NEW YORK — “If you could have a dream dinner party, who would you invite as your guests?” asks the classic, cocktail party icebreaker.
Sure, I’d have some great minds, a few artists I’ve loved over the years and probably Barbra Streisand (for my parents!) — but perhaps the person I’ve most consistently, hypothetically requested at such an event apart for my requisite Beastie Boys has been none of than a member of Memphis’ Three 6 Mafia, himself, Juicy J.
Maybe it’s his irreverent attitude (for a better idea of it, please listen to the classic “I Can’t”) coupled with his endurance and tenacity to continue growing his career after decades in the business, maybe it’s because he’s just so trippy, or it could also just be that his 2005 Academy Award win is honestly my favorite video on the Internet. In any case, one could only imagine how excited I was to learn that our stars would eventually cross on an early autumn day of costume shopping for a “First Date.” In addition to the Halloween season on the way, “J” as he prefers to be called has long advertised a penchant for skulls. So, Halloween Adventure, with its myriad costumes and flair for gore, was the perfect place for our meeting.
And it was everything I dreamed it would be.
Despite our … divergent ideas on how to have a good time, J’s lust for, among other things, life is contagious and perhaps motivating. His genuine appreciation for every opportunity that has been afforded to him outshines any proclamation about the lifestyle he revels in. “I feel like if you put your mind to it, set yourself some goals, just do it,” he related about how he plans on conquering his five-year-plan of being the black Bill Gates (a sight he also set on “I’m Ballin’ “), and throwing a party on the moon and bringing myself and the camera guys along (a resounding yes to that RSVP). Sure it sounds silly, but it’s a drive he applies just as directly to his career.
“I’ve always been in the studio. I never really took vacations,” he explained about his work ethic as we leafed through weed-themed costumes. “My vacations are pretty much just … just right now. I’m having fun … a lot of artists will probably be like, ‘Oh, I gotta do this interview.’ This is the fun for me.”
I reassured him that the feeling was reciprocated.