Discography Check: Juvenile

Hailing from New Orleans, LA, Juvenile is one of the greatest MCs to ever come from the south. He has built up a legacy over 20 years in the game and has classics under his belt. Today, we look at his catalog and see how it holds up. Let's get into it...

Being Myself
Release Date: February 7, 1995

-This was officially Juve's first album, released back in 1995 on Warlock Records. The album features an almost different sounding Juve over mostly production by Leroy "Precise" Edwards. Juve, who was 19, at the time of the release, sounds youthful yet lost on this album. It features some of the bounce music that originated in NOLA, which helps carry Juve through a portion of the album. This album is not necessarily bad, it just lacks cohesiveness and sounds extremely dated. Songs like "U Can't C Me" and "Conversation With The Man Above" are solid however, but the rest of the album drags on.

Rating: 4 out of 10
Standout Songs: U Can't C Me, Powder Bag, and Conversation With The Man Above

Solja Rags
Release Date: May 13, 1997

-Juve, at this point, had left Warlock Records and joined the infamous Cash Money Records for his 2nd album. On this album, Juve sounds confident, aggressive, and a perfect fit for the Cash Money brand. Solja Rags is an extremely slept on album, showcasing that the chemistry between Juve and Mannie Fresh was strong. Juve shines on tracks such as "Pimpinabitch", "Who's Tha MF", "That's How It Be Happenin", and the best song on the album "Money On The Couch". Backed by one of the best producers ever and a solid crew of artists, Juve turns in a debatable classic album here and a landmark album for Cash Money, as it moved over 200,000 copies independently, marking a shift for the CMR brand.

Rating: 8 out of 10
Standout Songs: Solja Rag, I Did That, Pimpinabitch, Spittin' Game, Money On The Couch

400 Degreez
Release Date: November 13, 1998

-This is Juve's true breakthrough album. Cash Money had signed a 30 million dollar deal with Universal Records, and this was a pivotal album for them going forward. Juve managed to garner a hit with the knocking, yet repetitive "Ha", that charted on the Billboard Hot 100, giving Juve his first national hit. Upon release, the album would manage to crack the top 10 of the Billboard 200 based on the strength of "Ha" and the follow up single "Back That Azz Up", which is quite possible one of the most iconic songs from the 90s. 400 Degreez sold over 5 million copies in the US and is still the highest selling Cash Money album. The album itself features Juve at his best, with anthems such as "Gone Ride With Me", "Rich Niggaz", the title track, and "Juvenile On Fire". 400 Degreez is a certified classic album and music wise, it is Juve's 2nd best album. What's his best, you ask? Keep reading.

Rating: 9 out of 10
Standout Songs: Gone Ride With Me, Flossin Season, Ha, Rich Niggaz, Juvenile On Fire, 400 Degreez

Tha G Code
Release Date: December 7, 1999

-This is Juve's best album. It features him at his best musically, lyrically, and overall. The album gets overlooked because it was released way too soon and got a bit lost in the shuffle of CMR releases, but this album is a classic, hands down. It went platinum in just over a month, eventually being certified double platinum, garnering Juve his 2nd multi-platinum album in a row. The album features some of Juve's best work, on tracks like "Take Them 5", the title track, "March Nigga Step", "Tha Man", and the closing track "Guerrilla". Juve even provides an inspirational track of sorts, with the Hot Boys featured "A Million and One Things". There are very few, if any skippable tracks on this album, making it a certified classic, not because of the impact or sales, but just off of the actual music. Juve was in his musical prime and nothing seemed like it could stop him.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10
Standout Songs: A Million and One Things, Take Them 5, Get It Right, Tha Man, March Nigga Step, and Guerrilla

Project English
Release Date: August 21, 2001

-Nothing could stop Juve at this point... Except bad business. Cash Money was going through changes and Juve was attempting to leave the company at the time this album was released. As a result, this album was essentially thrown together and while it features a ton of great tracks, it has no cohesion. Juve still connected with two moderate hits off this album, "Set It Off" and "Mamma Got Ass", as the album eventually was certified platinum, but there was an issue. The intro, outro, and "Be Gone" didn't even feature Juve. CMR used the intro and outro to showcase their new talent, which was a slap in the face to Juvenile essentially. Still, Juve creates some great songs on this album and if he would have been able to really choose what went on it and what didn't, this could have been yet another classic.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10
Standout Songs: Set It Off, They Lied, H.B. Headbusta, Mamma Got Ass, White Girl

