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The best kept secret in music


"Rolling Stone"

Take note: Master P and his family aren't the only New Orleans cats who are 'bout it, 'bout it. In '96, rapper Juvenile pushed 200,000 units of his second LP, Solja Rag, creating a success story that helped his Cash Money Records ink a deal with a major label earlier this year. On his third album, joined by label mates Big Tymers, B.G. and Hot Boyz, Juvenile sticks to his hitmaking crew's gumbo recipe of funk. On the consistent 400 Degreez, his gruff, clear vocals are merged with producer Manny Fresh's roaming bass lines, catchy keyboard riffs and rattling drum-machine kicks. Songs like the ashy-to-classy tales of hustling ("Gone Ride With Me," "Ghetto Children") rise above the album's few lackluster moments (the spacey title track and the Forrest Gump-inspired "Run for It") to provide a potent platter on par with the efforts of that other N'awlins hip-hop label. (RS 801)

Album rating= 3.5 out of 4 stars - ELLIOTT WILSON

"Multiple short reviews"

• “Juvenile has won himself a loyal audience by rebelling against the gentility of bicoastal hip-hop.”
—Rolling Stone

• “What keeps things interesting throughout is Juvenile’s ability to thematically swing from the rough to the ribald and always keep it funky.”—USA Today

• “We feel Juvenile because he’s got everything the democratic monarchy of hip-hop traditionally demands from its elected kings: originality, rhythm savvy, intellect, candid insight, and a real intimacy with trouble.”—Vibe

- mixed

"History of Juvenile"

New Orleans has a reputation as a breeding ground for raw, unbridled rap music and the city's artistic offspring make for intriguing and awe-inspiring players in the rap game. But of all of New Orleans' native sons none is more formidable than Juvenile.

From the early 90's as a member of 3Grandand the release of an underground solo project, to his signing with the infamous (then underground) label Cash Money Records as a member of The Hot Boys(along with group members B.G., Lil Wayne and Turk), Juvenile's role as a pioneering southern rapper cannot be underestimated. The fact that he has helped New Orleans claim major prominence in the annals of hip-hop history cannot be overlooked.

Born Terius Gray, the rapper known as Juvenile first came to national prominence with The Hot Boys1997 debut Get It How U Live, followed by 1999's platinum certified,Guerilla Warfare and 2003's Let 'Em Burn. But it has been his solo performances - most notably, his third CD, 1998's 4x platinum 400 Degreez, which spawned the hits, "Ha" and "Back That Thang Up" -- that catapulted Juve to mega-star status. The CD also garnered him many awards and accolades including a Soul Train Award (2000), Billboard Award (1999), Source Award (1999) and an American Music Award nomination (1999). Juvenile's no-holds-barred rap lyrics and rough-around-the-edges persona made him an icon to young hip-hop heads enamored with rappers who 'keep it real.' And, says the 28-year-old rapper, he's done it all without really trying. "I don't think about it," he says. "When I do an album I don't worry about what the people are gonna think. I just do an album. I don't have a format to the way I do songs, I just do 'em."

That's the approach he's taken with his previous five CDs: Being Myself on Warlock Records (1995) to his Cash Money releases; gold certified, Solja Rags(1997), 4x platinum certified, 400 Degreez, platinum certified, G Code(1999), and the critically acclaimed gold certified, Project English (2001). And it's the same approach he took with his current release, Juve The Great.  "This CD let's the people hear the different styles and tones and different ideas that run through Juve's head within a day's time."

If "Ha" and "Back That Thang Up" set new standards for dirty south hip-hop, then the songs on Juve The Great will raise the bar even higher for those trying to appeal to hip- hop fans who like their music unsweetened and not watered down. Case in point, in the CD's lead single, "In My Life," Juve dishes out an unabashed tribute to his ballin' lifestyle. "I'm just talking on there," he laughs. "It's just got that Juvevibe."

And that "Juve vibe" runs throughout Juve The Great, which, as expected, features production by Cash Money's resident hitmaker Mannie Fresh. From the old-school-flavored "Bounce Back" -- featuring 'millionaire' Baby -- to the dirty anthem, "Down South Posted" with Wacko & Skip, Juve The Great shows Juvenile at the top of his game.

One of the CD's most personal entries is the track, "It Ain't Mines," and the set is rounded out by the intriguing, "Numb Numb" with its inviting talk-sing hook.

