Juicy J: Never sober, always hustling

Juicy J
Juicy J’s motto: Work hard, play hard.
Credit: Musashi Ono

If there’s anyone who deserves to do a little partying, it’s Juicy J. “Dark Horse,” his collaboration with Katy Perry, is everywhere — including the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and his new single “Talkin’ Bout” with Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa is quickly creeping up, too. We talk with the rapper about getting tipsy (count the number of times he says “Ciroc”) on his “Never Sober” tour.

Right now, you’re in the studio working on your next album, “The Hustle Continues.” What can people expect?

It’s about going from the ‘hood to where I am now. I’ve been in the music game for over 20 years and won an Academy Award [in 2006 for "It's Hard Out  Here for a Pimp" from "Hustle & Flow"]. I still live a party and kicking-it life. I’m having a lot of fun right now, but I’m still working, too.

“Dark Horse” is obviously killing it right now. What was it like working with Katy Perry?

Katy Perry is a genius. She works hard just like me. Katy is in the studio every day and working with her was great. There were no problems at all.

How did that collaboration compare with working with Miley Cyrus on “#23″?

Both of them work really hard. Miley’s a genius, too. She has a great voice. They’re both very professional women.

After “#23″ came out, there were all these rumors that Miley was pregnant with your baby.

That was just funny. People are always going to spread rumors online that aren’t true. Miley’s like my little sister, man!

This is the “Never Sober” tour. What’s your signature drink?

Right now, we have lot of Ciroc Vodka on the bus and some Hennessy and a couple bottles of Champagne. If someone’s coming to a Juicy J show, they would definitely drink some Ciroc. But don’t drive. Let somebody drop you off or catch a limousine or something. You can drink some Ciroc, or down some gin and then have somebody drop you off. Or you can take Uber. I tried it and it’s great.

If your life was a video game, what would it be like?

It would definitely be a hustle. You’d have to hustle your way to the top and then you party your ass off. That’s what I did. I hustled all the way to the top and I’m partying my ass off right now. But I work hard, too. We might be drinking some Ciroc on the tour bus, but I have a studio set up in there. I’m actually about to go make some beats right now.

You collaborated with Chris Brown and Wiz Khalifa for your new single, “Talkin’ Bout.” What are they like to hang out with? 

We’re super cool. They’re great guys. When we hang out, we just like kicking it, popping bottles and enjoying life.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I manage myself. I’m very hands-on and am in all the meetings, on all the emails and do my own taxes. I have people who work for me, but I’m the head guy in charge and I run the show. I’ve been doing it my whole life. When I was 13 years old, my mama was a librarian and I told her to check me out all the music books. I read 10 or 15 books because I wanted to know everything about the music business. A lot of artists just want to make music, get groupies and spend all the money, but that isn’t what you’re supposed to do. It’s called the music business and it’s a business at the end of the day.

Give me the hard sell. Why should someone come see you at a show?

It’s the wildest concert. It’s a straight party. It’s called the “Never Sober” tour, you know? Come on.

 

“Never Sober”
March 12, 7 p.m.
Irving Plaza
17 Irving Place, 212-777-6800
venue.irvingplaza.com

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence



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