Rapper Juicy J talks performing, new album, success

Rapper Juicy J is no stranger to success. During his career, he has cofounded Three 6 Mafia, won an Academy Award for “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” and successfully launched a solo career. Now working on his third solo studio album, Juicy J is still bringing his A game. “Stay Trippy,” which will be released later this year, will feature tracks with some of the biggest names in the industry like The Weeknd and Wiz Khalifa.

Although fans will have to wait just a bit longer for Juicy J’s upcoming album, they can catch him on tour while he promotes “Stay Trippy.” He will make a stop in Miami on May 4 at Villa 221. The Miami Hurricane got the chance to talk to Juicy J about his success, upcoming album and performing.

Villa 221 is located at 221 NE 17th St., Miami. For more information, visit villa221.com or call 305-416-5280.

The Miami Hurricane: What can fans expect from your upcoming album, “Stay Trippy?”

Juicy J: I’ve put a lot of hard work into it. You can expect some surprises, a lot of surprises. It’s been a long time coming and I’m proud of this album.

TMH: Do you prefer to write and record by yourself or do you find it easier to work on a track with other artists?

JJ: It doesn’t matter to me. I’ve worked with a lot of producers and I produced some of the album myself too.

TMH: I noticed you worked with a lot of different artists on the album like The Weeknd. Who has been the most fun to work with?

JJ: Everybody. You know everybody was motivated. Everything went great and we had fun with it, you know?

TMH: What kind of music do you listen to?

JJ: I listen to a lot … The Temptations and rappers, you know Wiz Khalifa, Mac Miller, ASAP Rocky, Drake, Jeezy … stuff like that. But I listen to pretty much everything.

TMH: What’s the most amazing experience you’ve had during your career?

JJ: Winning an Academy Award was amazing. It was the biggest thing I had ever done in my life.

TMH: What’s your favorite part about performing?

JJ: Bringing chicks on stage … It’s all about having fun at my shows. Nothing too crazy, just having fun.

TMH: Did you always know music was something you wanted to do?

JJ: Yep, always. I never wanted to do anything else. I was really serious about music around 12 years old … I remember my granddad used to have a piano when I was like 13 years old and tried to play it but didn’t know how to play. He’d say, “Get off the piano,” and I’d be like, “No, I have to get ready.” He asked, “Ready for what?” and I was like, “I’m going to be a star in a few years so I have to practice the piano.” He looked at me like he didn’t know what I was talking about.

TMH: Do you have any advice for up-and-coming musicians?

JJ: Don’t give up. Keep working at it and if it’s for you, it’ll come … You have to have a back-up plan.

TMH: What do you think is the hardest part about being in the industry?

JJ: Staying focused. It’s easy to get off track and get off balance, and steer off into something else. You have to stay focused.