Even though it became a strip club anthem, “Bandz A Make Her Dance” almost didn’t end up that way. While listening to the Mike WiLL Made It beat last year, Juicy J thought the song would make a great soundbed for a love song.
Then the Juice Man headed to the bathroom. “A lot of times when I’m recording, I smoke weed, I freestyle, and if I’m trying to get that last bar or that ending of the song, I’ll go to the bathroom, because I always come up with shit in the bathroom,” Juicy J says during the interview. “I mean, I’ve written many, many songs in the bathroom.”
Stay Trippy follows Juicy J’s run as an independent act and a major label artist with Three 6 Mafia, the group he formed with DJ Paul in Memphis, Tennessee in the mid-1990s. After the crew released its most recent album, 2008’s Last 2 Walk, Juicy J returned to his independent roots and released a string of indie projects, including the Rubba Band Business mixtape series.
“I was just doing songs with people from my hood,” Juicy J says. “I had a street team passing out mixtapes, and sometimes I would get out there and pass out a couple mixtapes myself, just to get the feeling back.”
While working on his mixtapes, Juicy J developed a relationship with Wiz Khalifa and strengthened his friendship with producer Dr. Luke. “As Three 6 was sort of disintegrating, we would get together and just write for fun,” Dr. Luke says to Billboard. “I’d go to his house [in L.A.]. He’d go to my house. When we were writing a bunch. This was before ‘Bandz’ but after [Three 6 Mafia’s 2005 hit single] ‘Stay Fly’. He was always grinding. He’d write a song every day, and he’d tell me, ‘One of them’s gonna go.'”
Stay Trippy will be released through Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe imprint through Columbia Records, which also released several Three 6 Mafia projects.
Thanks to the success of “Bandz A Make Her Dance” and subsequent singles “Show Out” featuring Young Jeezy and Big Sean and “Bounce It” with Wale and Trey Songz, Juicy J is slated to appear at Rock The Bells 2013 and may headline a college tour this fall. The rapper-producer, who grew up poor in Memphis, says he uses that background as inspiration to succeed and to stay busy working.
“I come from nothing,” he says. “When I got a chance to make some money, I was like, ‘Man, I’m not ever going back.'”