Juicy J Talks Crafting 'Neighbor' With Travis Scott, Working On A$AP Rocky's Upcoming Project
He also shares his favorite memories about friend and collaborator Mac Miller.
Following the release of his Shutdafukup mixtape at the top of 2018, Juicy J has settled into his role as an OG, taking the rest of the year to lend his talents and wisdom to a number of prominent artists. Most notably, he served up a standout assist on Rae Sremmurd's frenetic "Powerglide" and executive produced A$AP Rocky's Testing album.
This time around, the Taylor Gang artist is ready to shine the spotlight on himself once again with the release of the Travis Scott-assisted "Neighbor" on Wednesday (Sept. 26).
The Memphis-bred rapper definitely has enough materially stashed for his next album, but isn't quite ready to announce anything concrete just yet. "I feel like I've got an album done already, but I don't want to say I'm ready to drop an album just yet," the Three 6 Mafia co-founder unveils.
Check out the rest of our conversation with Juicy J regarding the origin of "Neighbor," working closely with A$AP Rocky this year, fond memories of Mac Miller, and much more.
How did "Neighbor" with Travis Scott come together?
Travis called me up and reached out about hearing some new beats when he was working on Astroworld. We vibed out in the studio. On my way out, after we had been in the studio for three hours, I was like, "Yo, Travis, let me get a record for my new album." He went into his files and pulled up "Neighbor."
It was like a long verse, but I thought it was hard as fuck. I told him to play it again. The beat was already done and he had everything on there. It didn't really have a format to it originally. When I got to the studio the next day, I took the track and chopped it up. I took a piece and made a hook. The part where he was rapping I put first. Then I added a verse on it and it was magic from there. I had to put it in a sequence.
Do you expect "Neighbor" to appear on an upcoming album?
I've got over 50 new songs I've done. I have been producing a lot of new records with $uicideBoy$. I've got another single I'm going to drop with Kevin Gates and Lil Skies that's produced by Tay Keith. It's hard as fuck. After that single, we'll see. If the vibe is right, I might just drop my album out of nowhere. I've probably got 10 albums [worth] but you never know.
Just to clarify, did you have any involvement with Travis Scott's "Sicko Mode?"
Nah, I'm not on there. I wish I was -- that song is a smash. I've been seeing that online. I'm like, "Where am I at on there? Am I sampled on there? I don't remember doing it." I know we were in the studio together smoking lots of weed. I'm about to go back and listen to it again, I might be on there. It's a dope album and a classic.
How was working with A$AP Rocky to executive produce his Testing album?
It's always dope to work with A$AP Rocky. He's super talented. We've got some more shit on the way, too. I just did a beat for his newest project. I don't know when he's going to drop it. I did a crazy beat for him the other day. I played the beat and he went in the booth and just started rapping. I've got something coming with French Montana, too. It's hard and it hopefully drops soon. I've been working with a lot of different people. I co-executive produced the $uicideboy$' project. We've got a collab project about to come out.
What do you think about the impact "Slob On My Knob" has had on the culture decades later, with it being sampled on hit records such as G-Eazy's "No Limit," A$AP Ferg's "Plain Jane," and Jay Rock on "King's Dead?"
It's amazing. I just left Finland and I played that song and the people went nuts. I've never seen a crazy mosh pit like that and I've been all over the place. I wrote that song when I was in 11th grade and I never knew it was going to rebirth itself 30 years later in a global fashion. It's crazy. Every time I do a show, I've got to do that song. The fans are going to kill me if I don't. It's worldwide now.
I know you collaborated on multiple occasions with Mac Miller and he was tight with the Taylor Gang. What are some of your lasting memories with him?
Rest in peace to Mac Miller. I love that guy and I miss him every day. It really just broke my heart when I heard he had passed away. Going back through some memories, I threw his 18th birthday party at the studio. We recorded a lot of records together and I had such great times with him. I knew he was going through some things. The last time I saw him was at the studio, and we talked for a second and texted after leaving the studio. I wish I just could've maybe talked to him again.
I remember throwing Mac miller a party for his 18th bday so many great memories , Prayers up for his family ----R.I.P.— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) September 8, 2018
What do you think about the rebirth of the Memphis scene we are seeing in hip-hop this year?
It's on the rise and going crazy right now. Shout-out to the city, because it's been a long time coming. The music you hear today is all that Memphis sound. I'm glad we're finally coming together and making major moves.
Do you think the themes you had with Three 6 Mafia helped create the wave for early Soundcloud rappers?
Yeah, that's that Memphis sound. There's a lot of people that started to open doors with that sound. That turn up was the sound of Memphis. There are a lot of artists that were doing it and not getting the shine. Nobody was doing it back then and it was the sound of our city. It's a blessing. Things don't happen when we want, but 20 years later, it's back even stronger than ever and taking over. Every time I turn around, someone is sampling something of ours, which is great.