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Reality Check

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Album Review

Since his last full-length, Juvenile's situation changed in so many ways. He topped Billboard with the single "Slow Motion," he had a not-so-friendly split with his label, Cash Money, and then Hurricane Katrina and its grim aftermath hit his New Orleans home hard, destroying his house and scattering friends and family across the country. There was also a three-single build-up to the album, with the raw mixtape hit "Animal" setting the streets on fire and the smooth "Rodeo" keeping radio happy before "Get Ya Hustle On" and its accompanying video painted the rapper as New Orleans' most militant revolutionary, with Bush, Cheney, and Nagin all in his sights. Folks who caught the edited version of the song missed out on Juvy's true assessment of the situation, which is basically that FEMA and the rest of the government have forgotten the Crescent City, so pushing crack is the way to step up and provide. Whether or not the powers that be edited the word "Pyrex" out of the tune because they felt it was product placement or were aware it was slang for a crack pipe, the track is a bleak party number that's irresponsible while also being a stunning breakaway hit that brings into question whether or not the big corporations pimping it are now comfortable with crack dealing or totally unaware of how street-slang/street-life has progressed. The rest of the album is nowhere near as subversive, but Juvenile has constructed a wonderfully varied collection with club tracks, street burners, and even "one for the ladies." "Addicted," with smooth crooner Brian McKnight, is the blueprint for delivering a bedroom number without selling out, while all the previous hits sound even better here, surrounded by album tracks that are inspired. Special mention goes to "I Know You Know," which is a great portrait of domestic life in the hood (Juvy speaking to his woman: "I'm comin' home with a big bag of groceries/And somethin' we can smoke up"), but longtime followers of the man's story should jump right to the end of the album and check his bitter beef track, "Say It to Me Now," which addresses the Cash Money split. Drop the laser anywhere and Juvenile's lyrics are tricky, wry, riveting, but most of all, brutally honest and free of any major-label influence. Love it or be horrified by it, there's no denying that the album's title is as accurate as they come.

Customer Reviews

"Why Not" Cop the year's greatest album?

I'll say that to Kanye when he comes out. The album starts off with a hilarious intro and goes into the track of the year "Get Ya Hustle On", "Around The Way" still manages to keep the blazing heat going, until the Scott Storch-Produced Banger, Wacko featured "Sets Go Up" comes on. Juvey's assembled a decent crew that can hold their own! "Rodeo" is obviously great, Juvey and Cool & Dre can't go wrong, then comes "What's Happenin" and just for the record, "Juvenile is the $%^!" "Loose Booty" might rival "Back That Azz Up" in terms of Juvey's best booty anthem. The Jay-Z sampled Mike Jones, Wacko, Skip & Paul Wall assisted "Way I be Leanin" is a certified classic club bangah! Cool & Dre's mad production goes on through "Break A Brick Down", and another classic strip club anthem comes courtesy of "Who's Ya Daddy", "I Know You Know" is a solid Slow Jam and, "Keep Talkin'" is pretty good. "Rock Like That" features '05's best rapper, Bun B with 06's best rapper, Juvenile. "Why Not" has Juvey flowing over a classic Lil' Jon beat and "Animal" reunites two old friends, Juvey & Mannie Fresh, I'm not too fond of "addicted" but it's still good, I never listend to "Holla Back", so I won't assume, "Pop U" is the big name collabo and is great, "Say It To Me Know" disses Baby (or so I think), and that wraps up a classic, NOW WHY HAVEN'T YOU BOUGHT IT, DAMN IT?

Juvenile's Best Album to Date

Juvenile shows his talent like never before in this album. No joke, compared to every single juvenile album combined, this album is superior in terms of rhymes, production, and general enjoyability. Almost every song is incredible. I can't stop listening to this album in my car, on my computer, on my iPod. For anyone interested in southern rap, general hip-hop, bounce, or just good music, this album comes highly recommended by a LONG time juvenile listener.

Good work by Juvenile

Reality check is by no means his best work in my opinion but it is still pretty good. After a rough start the album really hits it's stride around Rodeo, the best track on the album. But unfortunatly it falls off at the end again. Reality Check hosts many guest spots, the best being on Way I be leanin' with Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Skip and Wacko. Juvenile also has a message behind most of the songs, which is good to see coming from the south. Best songs: Rodeo, Way I be leanin', Break a brick down, who's ya daddy and I know you know. Not worth buying the whole album but buy the middle portion.

Biography

Born: March 26, 1975 in New Orleans, LA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Having come up in the Hot Boys group alongside superstar Lil Wayne, New Orleans rapper Juvenile is a Southern hip-hop veteran, and a chart-topping one as well, having climbed the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 with his 2004 single "Slow Motion." Born Terius Gray, Juvenile was one of the initial figures involved in New Orleans' "bounce" craze of the early '90s, an uptempo style of hip-hop that combined gangster rap and party music. Besides an affiliation with the bounce group U.N.L.V., Juvenile was featured...
Full Bio
Reality Check, Juvenile
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