It’s been a little while since I heard any new music out of New Orleans legend Juvenile, so when I saw he’d put out a new mixtape I greeted it with about 80% excitement, and maybe 20% skepticism. Time out of the spotlight and out of the studio can sometimes prove to be detrimental to an artist’s style and technique, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up too high for this comeback push from Juvie. I mean he’s been doin’ this rap thing for a loooong time now.
The Nino the Magnificent final product wasn’t really what I expected, which isn’t to say that I was disappointed, just a little surprised by a few things. For one, it’s only 8 tracks long, which is, at best, half as long as an average rap mixtape, and in some cases only one third as long. Not only that, but when you actually listen to the tape, you’ll find that only four of those songs contain actual new raps by Juvenile, the rest is either intro/outro hype or “ Speaks” interlude material, so what we’ve really got is a four song EP with some filler. But maybe he’s going for quality over quantity, I can definitely respect that approach. I haven’t listened to the whole tape with proper attention (or speakers for that matter) yet, so I’m waiting to pass judgement on the whole thing until a later date. I will say, however, that I was very happy to see this track on there, this was one of the good surprises this tape offered.
Juvenile – Stop Traffic (feat. Rich Boy)
I really loved all of Rich Boy‘s material from 2011, I’ve featured some of his music on a couple posts on here as a matter of fact, and while I haven’t really heard much new shit from him in almost a year now, I still put on 12 Diamonds and Gold Kilo$ every now and then and they still sound great to me. So it’s cool to see Juve jump on one of my favorite songs from that period of Rich Boy’s that I really like. Much like many of the songs on both of those Rich Boy mixtapes though, this one, I feel, would be even more enjoyable if it was maybe twice as long, or just had one more verse from either one of them on there. But I am happy to see Juvenile really rapping like himself on this beat, he doesn’t seem to be trying to cater his style to super mainstream tastes, he’s really being himself on here and that’s what I think will make his future material great. I’ve also heard some examples lately of Juve reaching a little bit and emulating some more modern rappers though too, so we’ll probably just have to wait until his full album comes out to see where he’s at nowadays. I can’t really say that he doesn’t still sound good doing this kinda Rick Ross type flow though, so maybe we don’t really have anything to worry about. I’m all for artists trying new things and updating their styles too, and sometimes brief periods of emulation can push you outside of the barriers you set for yourself and expand your horizons, so maybe it’s all for the best. But getting in a zone where you’re only rapping in an unoriginal style isn’t doing anybody any good, in my opinion.
Just be you, Juvie, we love you just the way you are!