Back That Azz Up Fashion Hip-Hop Juvenile Music

Juvenile’s ‘Back That Azz Up,’ 20 years later — The Undefeated

Juvenile’s ‘Back That Azz Up,’ 20 years later — The Undefeated

The truths about Terius “Juvenile” Grey’s “Again That Azz Up” are easy. Anybody between the ages of 20 and 55 has both a) thrown a twerk to this music; b) caught a twerk to this music; and/or c) carried with them fond twerk reminiscences of Juvenile’s second and hottest single. The truth that America even is aware of what twerking is (and didn’t permit Miley Cyrus to drive a proverbial stake by way of its proverbial coronary heart) is because of the daring brilliance of the black women who (created it and who) swing it, and to Juvenile, Mannie Recent and Lil Wayne.

The Money Cash lexicon is foundational. The Oxford English Dictionary added “Bling Bling” to its pages in 2003.

The track is about to have fun its 20th anniversary on Saturday.

And what individuals overlook is that 400 Degreez, the album “Azz” is on, shifted the course of Down South hip-hop. Degreez doesn’t function the Olympic show of lyricism and storytelling of, say, Outkast’s Aquemini, however Juvenile’s third solo challenge, drenched in New Orleans drawl, taste, dialect and, at occasions, aggression, turned the highest-selling album of 1998 with greater than four million copies bought. 400 is Money Cash Data’ highest-selling challenge so far — topping even Lil Wayne’s landmark 2008 Tha Carter III. 400, together with Grasp P’s MP da Final Don, rank because the biggest-selling tasks of any New Orleans artists prior to now half-century.

The deep reputation of “Again That Azz Up” has origins that date to locations resembling a now-defunct skating rink in Petersburg, Virginia. Teen skate events have been the place issues went down again within the day.

When you have been a black teenage boy within the mid-’90s and needed to satisfy women (as I used to be and did), you went skating. In case you needed a clublike environment, you went skating. Should you needed to be seen, you went skating. It was all there: youngsters in Jordans, Air Drive 1’s, white T-shirts, saggy pants, jerseys, jersey clothes and Child Phat. It wasn’t New York Trend Week, however for us it was extra necessary.

Soda, pizza, scorching canine, water — meals was gasoline, and all of us wanted it for what would come later. It was a mixture of youngsters from the ’hood and the ’burbs that, positive, produced a struggle right here and there. For probably the most half, although, we have been all there for a great time — and never a very long time. The primary half of the day, we skated. For the second half, sneakers returned to the picket flooring. That’s what we actually got here to the rink for: the dance social gathering. And when “Again That” was launched formally as a single, that’s all anybody needed to listen to.

It was in NOLA the place the needle shifted in a fashion that may, by way of a sequence of occasions resulting in Drake’s present-day dominance, endlessly change the trajectory of hip-hop.

It’s extra of a call-and-response anthem than it’s a conventional rap track, and that’s why it sticks. The clear model makes use of “Thang” whereas the specific model makes use of “Azz,” and there was a tug of warfare happening between the 2 that wasn’t nearly profanity. “Azz” is, in fact, the raunchier model — and as sex-crazed youngsters who didn’t but perceive the nuances and intricacies of intercourse, we nonetheless needed to celebration to what all of us a minimum of thought “intercourse” encompassed. However “Thang” has the all-important “Money Cash Data takin’ over …” and the entire model of Lil Wayne’s outro.

Take into consideration the primary 5 seconds of the document, the violin solo with, unequivocally, probably the most well-known name to arms in music historical past: Juvenile’s Money Cash Data/ Takin’ over for the 9-9 and the 2000s. Take into consideration Lil Wayne’s closing set, an unassailable soliloquy of ratchetness that so many nonetheless maintain close to and pricey: Now after you again it up then cease / Now wha-wha-wha-what, drop it prefer it’s scorching … Wobbledy, wobbledy, drop-drop it prefer it’s scorching. Gumbo and po’boys for the musical soul.

For The Music Lovers

Twerks from women have been a particularly priceless foreign money again then for us straight male youngsters. And the younger ladies there knew as a lot. The dance celebration on the rink was a pregame of types to watching BET’s Uncut a couple of years later. We might all anticipate the DJ to spin “Again That Azz Up” as a result of whereas we weren’t precisely positive what we have been doing, we knew we needed to be doing one thing.

You couldn’t be the wallflower when the holy gospel of all heavenly twerkness got here on. None of us realized then that the lyrics, so doused in a dominant male sexuality, have been a lot part of Money Cash’s biggest hits. To us, then, “Again That” wasn’t concerning the precise lyrics. It was extra concerning the second. Unbeknownst to us, the second and the lyrics would stick with us by means of highschool and school (for many who went), by way of marriage and divorce.

“Woman / You appears good …”

“Ha” was the primary single from Juvenile’s 400 Degreez (extra on that in a second) and made him Money Cash Data’ brightest star. Based mostly in New Orleans, the label rose to regional prominence across the similar time that one other NOLA conglomerate, Grasp P’s No Restrict Data, was attaining nationwide success. After the murders of Tupac Shakur and Biggie Smalls, hip-hop’s focus left the East Coast and the West Coast and planted flags in newfound artistic capitals — “newfound” within the sense of the remainder of the nation lastly taking discover.

Money Cash was already dwelling as much as its identify by the point Juvenile’s 400 dropped. Magnolia Shorty, B.G., U.N.L.V. and others had launched a plethora of bayou classics. The Scorching Boys — Money Cash’s hip-hop equal of the Backstreet Boys and ’N Sync, and made up of Lil Wayne, Juvenile, B.G. and Turk — helped elevate the label as a gaggle and as they spun off as solo acts.

