Last week, Winter Storm Pax pulverised Georgia, coating the state in sleet and ice and making travel nearly impossible. In a city like Atlanta that rarely sees debilitating winter weather, the storm was a major concern—the second of two this year that left the metropolitan area paralysed and in a state of emergency. On the bright side, plenty of rappers had a field day with the storms on Instagram, and for the first time in history all of the snow references in rap songs became more than just extended metaphors. Enter OJ Da Juiceman‘s Alaska In Atlanta 2, which couldn’t have come out at a more fitting time.
The Atlanta-bred rapper is one of Gucci Mane‘s earlier collaborators: the pair grew up in the same apartment complex and were early label mates on Never Again Records in the mid-2000s. Both spent the majority of the last decade making their way through the southern underground mixtape circuit on their respective vanity labels, So Icey and 32 Entertainment, releasing dozens upon dozens of tapes and rarely straying from regional radio or into major-label territory. Although the Texaco Shawty (see also: Mr. 32, Boulder Crest Shawty, etc) hasn’t seen the same level of widespread acclaim as Gucci, he’s undeniably carved out a corner of Atlanta (and the Internet’s) heart. His playful wordplay and energetic adlibs give him a distinctive sound among legions of carbon-copy rappers—repeated yells of “AYE!” and “OKAY!” on virtually every verse make Juiceman easily memorable among his peers.
Alaska In Atlanta 2 is one of Juiceman’s best distillations of this style to date. Featuring production from stalwarts like Metro, Zaytoven, and Sonny Digital, as well 808 Mafia members TM88 and Southside, the tape features all the Jucemanic qualities that have endeared fans to his work for years. His bars veer from strikingly dark (“dancing with the devil ever since I was in Pampers”) to comically absurd (“all this guacamole got my pants on MC Hammer/ smoking on the gas like the n***a got cancer”). The DJ Holiday drops sprinkled over every track are so familiar-sounding at this point that a no-DJ version of Alaska In Atlanta 2 would feel downright uncomfortable. Sparse guest appearances from Bloody Jay, Lil Dre, Gucci Mane, and Gorilla Zoe keep the tape from overcrowding, so we can enjoy Juiceman’s rhythmic delivery and well-honed style. Don’t look for astounding punchlines or sonic innovation on Alaska In Atlanta 2, because you won’t find it. But if you’re looking to hear OJ Da Juiceman reliably deliver, look no further because you will—and he’s damn proud of it: “I do dirt all by myself, ’cause they talk that I’m so friendly/that be the same n***a that you knew since elementary”.
OJ Da Juiceman’s Alaska In Atlanta 2 is out now. Download via Datpiff.