What Juicy say? STFU!
Juicy J is the founding member of Hip-Hop group Three 6 Mafia, positioning himself to be one of the most influential rappers of all-time. Hailing from the streets of Memphis to now an Oscar winning, Grammy-winning, multi-Platinum selling recording artist and producer, real name Jordan Houston III deserves all his flowers.
Now, Juicy J is excited as ever to be unveiling his new book titled Chronicles of The Juice Man, written in collaboration with Soren Baker. Serving as his memoir, the book not only sees Juicy J telling his life story, but unveils a much more vulnerable side that fans have yet to see thus far. Topics his struggles with poverty, substance abuse, addiction, mental health, and more.
The Source had the pleasure of speaking with Juicy J at his book signing at Barnes & Noble at The Grove in Los Angeles. Read below as we discuss the book that changed his life, mental health, the moment he fell in love with Hip-Hop, favorite Gucci Mane song, meeting Cardi B, best memory with Gangsta Boo, and more!
Chronicles of The Juice Man, how excited are you?
I’m so excited. I’m so blessed man, this is a dream come true.
Is your hand okay? Those were a lot of autographs.
Yeah, I’m good. Some people just grabbed so hard like, “Hey!” I’m like whoa, slow down. [laughs] I’m cool though. This is the fun stuff. Creating this music, promoting it is the hard stuff. This stuff: meeting the fans, hugging people and hearing about the stories, they talk about the music, it’s the fun stuff.
Do you have a memorable fan encounter from today?
Oh yeah, many of them. One of the guys came through and said he had broke his back. While he was in surgery, he was listening to Three 6 Mafia. He said it healed him. Wow, that’s dope.
How’s it feel for the book to sell out in an hour?
Damn, I’m shocked. Ain’t gon’ lie, I’m about to bust out in tears. Like really? Hell nah. I’m just so happy. I’ve been doing this for so long. People are really coming and still supporting them, that’s big. I’ve been doing this stuff for over 30 years. It’s amazing.
I got to read a few pages of the book. Was it difficult being so vulnerable with your life story?
Oh no, I just wanted to let it out. Like fuck it.
What surprised you most about writing the book?
I ain’t gon’ say it surprised me. When I was writing the book, my mom got diagnosed with cancer. So really, I was in a lot of pain as I was writing this book.
What impact did that have on your creativity? Did it change anything about the book for you?
No, it didn’t change anything. I just kept going in, because I know she would want me to keep on going. Keep moving. Because when she was alive, I was telling her about the book. She’s like “Oh, that’s gonna be great. I can’t wait to read it.” She’s reading it now in heaven.
Are there any books that changed your life or perspective?
There’s this book about Stax Records. That’s the book I read when I was a youngster coming up. It taught me a lot about how to market my music. This guy named Al Bell that was running Stax, he had a great marketing plan. I read that marketing plan over and over again in that book, and I use it for my own artists. And now me and Paul’s company, Hypnotize Minds.
Is that the cheat code to musicians trying to make it?
Well, it depends where you get your inspiration from. Some people get their inspiration from drug dealers, different kinds of people or whatever. But my inspiration came from Al Bell, the guy that ran Stax Records.
You discuss mental health and substance abuse in your book, what’s the #1 advice you have for someone struggling with addiction?
Get some help, quick. Whatever you got going on in your life, get some help. They got the hotline 988, reached out to our organization. Immediately, because you never know man. With those episodes we have in our life of that mental. I said mental to me mental health kind of comes and goes you can get depressed and happy one day he said, you just don’t want to just get to get into a situation where you just be just go deep into depression. So get some help soon.
What effect did poverty have on your mental health as a child?
It made me a hustler, didn’t want to be broke. Not so much as that, a lot of different things. Me growing up in the hood, I seen police officers beat the hell out of a guy who’s bloody in the street. People getting shot, it messed me up. It traumatized me a little too. But look, it made me stronger. I’m still here today because I overcame a lot of obstacles in my life.
I interviewed Jeezy who said writing his book was therapy for him. I would assume that’s the same for you?
Yes, mos def. Telling him my story. Hopefully somebody out there I can reach, and learn something from this. Get inspired from it.
What are some things you practice daily for self-care?
I pray. I try to tell myself that nothing’s promised. That keeps me moving forward.
Hip-Hop celebrates 50 years this year. What was the moment you fell in love with Hip-Hop?
In the early 80’s, I heard this group called Sugarhill Gang and I was blown away after that. I said I gotta be a rapper!
Favorite Gucci Mane song?
What’s that song he got on YouTube? Him and Mike Will. Mike Will did the beat. He’s outside rapping on the corner with his shirt off. Can’t remember the song, but Waka Flocka’s on there. It’s a classic video. They’re standing on the block, just out there. It looked like they’d been drinking or selling drugs, it was so raw. Gucci Mane just started rapping. I used to listen to a lot of Gucci Mane. 2007, 2008, 2009, I was heavy Gucci Mane.
How was it meeting Cardi B?
It was awesome. Cardi B is a real one. Cardi B is a realistic person. She’s down-to-earth. She’s cool as fuck. She even promoted my book. She didn’t have to do that. I was like wow, thank you Cardi. I appreciate that. She’s a real one man. Hopefully one day, me and Cardi can make some music.
I heard the sample in “Jealousy”!
Oh that was dope! They sampled that, I’m like oh shit. When I cleared the sample, I didn’t hear her vocals on there. I didn’t know she was going to be on there until I heard the song. I’m like oh shit! Cardi B’s on this motherfucker.
We were excited when you got that request?
Oh yes. I always get excited when I get a sample request. Cha-ching.
What moves you more: producing or rapping?
I will say producing. That was always really my first love. When I first started DJing, I was going to be a DJ. When I first started DJing, I wanted to be a producer first.
Lola was a good friend of mine. Do you have a fondest memory with her?
Yes, a lot of them. But the main memory I have with Lola, rest in peace, was the last conversation we had. I talk about it in my book. It was a very spiritual, deep conversation. We laughed about a lot of old times and everything. She was talking about my mom, discussing her death. That was the most wonderful time I had with Gangsta Boo man, rest in peace.
How much is 10K Projects offering you?
We still in the talks on that. We’ll have to see man. I don’t know how things are gonna go. I’m gonna keep that on the low, but we’re still in talks.