November 7, 2012

Juvenile Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Tomorrow marks the 14-year anniversary of Juvenile's 400 Degreez. The album sold over four million copies, spawned rap's greatest booty shaking anthem ("Back That Azz Up"), established Juvenile as a premier Southern rapper, and took Cash Money from a strong independent label to a national empire. A few months back, Juve swung by the Complex offices to discuss the making of not only the essential cuts from 400 Degreez, but all the songs that shaped his career.
Talking to the 37-year-old rapper today, it's clear that he's at peace with himself and proud of his accomplishments. Juve talked about how he started selling tapes on his own and making good money before teaming up with Cash Money just to work with Mannie Fresh. He recalled finding his voice with "Solja Rag," and how he persevered through a bad breakup with the label.

Juvenile also spoke candidly about his mistakes: sleeping on Nelly, passing up what would become Flo Rida's hit song "Low," and not wanting to release music when he dropped Tha G-Code. But through it all, he's a survivor. “And I ain’t finished yet," says Juvenile. "I’m just getting started in my book.” Read on for 25 amazing stories from one of rap's most underrated greats.

As told to Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)

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