Juicy J, Rubba Band Business | Album Review
Memphis rap veteran Juicy J returns turned-up after a four-year hiatus. ‘Rubba Band Business’ is chocked-full of bangers.
Juicy J has been missing in action for four years! 2013 is when he dropped his last solo album, Stay Trippy. Okay, okay, he hasn’t been totally absent – he’s still dropped features – but, he hasn’t been the ‘headliner’ for four years. Nothing to worry about though! Rubba Band Business is well worth the wait, chocked-full of bangers. Over the course of 13 tracks it’s literally banger after banger after banger. Mafia!
“Feed the Streets”
“Back on the Porch” is an entertaining way to kicks things off. It’s a brief skit that centers on the extended absence of Juicy J. Things get hot quick with “Feed the Streets,” featuring Project Pat and A$AP Rocky. The energy is through the roof, with all participants cocky and confident as they take responsibility for ‘feeding the streets.’ There’s nothing ‘brand new’ or particularly profound, but it bangs.
“A Couple” is irresponsible to the nth degree. Juicy J has plans to do all things shallow – drugs, sex, and violence. It’s predictable in this regard, but the toughness – the gritty, malicious production and rhymes – is irresistible. “Buckets” keeps Rubba Band Business turned up to the nth degree. Is it the ultimate, thunderous, slam dunk? Nah, but it’s a good solid two-pointer in the paint. “Buckets” is ‘sex on the track.’
“Dodgin’ the Snakes”
“The real gon’ outlast the fake / The money gon’ outlast the hate / Got n***as in the system, tryna dodge the state / I’m out here in the jungle, tryna dodge the snakes.” Definitely a tight, memorable hook that graces another gritty banger, “Dodgin’ the Snakes.” Juicy J gets an assist from G-O-D on “Drop a Bag.” J handles the hook and first verse, while G-O-D takes the second. Safe to say, the trap continues to prosper.
“I will blast on your ass / I got riders like a cab / Send them hitters at your ass / You gon’ make me drop a bag.”
“Too Many” brings Wiz Khalifa and Denzel Curry along for the ride. This is the perfect fit for Wiz, who “smoke(s) too much dank” and “have too much drank.” The hook is irresponsible, much like “A Couple,” but a definite guilty pleasure. Juicy J confirms being involved with too much on the first verse, as does Curry on the second. Wiz stays aboard for another hot one, “Ain’t Nothing” which also brings Ty Dolla $ign into the fold. While Ty handles the hook with his unique voice, Wiz drops bars this round, delivering a fiery verse. As for the star, he remains ‘true to self,’ particularly on his second showing on the third verse of the song.
Juicy J remains ‘on fire’ on “Flood Watch.” Notably, the production contrasts much of the preceding production work, which is refreshing (TM88 is behind the boards). This ‘change of pace’ only further inspires J, who definitely doesn’t sound 42. As for Offset, he does ‘Offset’ things – he’s ‘on.’ “Only One Up” has a hard act to follow, but it ‘bangs’ on. J’s flow may be the most impressive part of the record.
“Hot as Hell” is indeed hot as hell, at least the vibe. The hook is simple, but gets stuck in your head the instant you hear it. The piano loop is hypnotizing, while the bass-heavy, trap percussion goes H.A.M. This is a perfect example of a banger with ‘little substance’ that’s simply irresistible because it’s just that good. Penultimate joint “No English” plays out well, bringing on the ubiquitous Travis Scott for the first time. His distinct tone of voice is fitting for this dumb, but charming banger.
“Party today ‘til tomorrow, ‘til we don’t know no English / Models, talkin’ to models, and they don’t know no English / Took that b*tch out of state, where they don’t know English / My n***a just got back from the case, ‘cause he spoke no, no English.”
Notably on closer “On & On,” Juicy J slips in his favorite lyric: “Slob on my knob.” Sigh.
Tory Lanez sings the hook beautifully, while Belly pop-raps the first portion of his verse, before busting out ‘straight rhymes.’ A good/sufficient record that’s not necessarily ‘great,’ perhaps “On & On” wouldn’t have been my personal preference for the closer.
All in all, Juicy J drops an album’s worth of bangers with Rubba Band Business. He never reinvents the wheel, often keeping things simple, but there’s no shame in the game of Rubba Band Business. Is this effort as great as Stay Trippy was in 2013? Not quite – there’s no “Bandz A Make Her Dance” among the other gems from that effort. Nonetheless, the bangers in abundance here.
Gems: “Feed the Streets,” “A Couple,” “Ain’t Nothing,” “Flood Watch,” “Hot as Hell” & “No English”