Juvenile: A Moment of Clarity

Though he wasn’t the youngest Hot Boy, Juvenile certainly seems to have matured in the last eight years. From his salacious ballads, Juvenile is committed to showing the other side of the lifestyle with the upcoming Reality Check.

In a candid discussion with AllHipHop.com, Juvenile touches on this new vision, his reactions to Katrina and beliefs of what really happened. While Juvenile was a public figure in activism for relief, he not only regrets that – but offers greater insight than has been seen from many of his peers. Reality Check seems to be advice that Juvenile is not only offering, but as something the New Orleans playboy is taking himself.

In addition to that, Juvenile reveals the status of his former Hot Boy fraternity and corresponding label. Lastly, for all you chain snatchers out there, Juvy’s got a memo for you – but, you’d better snatch this feature first.

AllHipHop.com: Tell me about Reality Check. The title leads that this could be responsive to Hurricane Katrina…

Juvenile: [Reality Check] is basically what we all go through sometimes in life. Or, some of us ain’t even had our reality checked yet, you know what I’m saying. But for me, Katrina was mine, I had the title of the album from before Katrina even hit. So I hadn’t had mine yet, know what I mean? When, when the hurricane hit, they sent me back to the studio to really, really make the title true, ‘cause it changed everything, it made me really feel like, “Damn, how could I have a title like that before a hurricane and be so appropriate?”

AllHipHop.com: Did you change songs or add new ones?

Juvenile: I changed songs, added new songs. I mean, it delayed everything for me because you know I was close to putting my album [out around that time.] My reality check was like man, no matter what you do or how big you make it or how much money you made – I just built my house – no matter how much you accomplish, you still a n***er. I ain’t no better than nobody else, ‘cause I do still have problems [like ordinary] people.

AllHipHop.com: Do you think people scoff when artists become activists? I mean, you have money, and a lot to come “home to,” so to speak…

Juvenile: Everybody wasn’t like that, but I do think the majority thinks like that. I mean, the true colors come out during the worst times. They seen me full of alcohol, speak your sober mind, because you can’t control the truth then. It looked like it was a whole bunch of drunk ass people working for the government until the truth came out, you know what I’m saying? The truth came out and the answer is: they ain’t gonna give a f**k about us.

AllHipHop.com: What’s the status down there now, like you know, it’s out of the media, it’s not really prominent like that anymore. People kind of want to know like how is it.

Juvenile: I said all, all of the media, y’all full of s**t, you know. And probably won’t play me, probably won’t show my commercials or nothing, probably won’t play my videos or nothing but I got to get out, to me y’all full of s**t.

AllHipHop.com: How so?

Juvenile: Y’all should of, a lot of them should have been doing something different than what they was doing and showing. And then you, enough you’re not showing the truth, ’cause the truth is the levees didn’t break. The levee was breached, but not by water. It was breached by military, by military firearms. People heard a boom, then the waterways. So, you know it’s a whole bunch of lies man. Honestly when you saw me at that [Red Cross] press conference, you know, I was really in there mad, like, “Y’all full of s**t.” I really lost my s**t, you sure they didn’t, the insurance agency really ain’t giving me nothing yet, know what I’m saying? Oh, I was really, I walked out.

AllHipHop.com: A lot of people have military-related theories…

Juvenile: What happened was the water was backing up in the wrong areas: the tourist areas. And they knew it, and it was backing up in areas where some strong people was politically, and on other scales were, and those people knew what was going on. Like man, y’all could have fixed this pump system where everybody could be safe, but y’all fixed one area of the city. We watched them over the past couple of years, you know the pumping system that was designed to pump water on the lower main. They blew the levee.

AllHipHop.com: Wow.

Juvenile: It’s more like out with the old, in with the new. Now you got [wealthy real estate barons] down there, buying up all the property – now it’s a big business venture. If you didn’t pay your taxes on your property – and half of the people weren’t able to pay taxes, you know – a lot of people lost their money for real.

AllHipHop.com: Is this a new era of political mindedness for you?

Juvenile: Nah, you ain’t gonna catch me doing a public anything, I’m not like that, all you’re gonna catch me doing is telling my people, ‘Get what the f**k you gonna get and get it right now,’ man. Get what you can get right now. Make the best of out of life you know what I’m saying. Stop crying, don’t feel sorry for yourself, do what you gotta do. It’s time to eat.

AllHipHop.com: Moving on, what’s your relationship like with Cash Money these days?

Juvenile: None.

Juvenile: Trying to take five with your boy, whenever you want to fight —

AllHipHop.com: For real?

Juvenile: Yeah, it’s for real.

AllHipHop.com: Why’s it like that?

Juvenile: ‘Cause, [the] man got a big mouth.

AllHipHop.com: Who?

Juvenile: Baby. He got a big mouth, [I’m] gonna punch him in it.