While Juveniledoesn't set out to appeal to anyone in particular with his music, he does set goals for himself. "To reach everyone with my music," he exclaims. And given his vast fan base, his goals are realistic. "I travel so much and meet so many people. People walk up to me - different races, religions and different sizes saying they like my music and they're buying it."

Juvenile was a mere "eight or nine" years old when he decided to be a rapper. "I made my decision early," he recalls. "I didn't wanna do nothing else but rap. I've been making music since I was 14 years old." And he never doubted he would succeed. "Everything that has happened for me I'm happy about and the Lord has blessed me in many ways, but, I can't stop now. I dream big."

And once he has achieved his goal of touching everyone with his music, Juvesays he'll be content to just be a regular guy. "I just wanna be the father that I didn't have. Once my kids graduate college, I'm good. I'm gon' lay back...." He'll let his legacy do the talking. "I just wanna be remembered as a young black entrepreneur that had faith in God. That's all I want to be remembered as." Juvenile, a legend in his own time.

Shirronda Sweet
Director of Publicity
Universal/Motown Records
- Universal Music


Juve The Great (2003) - Cash Money Records
The Compilation (2002) - Cash Money Records
Project English (2001) - Cash Money Records
Playaz of Da Game (2000) - Cash Money Records
Tha G-Code (2000) - Cash Money Records
Solja Rags (1999) - Universal Records
400 Degreez (1998) - Universal Records
Being Myself (1995) - Warlock Records


Feeling a bit camera shy


Born and raised in New Orleans' infamous Magnolia Projects, Juvenile rose from local obscurity to become a nationwide smash, thanks to his husky delivery, loping cadence, and flashy style. Shortly after being signed to fledgling N.O. label Cash Money Records. In 1997, Juvenile released his debut album, Solja Rags. Moving close to 200,000 units the album set the stage for his sophomore album, 400 Degrees which broke the quadruple platinum barrier, selling in excess of 4 million copes. His subsequent albums, 1999's The G Code and 2001's Project English went platinum and gold, respectively.

But shortly after the release of Project English Juvenile had a falling out with his Cash Money brethren and split from the label. After a brief and somewhat acrimonious break with Cash Money Records, the labels former star rapper Juvenile has returned to the fold (his Hot Boys compatriots B.G. and Turk are still estranged from the label, however).

Juvenile's return to the label that helped break him big will kick off on December 23, 2003 with the release of his sixth album, Juve The Great. It will be Juvenile's first release since 2001's gold-certified Project English.

As can be expected, Juvenile's return to Cash Money means that he's once again backed on the beat by the esteemed purveyor of ghetto soniference, Mannie Fresh. In fact, Fresh laced up the intoxicating music bed for the album's first single, which is entitled "In My Life." The track is already burning up the radio airwaves in most major markets, including Washington D.C., Norfolk, Dallas, Raleigh and Juvenile and Cash Money's native New Orleans. The track will officially be released to radio stations nationwide just on Tuesday, November 25, just in time for the holidays.

The single, which pushes CMM and Juvenile's Dirty bounce madness into the next millennium with poppin' drum rolls, a surging synth ripples, and Mannie dropping some slick Southern patois and beat box mechanics on the first verse while Juvenile comes in with a more mature, gruff and gravelly vocal pattern on the second portion of the track. Thematically it doesn't stray too far from the Cash Money canon of money and respect, but the groove is intoxicating, to say the least.

• Juvenile has sold over 8 Million albums – 1998’s 6X Platinum, 400 Degreez, 1999’s 2X Platinum, Tha G-Code & 2001’s Project English.

• Juvenile won the Billboard Award for Best R&B/RAP Album of the Year 1999

• Juvenile also won a Soul Train Award (2000) and an American Music Award nomination (1999)

• He’s recorded #1 classics such as “Back That Thang Up”, “Ha”, “I Got That Fire” and “Set It Off.”

• Juve’s also contributed to the success of the Platinum Cash Money unit, Hot Boys with delivering lyrics for jams like “I Need A Hot Girl” and “We On Fire.”

• Juvenile has recently been featured on Craig Kilborn's Late Late Show, the Carson Daly Show, MTV’s Direct Effect, BET’s 106th & Park and Rap City, and Soul Train.

• A massive print ad campaign is underway in publications such as XXL, The Source, King and Murder Dog. An electronic ad campaign began three weeks before the album’s release and continues after street date. A national radio ad campaign will preceded the album’s release.

• Now he’s just released his highly-anticipated new album, Juve The Great. “In My Life” is in heavy rotation at MTV, MTV2, BET and all national video shows.