Rubba Band Business as Usual

Thoughts on the classic Juicy J flow—and sometimes tired politics—on the rapper's new record.

As someone who has Three Six Mafia lyrics tattooed on their stomach (although I can barely remember getting them, but that’s another story), I couldn’t wait to hear Memphis legend Juicy J’s new album. It feels pretty weird reviewing someone so iconic, like, How the fuck do I get to have an opinion on a piece of work by an actual LEGEND? But fuck it, anything can be a hustle, so here I go.

Not to age myself, but it’s crazy to think some of the youth don’t even know there was a Three Six Mafia before there was a Juicy J. Juicy is one of the few OGs that can still linger and rap about drinking lean, poppin’ pills, and smoking blunts and not seem like a complete cornball. Somehow, Juicy J can even make a verse on a Katy Perry single not seem corny. Most recently, on December 8, Juicy J dropped Rubba Band Business on Taylor Gang Records/Kemosabe Records. It’s a 13-track album with a classic Juicy J flow—not too many surprises here.

Rubba Band Business has features by Ty Dolla $ign, Offset, Tory Lanez, Belly, two by Wiz Khalifa, G-O-D, A$AP Rocky, Project Pat, and Denzel Curry. I would have loved to see a Gangsta Boo collab on the album—as a rapper and icon I think Gangsta Boo is highly underrated, and it would have been nice to see Juicy J use his successful solo career to shine some light on the first and only lady of Three Six Mafia. Still, I was really proud to see a Denzel Curry feature. In 2011, when Spaceghostpurrp (formerly of Raider Klan) put out BLVCKLVND RVDIX 66.6, it felt like an ode to Three Six Mafia. On the single “Pheel the Phonk,” Purrp sampled the classic Three Six track “Late Night Tip.” For all of you younger heads that might not know, although Denzel Curry and Purrp had their fair share of beef—and not to diminish all of Denzel’s current accomplishments and sound—Purrp really helped get Curry’s career get started. Purrp and Curry were in Raider Klan together, and the sound and the feeling was really reminiscent of Three Six Mafia, so to see someone who has been so influenced by Juicy J on the record makes me really happy.

On this record, Juicy J mixes some of the most classic, powerful hip-hop sounds: 808 snares; 808 hi-hats; chopped and screwed vocals with the horrorcore Dirty South feel, and some current sounds, like on “No English,” featuring  Travi$ Scott and produced by TM88. The production on this album comes from all the current hitmakers: Murda Beats, Metro Boomin, Mike Will Made It, and Lex Luger. My favorite song on the record is probably “Feed the Streets” featuring Project Pat and A$AP Rocky. It has the old Three Six feel, especially because Pat was on it. Everything else is pretty predictable and generic—very Juicy J. Once I got to “A Couple” and heard the words, “Pop me a couple Xan / Pop me a couple Perc,” that shit was a wrap for me. I was over it. All the tracks on Rubba Band Business are exactly what I came to expect from Juicy J—at the end of the album, on “On and On,” there is a plot twist, and Tory Lanez comes through with a track to make anyone’s basement flood. Honestly, as soon as Tory Lanez hits one note, my pussy immediately transforms into the Pacific Ocean: His voice is sexy af.

But the one thing that immediately dries up my pussy—turns it into the Sahara Desert—is misogyny. (Disclaimer: If you are a misogynistic asshole and have no room in your heart and mind for compassion and growth, stop reading now.) Of course, this album does slap. Every song is a banger, and I’m not going to even argue with you that it isn’t. But my own constant battle in my head concerning most Dirty South shit is/has always been about the demeaning and derogatory language used towards women. I’m not saying that every song you make has to have a message or a positive meaning behind it. Trust, I’m a HUGE fan of meaningless lyrics and catchy melodies. But is it really necessary to insert trivial misogyny? At the end of “Drop a Bag,” Juicy or G-O-D (I can’t tell who’s speaking) says, “Fuck all these Instagram hoes, showing their titties for […] attention…” Shaming women for doing whatever the fuck they want with their bodies…did y’all run out of shit to talk about?  First of all, y’all treat women like their entire worth is only their body, then you shame them for giving you want they think you want from them? Both female and male artists have a responsibility to change the culture.

Don’t roll your eyes or think to yourself, Wow, you are taking this shit too seriously, it’s just a song, relax. If the world is fucked up, it’s because we fucked it up, and it is our responsibility to be aware of our own actions and make a conscious effort to make a change. If we don’t speak against it, it becomes a norm. It is not OK. We don’t like it. I want to display my body how I want to without being deemed a hoe or trying to “get a man’s attention.” Just because the culture has spoken about and treated women a certain way in the past doesn’t mean it’s too late to change and be better. Life imitates art, so let’s make our art with a little bit more respect for our fellow humans, so we can all be better together. If we make little changes in habits, thoughts and actions, we can create bigger changes in the world. If y’all think talking shit about “Instagram hoes” sells records because the fuckbois that are buying your album think it’s relatable, then go for it. But me and my hoes? Yeah, we are good off that.

Chippy Nonstop got her name for a reason. She is an audacious, undeniable party starter with a penchant for travelling the world and always bringing her unique energy. As a sound selector she makes the dance floor shake, but there’s much more to the story. Chippy is a DJ, rapper, songwriter, writer, producer, actor and organizer of community events. She is of Indian descent, but is more of a cultural nomad. She was born in Dubai, grew up in Zambia, has citizenship in Canada, has lived in Oakland, and New York, and currently resides in Toronto after a very public deportation. Chippy Nonstop is currently working on new music-related endeavors including a project called
Intersessions,” a sound initiative curated by and for women & the LGBTQ+ community. She is also DJing, recording, and has recently released two tracks: “Bubble Up” and “Lotto.”