Music News

Juvenile

In the past, New Orleans's Terius Gray, who's over thirty but still Juvenile, has cared more about coochie than about current events; "Back That Azz Up" doesn't exactly qualify as a political statement. It's little wonder, then, that "Get Ya Hustle On," a Reality Check track about the Hurricane Katrina debacle, is such a memorably weird hybrid of righteous anger and thug wisdom. Juvenile rips Mayor Ray Nagin, FEMA and Fox News, among others -- but he also urges destitute locals to "save up your money and find out who got 'em for ten a key." After all, not every crackhead in the bayou drowned, right?

Unfortunately, Juvie doesn't expand on this platform elsewhere on Reality; the disc primarily consists of party bangers ("Pop U," with Fat Joe and Ludacris), street romances ("Addicted," featuring Brian McKnight) and heavy-breathing horndoggery ("Loose Booty," which has nothing to do with pirates). Most tracks are entertainingly bouncy but lyrically predictable -- a far cry from the unique economic proposal Juvie espouses in "Hustle." Call it the New Deal.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts