Juicy-J-WTF-RemixReview written by Zane T. (@zaneomaxbaby)

Juicy J is your favorite uncle. He’s the one that never got married but somehow pulls chicks half his age. He’s the one who asks you if you brought any weed to the family Christmas party. He’s the rich one in the family, and nobody really knows how. He’s having more fun than anyone. Essentially, Juicy J is the uncle you want to be when you grow up and the one your mother prays you never become. Never change, cool uncle. Never change, Juicy J.

If you haven’t heard, Juicy is back with his new mixtape, 100% Juice, hosted by DJ Scream. Now that you’ve heard, go listen to it and watch as it seamlessly blends in with the rest of your Juicy J catalogue. Juicy J hasn’t changed, and we should never ask him to.

What’s impressive about 100% Juice has nothing to do with Juicy’s evolution as an artist or his ability to adapt to a new era. Juicy has already done that. What’s impressive is Juicy’s ability to continue to release a mixtape of bangers without deviating from what’s made him successful: upbeat, drug, and women-focused lyrics with that familiar staccato delivery that gives you no choice but to nod your head. His first few lines on the opening song, “Mix It,” are so ‘quintessential Juicy’ they should serve as the epigraph on his tombstone:

“I step in the hotel I see bitches galore

Wiz on my line he say he bringin’ more

Foreign chicks and hood chicks we gon’ mix that shit up

She popped a pill ‘fore she came, she just can’t get enough”

However, this is not to say 100% Juice is just a carbon copy of [insert post-2010 Juicy mixtape]. On “Ain’t No Rapper,” arguably the strongest song on the tape, Juicy reminds every one that as relatable and friendly as his social media persona has become, he’s still from the streets of Memphis:

“Pockets double XL and extended magazines

Ain’t no magazine covers they just dodging undercovers”

Lil’ Herb chimes in with a scattered, frenetic verse that doubles down on Juicy’s theme and drives it home with authority. The beat — the only one Juicy is credited on — is a steely blend of Juicy’s preferred trap beats with more ominous undertones.

In fact, the production as a whole gets an A+. Big-time names and frequent Juicy collaborators like Sonny Digital, TM88 and Southside all brought their best, and as always, exhibit their skill in matching each’s own unique production styles to artist’s specific talents. Young Chop and Lex Luger, too, have strong showings on the tape.

There’s an edge to Juicy J’s voice that stands out throughout this project — not anger or disgust, but a chip on his shoulder, like he feels this second act of his is coming to an end. Listen to “Still,” and Juicy’s poignant tone and lyrics remind you that Juicy isn’t ready to go from uncle to grandpa just yet:

“I’m still getting money (mhm)

Still ridin fly (mhm)

Still poppin bottles (mhm)

Still getting high (mhm)”

There’s also a dexterity to Juicy’s bars suggesting he felt like he saw the potential for his style to go stale sooner than later. On “Details,” Juicy’s flow is more Ludacris-esque than anything else, and he nails it. Juicy’s unique sound dates all the way back to his Three Six Mafia, but it’s nice to see him step outside his comfort zone and show off his verbal flexibility every now and then.

While the subject matter is slightly more diversified on this tape than, say, the Blue Dream & Lean series, Juicy is still Juicy, and it would be wrong for him not to include a few odes to his favorite illicit substances. “Beans & Lean” is an uninspiring attempt, but Juicy leaves his loyal stoners satisfied with a superb tribute to “Mrs. Mary Mack” featuring a strong verse fom Lil’ Wayne and a hook from August Alsina. The last song before the outro “Touch Da Sky First” is another weed anthem to roll up to for the foreseeable future.

In the end, “100% Juice” taps out at 16 songs, including an intro, outro and several interludes which help the tape breeze by without ever stagnating or becoming repetitive. At a time when the wave Juicy rode back into fame in the new decade seems to be cresting, Juicy had more at stake with this tape than on his other recent output, and he came through. Juicy isn’t going anywhere soon.