November 14, 2011

Juvenile Interview @

Fans haven’t heard a lot from New Orleans rap vet Juvenile since he dropped Beast Mode last year. The former Cash Money marquee artist has watched his ex-Hot Boys rapping partner, Lil Wayne, ascend from being a role player on a heavyweight roster to arguably the biggest hip-hop star of the last few years. Most recently he’s witnessed, Weezy’s protégé, Drake, turn his 1998 smash single, “Back That Azz Up,” into an R&B song, on a track titled “Practice” off Drizzy’s forthcoming sophomore album, Take Care (hitting stores on November 15). XXL recently dialed up Juvie the Great, to find out his thoughts on the track, the new generation of Cash Money and what he’s been cooking up with fellow NOLA boy, Mystikal. Bounce to this! — Drake’s album leaked a couple days ago and he covers “Back That Azz Up.” Have you heard that yet?

Juvenile: Yeah, the crazy part is we still trying to get the business part together on that. But yeah, man, I’m aware of the record. I’m saddened that the record got leaked, but you know Drake’s a good guy. I’m just glad that there’s someone out there that appreciates my music and it’s not forgotten about. So I think it was a great thing. I just didn’t wanna see the album get leaked, though. That kind of hurt.

When did you first hear that record?

Maybe about a month ago. Universal reached out to me. We started going through the clearance process and stuff like that and when I heard it I was impressed because I really thought that “Back That Azz Up” was a hard song to remake and the fact that he took it somewhere else, I think it was big. I like that.

Word. Were you surprised to hear it as an R&B song?

Well, you know what, the record could be used a whole bunch of ways. It all depends on who the person is that does the remix. But I’m kind of flattered that it was Drake and that it’s an R&B song. I never pictured it to be used that way but he did a great job with it, man. And I’m quite sure that New Orleans, the people down here, are gonna do our own New Orleans remix version of it, so we’ll have another version that sound more like a bounce sound to it.

Did Drake ever reach out to you personally to do the song?

No, no, no. We know mutual folks and that’s how it went about. Nah, [but] that’s what’s kind of more flattering, somebody would like my music that much on his scale right now to remake one of my records. So I like that even more that he didn’t know me. And you know, in the future we gonna get to know each other.

A couple weeks back you told us that Drake is gonna appear on your new studio album.

That’s what we was doing. We was negotiating on this particular song and him appearing on my album.

Have you recorded that song yet?

Nah, dude’s been kind of busy with this project. You know he got that deadline, so I understand what’s been going on and he got a whole lot of people trying to do features before his album come out. My album is later than his.

So I’m pretty surprised nobody from that camp reached out to you, like Baby didn’t hit you up?

Nah, and I talk to Baby. I don’t know. I think Drake and .40 pretty much put the album together themselves. I don’t know what the process is over there ’cause I don’t be around them all the time. But I still have contact with Baby and them.

Switching topics, I know you are working on your new album now with Mannie Fresh. We’re lovin’ that “Power” joint. That beat is crazy. Do all of the beats have that feel or is it more of an old school Juvie and Mannie sound?

That was 10-12 years ago, man. Not only has the music industry changed, our lives changed. I try to give people music to relate to, where I’m at in life, and that’s what this album is basically about. I got a lot of stuff, man. I’m covering a lot of ground on this one.

It’s been a minute since people heard you. What have you been up to?

Well, you know the kids done got a little older now, so it’s at the stage where daddy gotta be around a little bit more than he used to be. Like they say, don’t make ’em if you not gonna take care of them right. My responsibility at home overwhelms me a little bit, but the good thing is I’m back making music. I got my own little personal studio down here in New Orleans so I’m always doing music—me, Skip and Wacko, we back in the studio together. We have another project that’s a follow up behind my [forthcoming] album. So we got a few things comin’ for this year and the next and I don’t plan on leaving for a minute. You know I don’t plan on leaving for a two-year or three-year stretch. I plan on being around dropping like two or three albums or mixtapes or what have you every year.

That’s good ’cause hip-hop missed you, man.

I love it. Sometimes it’s good to be missed ’cause you don’t know how much people miss you until you pop back up. They like ‘damn where you been?

Definitely. So I know along with you, Mannie is also working with Mystikal. There was that YouTube clip that popped up with you guys freestyling in the studio. Are you and Mystikal also working together?

Yeah, man. Matter of fact, we getting ready to do a mixtape right now.

Really? That’s dope. So you and Mystikal are working on a joint mixtape together, what are you gonna call it?

Well, it’s gonna be me. Mystikal, Wacko and Skip. We don’t have a title we just gonna start recording the songs and I guess then we gonna have a title and let one of these DJs come up with a title for us, or Mannie might come up with a title.

And Mannie’s doing all the beats on that one?

Of course.

That’s crazy!

I already got some of the beats. They’re bananas! Mystical is [also] on his shit right now.

Cool, so what about your album? Who have you worked with on it so far besides Mannie and I’m assuming Mystikal?

I’m waiting for a hook back from Lloyd right now; Bun B—that’s like basically it, man. Rick Ross and the Drake record and that’s basically it right now. I’m just getting my feet wet. You can’t expect me to have everybody on my album right now ’cause I been away for a minute but gradually as I work back in like I was I will have more songs ’cause I know that’s what’s happening right now everyone wanna hear they favorite artist with another artist and see how the song sounds together. I’m open to do songs with everybody, including Cash Money. I don’t want people thinking [there’s] something going on [between us]. We cool.

Speaking of which, what do you think of the new Young Money/Cash Money artists right now?

Amazing. Amazing. I’m impressed. You know they reigning. I put them at the top of the game and I put Ross at the top of the game too. I think they giving the industry what the industry really wanted, and what the industry needed and they filling that void right now. And they making good music and that’s what its really about so, I mean so if you not making good music, what you doing this for?

What do you think of Tha Carter IV?

I got all of Wayne’s albums. Wayne can make 1,000 albums, I’ma always feel like I’m a part of what he doing and he a part of what I’m doing. You know we started together so it’s always gonna be like that. We never had a friction. Everything between me and Cash Money was always business.


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