And the yr 1998 was an enormous one in rap. DMX crossed over to mainstream success whereas sustaining an undeniably genuine dirty exterior. A duo of No. 1 albums in the identical calendar yr — It’s Darkish and Hell Is Scorching and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood — made him the most important solo rap artist of the yr. Jay-Z’s Vol. 2 … Onerous Knock Life, the primary of his albums to debut atop the Billboard 200, marked the arrival of Shawn Carter as a celebrity. Lauryn Hill’s Grammy-winning The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, with its palpable and relatable power, was an examination of black life, black love and black nervousness.

Nothing was ever the identical for Juvenile, Money Cash or any get together we’d ever attend for the remainder of our lives.

However it was in New Orleans the place the artistic needle shifted in a fashion that may, by way of an idiosyncratic chain of occasions main all the best way to Drake’s present-day dominance, perpetually change the trajectory of hip-hop and its stranglehold on popular culture. And it was Feb. 24, 1999, the day “Again That Azz Up” was formally launched as a single, that New Orleans turned a worldwide hip-hop acme. Nothing was ever the identical for Juvenile, Money Cash or any celebration we’d ever attend for the remainder of our lives.

“I’m getting a bit of this,” Mannie Recent lately recalled Lil Wayne saying when he heard an almost accomplished model of the document. “There’s no approach on the earth [“Back That Azz Up”] happening with out me being on [it].”

And the video, shot at a live performance in Baton Rouge close to Juvenile’s Carter G. Woodson Center Faculty, was extra really a block social gathering. E-40, Kurupt and their squads have been even there — however didn’t make the ultimate reduce. Juvenile had truly been performing the track at native golf equipment a cappella for nearly a yr earlier than its recording. Credit score the manufacturing genius of Mannie Recent for bringing the track — which, in essence, is bounce music’s first shot into the veins of mainstream America — to the musical plateaus it eternally twerks upon.

Recent is the wizard who gave Money Cash its quirky, syrupy, virulent signature sound of heavy bass and orchestralike backdrops. Recent produced each music in the course of the early Money Cash years — with out utilizing samples. Recent is liable for a sound that created its personal tradition inside the tradition and made stars of many, putting him in the identical firm as Dr. Dre, Kanye West and Pharrell. He’s in that pantheon.

The music has largely been bulletproof to criticism. Nicely, for probably the most half. It’s raunchy, sure. Actually, it’s misogynistic. It’s additionally full of sexual innuendo to factors the place it’s not even sexual innuendo anymore, however quite foreplay earlier than foreplay.

However “Again That Azz Up” is a wildly, weirdly romantic music — Woman you appears good, gained’t you again that a– up/ You’s a superb m—–f—–, gained’t you again that a– up — that has survived 20 years principally off of the emotion it faucets into and the reminiscences it resurfaces. The dirty school home events. The drunken day events. The strip golf equipment the place “Again That Azz Up” is unofficially written into its structure. This track is the anthem of each wedding ceremony reception that turns up as soon as the elders depart and the open bar means shirts get untucked and heels get slipped off. This 1999 single, for 20 consecutive years, has been at hearts (and loins) of this era of black America in a means no different can lay declare to.

However one Juvenile admits he wasn’t initially bought on. And he and his cohort felt they have been making for ladies. “I didn’t need ‘Again That Azz Up’ to be a single. I needed to be the road, that robust or hard-core … m—–f—–,” Juvenile has stated. Being hard-core wasn’t getting him paid, although. “[My brother and my close friend] have been like, ‘You must make songs for the ladies. That’s your promoting level.’ I’m sort of glad they pressured me into the entire ‘Again That Azz Up’ factor.”

This music is the anthem of each wedding ceremony reception that turns up as soon as the elders depart and the open bar means shirts get untucked and heels get slipped off.

A whole era is grateful. The music’s legacy speaks for itself. Drake’s “Follow,” Lil Wayne’s “Lollipop,” Snoop Dogg’s “Drop It Like It’s Scorching” and Metropolis Women and Trina’s “Run Them Bands Up” all include samples and lyrical interpolations of Juvenile’s ode. As do Audio Push’s “Theme Track,” Massive Okay.R.I.T.’s “1999,” G-Eazy’s “Drop” and Massive Sean’s “Dance (A$$)” remix with Nicki Minaj. Money Cash’s lexicon is foundational. The Oxford English Dictionary added “Bling Bling” to its pages in 2003. “Again That Azz Up” is as necessary to the tradition as The Hole Band’s “Excellent.” As timelessly nostalgic as Rick James and Teena Marie’s “Hearth and Want.” As passion-triggering as Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On.”

“Lots of people don’t realize it was met with, ‘Nah, perhaps the world not prepared for it,’ ” Mannie Recent has stated of the track. “Quick-forward 20 years later, it stood the check of time. I don’t see it going nowhere.”


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Is there additional proof that Juvenile’s “Again That Azz Up,” is way past a basic rap single from 400 Degreez, a basic rap album?

Truly, there’s.

“The day we shot that video, man,” Juvenile stated, “it was raining so onerous … I assumed it wasn’t gon’ occur.” Not even Mom Nature noticed match to cease rap’s most iconic social gathering anthem from assuming its rightful, deserved place in popular culture historical past.

Justin Tinsley is a tradition and sports activities author for The Undefeated. He firmly believes “Money Cash Data takin’ ova for da ’99 and da 2000” is the single-most impactful assertion of his era.

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