AllHipHop.com: What’d he say this time?

Juvenile: A lot. Now, what I’m saying, is how you even know he saying something? He’s always saying something ‘cause we gonna, I’m gonna get it on with him.

AllHipHop.com: I heard y’all was working out a reunion of with Cash and Hot Boys or something.

Juvenile: Yeah.

AllHipHop.com: Why it didn’t go through?

Juvenile: There’s another reunion between, that’s another reunion involving Cash Money, I think. I ain’t caught up with Cash Money thing. You probably [heard] B.G. talking about me, and him, and Mannie Fresh.

AllHipHop.com: Right, right, so no reunion? Well, what about B.G. though?

Juvenile: No, nah, nah. We be bumping heads with each other, we be holler and stuff like that, you know.

AllHipHop.com: Are you and B.G. on good terms?

Juvenile: Yeah we good. But you know, we got a situation, and I got my situation right now. And it like we both trying to make it happen, like, “You got your little camp and I got my little camp,” we agree to do songs with each other, but it’s like, we both in motion. You know the Hurricane killed everything, too.

AllHipHop.com: Are you working with Mannie on this album?

Juvenile: All the time, all day. He ain’t even Cash Money either.

AllHipHop.com: Yeah, I know. Last year you were the first person that confirmed that, at the BET Awards.

Juvenile: Yeah, people didn’t believe me, people was looking at me like I was crazy or something, I’m telling you.

AllHipHop.com: Well, what about Wayne? His album is very hot right now…

Juvenile: You like that “Party Man” [actually titled “Fireman”] song?

AllHipHop.com: Yeah, it is cool, but the album is better. What are your thoughts on his tattoo tear? People wonder about that kind of stuff these days…

Juvenile: Tattoos [tear] is people’s fashion nowadays. My homey told me, they told me, when you get the little tattoo [tear] like that that means you put in some work. I’m gonna bash them, [that] little boy that grew up and he needs daddy. What I’m say is nobody remembers [him in the street], so all this s**t you saying, is false. Now far as rap, he’s a good rapper, he been a good rapper. He’s been to the best schools, he been, he been a good boy.

AllHipHop.com: In the summer, there was a rumor of a dude who allegedly took your UTP chain…

Juvenile: Man, that’s a long story. But that dude, honestly, [it must have been] one of the little cats, ‘cause I don’t have a chain like that. One of little cats on my bus got, guy got a little chain and slipped a little over, you know what I mean? And I guess since she give the chain to her dude and he got an itch, he was gangster and everything [sarcastically]. Man, keep the chain, da, da, da. I don’t even know what happened, the end of the story I don’t even know what happened with the chain.

AllHipHop.com: There were pictures on the Internet for a second.

Juvenile: Yeah, he come back on, you never saw him back on it, I wonder why you never see the Indian, right? We straightened it. He so stupid is out on the web site and showed his face on TV. Now you’re playing. Jump on the TV, that was like something on national TV, I got the chain, it’s me, we got the gun, okay, so now you know where, where is [the chain now]?

AllHipHop.com: What prompted you to do this “Rodeo” single?

Juvenile: It really falls upon the Reality Check title. And that song is an uplifting song for women. Once you see the video, you’ll understand that I’m trying to show you what these women go through, the women that stay in strip clubs what they go through after they leave away from the strip club. Some of them got kids, some of them forced women, forced into doing that. Some of them try to go to school, don’t have nobody to help them, some of them been badder than that. I’m showing you the other side of the picture. I’m just saying [to the women], “You’re beautiful anyway.” I got a daughter, I got a momma, and I got a wife. So I look at things differently, you know what I’m saying, I look at things like how could I make a song for them what I need, you know what I mean? Getting off of the G upside that you always catch me on, because every time you hear a song from G you expect it to be this way, you know what I’m saying? But this is something different and also when you get off into the album and you see there, that’s one in a million, you know what I’m saying, it’s like it was the only song on my album that was really radio playable to that extent.

AllHipHop.com: Given the reality we’re faced with in 2006, why should people get this album?

Juvenile: All I got to say is you ought to get my album. My album was generally done before the hurricane hit. But the hurricane hit, and I tried to change up as much but you’ll probably get more footage ‘cause I got a DVD coming out, and you’ll get more footage of the people actually [involved], me actually in New Orleans, and you seeing it really handle the truth because you’re talking everybody [affected] but the White people.

AllHipHop.com: Do you ever feel that moves like that could compromise your gangster?

Juvenile: [People are] kind of they scared to make songs like that, song needs to be made. I’m G’d up all the time, I am who I am, you know what I’m saying? I don’t feel like making a song like that takes anything away from my character, I feel like you know my respect stays there because I can make a song like that and I can make a song like that, you know what I mean and I ain’t gonna cross my boundaries.

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