Artist Mixtape Review- Grand Prix "Juice- the Mixtape"



Grand Prix
Juice- the Mixtape
Rating: 6.5 out of 10

So, I was asked to review the mixtape from Jacksonville native, Jonathan Johnson aka Grand Prix aka 2 mics… and I must be honest (as I was to his face), I was a bit concerned because I’ve heard some of the older records from Grand Prix… and despite Grand Prix being a friend to me and my New Blood/ W.A.T.S. family, I haven’t generally been a fan of his music. There was always a… vocal inconsistency in his records.

Could Prix write raps? Yes. Could he present the raps in a way that would be appealing to the masses? That is what had yet to be seen. The thing about Prix is he annunciates and in truth, when you speak PROPER English you can often times find it difficult to carry words to the end of a bar. The raps will rhyme, but they’ll lack fluidity and you’ll sound… off.

But then I put in Juice and was presently surprised…

Starting off with the traditional Backdoor Music samples and then drifiting me back to the late 80’s/ early 90’s to the fresh and gritty sounds of the rebellious age of hip hop and hearing Rakim (a hero of my youth) do his thing. I found myself nodding my head. So when Prix comes in on track to proclaiming, “Throw your sign that’s from your side! (Let em’ Let em’ Fly!),” I was somewhat in a state of shock… and not because I didn’t like what I was hearing, but because the Grand Prix from the days of “Strangest Places” had EVOLVED!!!! What was written on paper was beginning to become something that was appealing to listen to when he put it on wax.

With a clear upgrade to the flow, sound competition (the likes of Yung Trap and Young Cash being featured on the mixtape), and the swag of DJ Pretty Ricky apparent all on this mixtape, you find yourself moving from one track to the next wondering, “who the fuck this nigga think he is?” But in a very good way….

Of course Prix immediately puts his foot on the gas and whisking you through his lead singles, “Down” with the help of Yung Trap and his summer hit from last year “Bam It Girl” and you begin to think that Prix may just be able to finally, after years of hitting and missing with records, get the break he’s been looking for…

Unfortunately, Prix slips with records like “This My Song,” “Let Us In” and “I Don’t Know” all of which show that although Prix has evolved significantly, poor beat selection and a lack of focus to the flow can lead back into some bad habits and make him sound sluggish behind the mic. But these slips really are minor (as some of the tracks listed as misses on the mixtape like “Let Us In” are pre-Back Door Music) and Prix also shows you that he isn’t just turned into a “Club Rapper,” he’s also managed to maintain his lyrical skill and evolving showmanship on records like “Feet On The Ground.”

“1 Prix, 2 Mics, 1 bottle vodka…
I drink the pain away everytime I take a swallow
I tell my momma it’s nothin, it’s just to ease the pain
I ain’t tell her, I’m easing the pain everyday…”

Prix engages you with a solid beat selection, a stunning presentation behind the mic and the lyrical skills which could never been questioned. He continues to engage listeners in the final lap with Ricky’s shit talking, (surprisingly) Prix shit talking for the first time on a mixtape, and his freestyles to some known records…

AKA (Freestyle Takeoff)-

“I’m black! I’m ashy! I’m ugly, but gifted!
I do my thing on beats!
AKA the Duval Biggie!
I think I run the city!
Bitch I think I’m Bigga Rankin!
I think I’m Bigga Rankin!
Ain’t no aka I REALLY think I’m Bigga Rankin!”

Pretty confident talk from Prix, which is something he’d historically shied away from, but I’m fully supportive of.

Prix also makes sure to show love to his fraternity (Kappa Alpha Psi) and Greeks in general with the Stroll Snippet, something that will sure to make its way to a college party or two…

Focus-

“I’m bigger than I ever been
Stronger than I ever been
Smarter than I ever been
I’m focused…
Power up…”

Concluding with Focus and some shit talking by the homie King Pin one thing is abundantly clear, Prix is ready to fight for the Duval crown. Is there still some work to do on the flow? Absolutely. But there is NO question that where Prix is now allows for him to compete and be put in the conversation after years of grinding… If you’re not a Grand Prix fan now, I encourage you to check out everything that Grand Prix has going on as Juice- the Mixtape is a VERY solid reintroduction to “Mr. Bam It Girl.”


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