On this day in 1975, Juvenile was born Terius Gray in New Orleans, Louisiana. The first Cash Money Records superstar can be credited with influencing a lot of what has been popular and commonplace in rap culture for the past 20 years. Since his debut album, Juvenile continuously set trends and raised the bar for rappers in the game with a similar style. Along with the rest of the Hot Boys, Juvenile at one point ran rap and were emulated by all admirers of the genre.
At 19, Juvenile put out his debut album Being Myself with Warlock Records which was able to get him enough local recognition to grab the attention of Brian “Baby” Williams and he was signed to Cash Money Records. His Cash Money debut, Solja Rags, which sold close to 200,000 copies and peaked at #55 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip Hop Album chart. This was the first time that Juvenile and producer Mannie Fresh ever collaborated and was the beginning of the Hot Boys legacy.
Juvenile’s next album, 400 Degreez, is hailed as a street classic. Featuring hit singles “Ha,” which peaked at #68 on The Billboard Hot 100 chart, and “Back That Azz Up,” which can be heard on any given night at almost every club in the country, 400 Degreez peaked at #9 on the Billboard 200 chart and #2 on the Top R&B/Hip Hop chart.
After 400 Degreez, Juvenile rose to be one of the top-selling rappers of his time. His next albums Tha G-Code and Project English both rose to become a top ten selling albums in the United States. His next huge single “Slow Motion” came in 2003 on the album Juve the Great and was the #1 single nationally according to the Billboard Hot 100 chart and sold 500,000 copies.
Juve’s next album, Reality Check was a smash hit, claiming the #1 spot on both the Billboard 200 chart and the Top R&B/ Hip Hop chart. The album got a lot of media coverage for speaking out against the foul treatment of the victims of the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe that destroyed the city that he loved.
Since Reality Check, Juvenile has released four albums and plans to release a fifth, 800 Degreez, in 2016. Beyond rap, Juve has been featured in a few films, including Baller Blockin’ 1 and 2. He will forever be an icon in the music industry and whether he creates any more hits or not, he will continue to influence the culture and change the game through the work he has already put in. From the entire staff here at The Source, Happy Born Day Juvenile, may you see many more.