Juvenile Breaks Down His 25 Most Essential Songs

Juvenile "Solja Rag" (1997)

Album: Solja Rags
Label: Cash Money
Producer: Mannie Fresh

Juvenile: “That was the song that set it off. I thought [that was my most creative song]. That’s what gave me the idea to start making records like that. Just rhyming in patterns that’s different and odd. The first time you might not like it, but if you listen to it two or three times it’ll get ya. You listen to it in the context of what I’m saying, it’ll really catch ya. I tried to make songs that relate to everybody.

“‘Solja Rag’ showed me ‘You got something nobody can do. You can do something nobody had ever done, be totally different and still get your point across.’ ‘Solja Rag’ opened a whole new field for me. It gave me a little avenue of my own that I could make my own music on.

 

We had a few million way before [the Universal deal]. We didn’t care to sign was because we was selling 200,000 without a label. And 200,000, that’s a couple million. We just kept going and going until we got them up to $30 million.

 

“We didn’t play the song for people in the club. When you first heard it, it was on the radio and we got a good response from day one. It triggered a whole lot of things for us. It made us able to do the Hot Boys album. It made us able to call ourselves the Cash Money millionaires and have that kind of money.

“We had a few million way before [the Universal deal]. Universal has been after us for a year and a half before we signed. We didn’t care to sign was because we were one of those companies who were well-structured. We was selling 200,000 without a label. And 200,000, that’s a couple million. We were selling tickets and we dropped a lot of albums. It was like, ‘We don’t need you.’

“It was a numbers game, because Universal wasn’t the only people at the table for us. So we kind of had a little leverage for them, and we just kept going and going until we got them up to $30 million. Everything went good after that.

“I was a major part of the company. I was involved with a lot of the thought process on what our next move was going to be. Once it got to that point it was like, ‘Okay, we’re all going to sit down and vote on what to do next.’ But the overall decision is always in Slim’s hands. Slim is really the owner of the company and he makes the last decision, but he always kept in mind what our thoughts were before he made the decision.”

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