Juvenile – Reality Check

Juvenile - Reality CheckJuvenile crossed paths with Cash Money in the mid/late 90’s and later formed the group UTP Playas (UTP is for Uptown Project) and UTP Records after leaving Cash Money. Reality Check is recorded on that label, under Asylum. I have to admit I’m not a big Juvenile fan. I liked Soulja Rags and 400 Degreez but was very disappointed with 600 Degreez. A funny side note on Juvenile is that he found Young Buck and made him a member of UTP Playas. Buck later connected with 50 Cent while being with Juvenile in L.A.


1. Intro

2. Get ya hustle on

The album starts of with an encouragement for people to get your hustle on. Juvenile says he lost his house and everything with it in Hurricane Katrina and that he has to hustle more than ever. The beat on the song has a smooth but heavy bass with a dirty south flavour to it.

3. Around the way

Around the way is about Juvenile – where he’s at and where he’s from. In my opinion, Juve has a special way to rap and it’s coming out real good on this track. One again he’s flowing over a tight beat and the album sounds real tight 2 tracks deep.

4. Sets go up feat. Wacko

Juvenile continue with a more up-tempo track without the beat lowering the standard of the cut. The Magnolia rapper is dissing people that didn’t believe in him and worked against him over the years and up till this day. Wacko comes in on the last verse with a different type of flow than Juvenile and diversifies the track in a good way.

5. Rodeo

Rodeo is the first single of the album, and it’s a good pick. This slow jam is a tribute to all the hot girls out there and considering the type of songs that get a lot of airplay it seems like a good song to put on the radio and TV. The way Juvenile looks in the video actually reminds me of Ja Rule. Still, he manages to not completely sell out and lose respect. Nice cut.

6. What’s happenin’

Juvenile mix story-telling rap with ole fashion southern bragging on this one. I guess he’s telling us What’s happenin’. The beats so far has been real tight but this one is weak to me. It might be that I’m not into the old South sound. All in all it’s an ok song but more or less a filler to me.

7. Loose booty feat Eightball & Skip

You can probably guess what Loose booty is about. She’s got a Loose booty. Eightball and Skipp can back it upp, too. I think we all know what Eightball can do by now, but Skipp is a pretty new rapper to people not into the UTP Playas. I’ve heard Skip before and he’s impressed me. I’m looking forward to a solo effort from him. This track? It’s allright.

8. Way I be leanin’ feat. Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Skip & Wacko

Swishahouse came in on this one to keep it crunk. The beat sounds like something Lil Jon would put together and the two outside guests Mike Jones and Paul Wall help taking it to the next level. I’m guessing this is the second single – enough said.

9. Break a brick down

Break a brick down has a bass similar to Get ya hustle on but with a lil more speed to it. That’s a good thing. Overall the beats have kept a high quality throughout the album this far and that’s an important ingredient for a hit record. Juve’s saying he’s “Going platinum from talking about my lifetime” and if he’s referring to this album he just might be right. He’s also saying “Everybody wants to be the king of something, I guess I’ll just be the king of hustling”. That pretty much sum up the subject of this song.

10. Who’s ya daddy

Next song in line is a kind of up-tempo bouncy song. In Who’s ya daddy, Juvenile speak to the girls again saying he’s gonna ***** them etc. The hook’s pretty catchy and the beat is tight so all in all it’s a real tight track.

11. I know you know feat. Trey Songz

Trey Songz has gotten a lot of attention lately and I was really feeling that first single of his where he talked about how he used to be poor and fight hard to get a chance. Every time a big RnB singer comes on a track you know it’s gonna be a real smooth cut. I know you know is no exception. I hate when singers just look for those opportunities to take high tones, as if the listeners are supposed to be impressed or something. Trey Songz doesn’t do this and I appreciate that. His effort is solid. I wouldn’t think Juveniles voice would be good for a slow jam like this, but his flow actually fits real well with the guitars and all other instruments on this cut.

12. Keep Talkin’ feat. Skipp & Red Eyezz

Keep talking on the side of your mouth and get smacked. That’s the message with this track. It’s an other Lil Jon type of track with the whistles and all that stuff. I’m sure a lot of people are feeling this track but I’m not one of them.

13. Rock like that feat Bun B

I’m a big Bun B fan. Every time he’s on a track it’s a banger (with a few exceptions). The beat on Rock like that is hard hitting and the instruments complete the full picture. Bun B come in with a real tight verse taking the track to the next level. Arguably the best track on the album.

14. Why not feat. Skip

Looks like Skip is the next UTP Playa to drop a solo album. He’s on a lot of tracks here and it’s a classic move to put your unknown rapper on your album to hype him. Snoop and Hittman are probably the best examples. This track is real tight but considering the other songs on this album it’s average. It fills its purpose though – I’m gonna check Skips album out when it drops.

15. Animal

Animal is an other one of those Lil Jon sounding tracks. The production actually use a monkey-sound in the background to illustrate how Juvi’s an animal. The track’s allright, but could’ve been cut.

16. Addicted feat. Brian McKnight

Addicted is pretty much a Brian McKnight solo track. Juvenile’s doing some talking between McKnight’s singing but the RnB singer pretty much makes the song. It’s a real mellow jam and might be nice to play with a girl at your place. Still, I don’t really see why this is on Juveniles album…

17. Holla back

Holla back is one of those southern songs that is trying to hype you up and get you crunk. Even thought I kind of like the song, it doesn’t really fill its purpose. It’s not all that tight. The beat’s pretty tight but not tight enough to make you wanna get up and get crunk. Like I said, it’s still an allright song.

18. Pop U feat. Fat Joe & Ludacris

Any time you have Fat Joe and Ludacris guesting you on a track, you know it’s gonna be tight. Juvenile does his thing on his verse just like he’s been doing for all of this album, and when Ludacris comes on on the second verse I can’t help but feeling like he can do better than this. I mean Ludacris is Ludacris, don’t get me wrong, but we all know what he can do. He’s not really doing it on this one. Fat Joe comes in on the third verse doing his thing. Probably the best verse on the song flow wise. All in all a real tight track.

19. Say it to me now feat. Kango

Last song on the album is kind of different than the other ones production wise. Say it to me now doesn’t have a typical dirty south beat. Juvenile’s talking about how people talk behind his back and should say it to his face instead. Kango really completes the picture. It’s a real soft track and I’m definitely feeling it. It’s a good thing Juvi share his experiences with us listeners and fans.


With Reality Check, Juvenile shows the world that he’s back (if he was ever gone). The album was a lot better than I had expected and all in all I’m definitely going to rate it somewhere above average. Juveniles flow doesn’t fit for all productions, but here he really found a good mix of slow and up-tempo beats where he could shine. Production wise this album was very well made and the mix of a tight rapper on tight beats is always a good thing. Big name guests were combined with less known artists from Juveniles own UTP Playas crew and label. I’d say the rapper managed to find a good mix without overdoing it. Some albums looks like compilations but Juvenile managed to escape that type of criticism. If you’re a Juvenile fan that might have been thinking that Juve fell off lately, get this album and then speak on it. People that didn’t really bump Juvenile before can also check it out and make him a new fan. I rate this album 4 out of 5. Real solid effort.

Juvenile – 400 Degreez

Juvenile - 400 DegreezJUVENILE “400 Degreez” Released June 9th 1998

LABEL: Universal Records & Cash Money Records

BILLBOARD: The Billboard 200 1999 No.9 ‘400 Degreez’ Top R&B/Hip Hop Albums 1999 No.2 ‘400 Degreez’ Rhythmic Top 40 1999 No.4 ‘Back That Thang Up’ Hot Rap Singles 1999 No.11 ‘Ha’

PRODUCTION: Ronald Williams, Bryan (BABY) Williams & Mannie Fresh.


01. Intro (Big Tymers) (2.12) 

The album starts off with the famous Big Tymers Introduction which became a common thing on most Cash Money Albums in the future to come.

02. HA (4.52)

The track that put Cash Money and Juve on the map. Unfortunately this version of this track is very poor compared to the Remix versions with Jay-Z & Hot Boys, lyrically. Juve fails to bring the beat alive with a lack of flow on majority of the beat making the original the weakest of the three versions apart from the tight hook and production.

03. Gone Ride With Me (4.23) 

A great production from Mannie Fresh as he brings the listener a nice smooth Cash Money beat. Juve does a great job at keepin the track smooth and running on track. This track was most recognized for the gangsta style content Juve spits about riding with his gun till death as it is the only thing that will be by his side until he dies as he swiftly laces the hook: “My nine is gonna die with me, do a homicide with me, pick up the supply with me, be up in the ride with me…who me?”.

04. Flossin Season w/Big Tymers & B.G (4.33) 

Another tight track laced with a funky touch that Fresh can only do. The track is bangin literally with the Big Tymers & B.G spittin their game about Flossin and showing that shit off. Juve does a nice job on this track and keeps the beat buzzing.

05. Ghetto Children (4.05)

As the album continues the beats stay really smooth such as this beat which has the slight touch of a Westcoast spice added to it. Juvenile’s flow on this track is on target and the rapping is on point as he also once again hits the hooks. Another mellow beat to lay back to.

06. Follow Me Now (3.55)

With a Latino heat added to the beat mixed with Cash Money clicks this track is a unique beat brought to the listener from the production team of Williams & Fresh. The rapping is quite good but the beat fails to gain any major attention at all making this track nothing really special and quite poor.

