juvenile – 400 degreez (1998)

The cover was prototypical; the music became an authoritative success model. ‘400 Degreez’ relates Juvenile’s perceptiveness with buffeting beats that do everything from cruise to smack to bounce. In an unforgettable year for hip-hop, ‘Ha’ persists as one of its most profound statements. On the track, Juvenile flicks through characters from housing projects like a deck of cards: drawing one, revealing, shuffling, revealing another. In 2006, Robert Christgau described the rapper as “one more bore whose idea of entertainment is threatening to kill people.” The ignominious reaction is a credit to the underlying scope of his work. Where some hear the ordinary, others recognise the quintessential. 

28/30

A favourite: ‘Flossin’ Season’ 

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