Juve gives ‘Reality Check’

Juvenile has been a Southern rap fixture since he broke through with the rest of the Cash Money Millionaires in 1998. The label’s string of hit singles and albums solidified them as the top dogs in New Orleans, and a force to be reckoned with in the south. Juve parted ways with Cash Money only to reunite for 2004’s Juve the Great which was a pretty large success thanks to Soulja Slim hit "Slow Motion". The album proved to be a one shot deal, as Juve has once again split from Cash Money and is now representing his joint UTP/Atlantic venture.

With a decade of party-hearty bounce hits like "Back Dat Azz Up" to his name, the New Orleans native hardly qualifies as a political rapper. But while finishing Reality Check, the hurricanes hit, and the Juve wrote "Get Ya Hustle On," a rallying cry for everybody who "need a check from FEMA" after they "lost everything in Katrina." Being one of the first New Orleans rap artists with a major release after the calamity, Juve becomes the voice of New Orleans.

On "Get Ya Hustle On," Juvenile does what most rappers fail to do in their music; use their platform to address some real issues. Juve states, "Your mayor ain’t your friend, He’s an enemy. Just to get your vote, a saint is what he’ll pretend to be. @*#!! em" and "everybody need a check from FEMA…I’m tryna live I lost it all in Katrina." "Break A Brick Down" captures the New Orleans state of mind right now; that get it by any means necessary mentality.

"I Know You Know" has Juvenile teaming up with "R&B thug," Trey Songz. This alluring, suave and laid back joint speaks to Juvenile appreciating his queen; being faithful, and providing for his family, which is rarely explored territory in a rap game where it’s looked at as weak to be monogamous. Trey Songz vocals are a nice touch to the ode. Don’t think Juve won’t take you to the strip club though. On "Loose Booty" and "Rodeo" Juve gives the strip club DJ something to throw on for the strippers to shake something to.

Juvenile hints at his beef all throughout the album taking sneak shots at the Birdman and company, but fully addresses the situation it on "Say It To Me Now." This provides answers some of the questions about their conflicts and serves as a proper conclusion.

Several artists made appearances on Reality Check including Bun B, Ludacris, Fat Joe, Trey Songz, Brian McKnight, Eightball, Mike Jones, Paul Wall and UTP label mates Wacko and Skip.

Juve also has some big help on the production with some tracks from Cool and Dre, Scott Storch and Mannie Fresh. The sound of this album is that classic Juve sound. After his fluctuating label situation, continued conflicts with Cash Money, and after losing it all from the destruction of the unforgiving Katrina, Juve utilizes his latest album to do exactly what the album is named; give a reality check.