s a respectable business move. Now get your zip and your double cup, download this tape and let’s party.