February 20, 2016

DJ Paul & Juicy J - Volume 2: Da Exorcist (1994)

I might catch some heat for saying this--or maybe not considering the blog's Memphis rap fanbase--but I think DJ Paul ranks as one of the best samplers in hip hop producer history. The way he abuses the fuck out of vocal samples loaded into MPCs is perhaps the most iconic thing in all of Memphis rap besides the characteristic devilish lyrics and triple-time flowin'. Juicy J is also an incredible DJ and producer that people these days tend to overlook in favor of Paul's credits, but whatever the case, these guys paired together is an unstoppable force. They may have taken a lot of influence, samples, and whole beats from the Orange Mound motherfuckers (Squeeky & Zirk, I mean), but the originality in their sampling techniques really does re-illustrate those elements as totally different forces that they could claim their own. Paul and Juice's second collaboration is quite a bit more sophisticated than the first installation--they flesh their music out more with more layers and dope posse samples (as opposed to sampling random vocals from in and outside of Memphis). Full verses are included as well from pretty much everyone in Triple 6: Project Pat, the under-appreciated Gangsta Blac, Lord Infamous, Koopsta Knicca, Skinny Pimp, among Juicy and Paul themselves and others. Volume 2 sounds like it was recorded in early-mid 1994, and seems to have predated the other big Triple 6 projects from 1994 like Paul's Volume 16, Smoked Out Loc'd Out, and Devil's Playground, so it's got a lovable vintage feel while not sounding too primitive (the same vibe of Come W/Me 2 Hell, Part 2, if you're familiar with that album). In my opinion, this is the best of the three Paul and Juice Mane mixtapes; like I said before, it's a more skilled outing than the first tape, but also more complete and energetic than the shorter Volume 3: Spring Mix. Essential Triple 6 that is a little overlooked when it comes to their best material.