Juve The Great
Release Date: December 23, 2003

-After a contract dispute with Cash Money, Juve went on to release this album with them, marking his final release with the label(he recently signed back however). Juve seemingly had much more creative control with this release than Project English, as he decides to branch out to other producers besides Mannie Fresh. This album is much more cohesive, lyrically solid, and showcases Juve at his best, at times. Hits like "Bounce Back" and "Slow Motion" carried that album to platinum plus status, and Juve managed to walk away from Cash Money with a platinum plaque, freedom, and a solid album.

Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Standout Songs: Bounce Back, It Ain't Mines, Numb Numb, Cock It, Juve The Great, Slow Motion 

Reality Check
Release Date: March 7, 2006

-After leaving CMR, Juve released his first album on Atlantic Records, Reality Check. Juve connects here for the most part on this album, but he was perhaps a bit too ambitious by having a 20 song album. His first single "Rodeo" managed to hit the Billboard Hot 100, continuing Juve's streak of hits. The album features a bit of filler, but overall is a solid listen as Juve branches out for features from Fat Joe, Ludacris, Trey Songz, and more artists that he would have not had the opportunity to work with on Cash Money. This album was Juve's first to hit no. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was eventually certified gold.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Standout Songs: Get Ya Hustle On, Rodeo, What's Happenin, I Know You Know, Loose Booty

Cocky and Confident
Release Date: December 1, 2009

-This was Juve's 2nd and last album on Atlantic Records. This album was a bit unfocused and too long, as it dragged on for 19 songs. Juve has a great ear for beats usually and while he had some good choices here, this album feels a bit lackluster. A bit of filler, some very bland songs, and a bad way to finish off his situation with Atlantic Records. A rare misstep for Juve.

Rating: 4.5 out of 10
Standout Songs: Top Of The Line, Gotta Get It, Feeling Right, Everything

Beast Mode
Release Date: July 6, 2010

-This album was funny to me. Juve seemingly copied off Drake's Thank Me Later cover here, and there was a brief controversy off of that. The albun itself was also unfocused, released merely 7 months after his last album. The album clocks in at 11 songs, which makes it Juve's shortest album, and features a few solid tracks, but Juve just seemed like he wasn't in his right zone. Half of the album is top notch Juve music, while the other half seems like pointless. Another misstep from Juve.

Rating: 4.5 out of 10
Standout Songs: Go Hard or Go Home, Where They Do That At, No Team

Release Date: June 19, 2012

-Juve finally regained his footing with this album. Reuniting with Mannie Fresh for a number of tracks here, this album sounds like vintage Juve. Juve sounds focused, the beats are mostly solid, and he comes through lyrically with some of his best verses in years. This album essentially proves that when Juve and Fresh work together, it is magic. Drumma Boy also provides a track, as well as Stevie Drumma and Sinista. Tracks like "Power", "Bad Guy", "Lost My Mind", and the title track are the best here. Welcome back Juve.

Rating: 7 out of 10
Standout Songs: Power, Rejuvenation, Fall Back, Toast To The Good Life, Lost My Mind

The Fundamentals
Release Date: February 18, 2014

-This album was released on Rap-A-Lot and I admittedly had never heard it until I began this article. It is actually some great music here, just that the album itself lacks just a bit of cohesion. Features by Yo Gotti and Young Jeezy add to the album and while there is no Mannie Fresh production, producer Mike Maven makes up for that with solid tracks. Some of the hooks here are a bit off, but Juve shines verse wise and the beats are mostly solid. A good effort from Juve nonetheless.

Rating: 6 out of 10
Standout Songs: Pay Tha Rent, Close Around, Cradle 2 The Grave, All Over

Juve has a mostly solid catalog, a few missteps, but the last decade has saw him struggle to relive past glory. He recently resigned to Cash Money Records, so what's next for Juve could be great.... Only time will tell.



Popular Posts