07. Cash Money Concert (0.51) 

SKIT, trying to get into the concert.

08. Welcome 2 Tha Nolia w/Turk (5.52) 

A typical Cash Money track which kept the label on top especially when it came to club bangers. The high paced South Style beats that CM was responsible for is a perfect example in this track. Turk does an excellent job on rapping and comes close to out doing Juvenile in the song, although Juve has a special style that only he can deliver. The song contains a sample of trumpets which blow out the track sounding similar to the movie ‘Rocky’ main anthem song.

09. U.P.T w/Hot Boys & Big Tymers (4.17) 

A classic track for the Cash Money group as the whole label connects to bring a gangsta beat to the album with the funky flow of Hot Boy members Lil’ Wayne, Young Turk & B.G. All members do a perfect job on this song and it has to be a highlight for the album as they all represent their sets on the N.O streets.

10. Run For It w/Lil’ Wayne (4.45)

Cash Money beat mixed with the tweaks and clangs of Westcoast/Bay Area sounds you expect to hear in a E-40 track. The song is another highlight as Lil’ Wayne & Juve rip the mic up together with perfection. The production though in this track has to get the credit though Juve does holla the ‘Run For It’ anthem in a few songs on the album.

11. HA (Remix) w/Hot Boys (4.25)

The second edition to the infamous ‘HA’ track is perfectly remixed with a Mannie beat which is definately FRESH! The Hot Boys callaborate with their much older and experienced partner Juve as they follow in his footsteps in this remix that clearly out shines the original lyrically though the beat in the original cant be beaten as Jay-Z later showcases.

12. Rich Niggaz w/Turk, Lil’ Wayne & Paparue (5.03)

This track has to be in the top 3 of the album’s best let alone Juve’s profile of tracks as the beat is slamming high on fire. The raps are all on point by all rappers and the production delivers a deep Cash Money beat funky and gangsta rolled into one hot 5 minutes of flamming heat by part of the Hot Boys. A classic track that could of had great potential as a single and ideal for the gangsta rap listener of today, Cash Money fan or not.

13. Back That Azz Up w/Mannie Fresh & Lil’ Wayne (4.25)

The beat that got CM major props alongside ‘HA’. Released as ‘Back That Thang Up’ this club banger had everyone asking the girls to back it up and drop it like its hot in and out of the clubs. Juvenile spits the best ever in the album right here on this beat which Mannie Fresh hits from the back after a great production job. Lil’ Wayne also has a quick hit of the song but this in undoutable the best song in Juve’s career that got him on top of his game and onto the charts bringing back the South to the world after the collapse of Master P’s No Limit Records empire. A club banger that would surely still get ass’ droppin today without a doubt.

14. Off Top w/Big Tymers (3.50)

Perfect gangsta beat where the Big Tymers, notibly Baby, do an excellent job rapping to this Westcoast influenced beat which has the touch of FRESH-ness added to keep it Cash Money style. This beat is perfectly executed by Juvenile and is a must hear for all rap lovers, perfect!

15. After Cash Money Concert (1.19) 

SKIT something unusual that compares to what the Luniz sometimes do in their skits and thats make no sense and just be plain weird and tripped out.

16. 400 Degreez (4.09)

This song is really ‘400 Degreez’ hot cause its a party banger for the clubs and is head boppin, ass droppin Cash Money shit. Juvenile raps and flow are on target and dont miss a skip of the beat at all which help this song become one for the party people who wanna bounce on the dance floor. Production by Fresh is great and the use of robotic voice hooks make this sound like Above The Law’s “Black Superman” on steroids and pitched up to full speed.

17. Juvenile On Fire (4.57) 

Tight production by Fresh again and its a real bumpin beat filled with CM tweaks and thumps. Juve spits game on ho’s and how he calls shots on ass and doesnt front on the ladies. Beats added with Juve raps makes another great song for this LP.

18. HA (Remix) w/Jay-Z (4.25) 

Juvenile couldnt resist on not doin a third instalment of his classic ‘HA’ track but this time inviting Jigga to the Cash Money Concert. The beat stays original as the first without any changes and would have to be the best version out of the three Juve performs in this album. Jigga does his usual raps that he rolls out smoothly and laces the Fresh beat without a single problem. The track was used in the clubs more than the original and gave Juve play around more radio and clubs due to Jay-Z’s contribution. CLASSIC


This album hits the high points for not only Cash Money Records but for the career of Juvenile who quickly became a household name in the rap game after this long awaited release. This album is full of smooth, club bangin, gangsta Cash Money beats that can be taken in by all rap listeners no matter what style you dig. The beats are perfectly composed and Fresh seems to always amaze the listener with his…well, FRESH beats. Juvenile put Cash Money on the map with this album no doubt.