He didn't rack up a billion YouTube views, wind the clock back to "Hammertime," or break bread with Obama, but in 2012, Juicy J kept poles and palms greased with his hypnotic strip-club anthem "Bandz a Make Her Dance."
So while the year arguably belonged to a certain Korean rapper, we couldn't really get into '13 without tipping our Kenzo cap to the Memphis MC. With dark, synthy production from the in-demand Mike Will Made It and round-two bars from Tunechi and 2 Chainz, Juicy touted the effectiveness of thousand-dollar rolls in the kinds of establishments that boast deceptively playful names like King of Diamonds and Magic City.
But "Bandz," with its twerk-inducing handclaps, wasn't just a monster in the club. The lusty single became inescapable, spawning remixes including features from French "Pop That" Montana, as well as a 26-week, chart-crushing run that had it at #9 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs list at press time. How's that for a track recorded on a microphone that cost less than a pair of white cement J's?
"I actually recorded it on a hundred-dollar microphone," the Three Six Mafia vet revealed to MTV News when he stopped by our New York offices last fall.
"I made the song in a two-bedroom apartment in D.C. not knowing what it was gonna do or what was gonna happen with it," the Oscar winner recalled of the May 2012 release. "I put it out on Twitter and here we are today, real talk."
Asked whether young'uns with similar aspirations should take his low-cost approach as a useful lesson, Juicy chuckled, agreeing: "You can do this, too, Ratchet Studios."
Ratchet, for sure. We won't detail the lyrics here — "chicks clapping and they ain't using hands" should be evocative enough if you spent last year bopping to "Call Me Maybe" — but the song is a connoisseur's celebration of one of the two temples of Southern hip-hop culture (the studio, of course, being the other). And it proved simply impossible not to dance to.
Now with a guaranteed 'hood classic for a lead single, the 37-year-old Taylor Gang affiliate has turned his attention to prepping his first-ever solo album, Stay Trippy. Though an official street date hasn't been set yet, with label backing from Dr. Luke and Wiz Khalifa, the project is slated for a 2013 release.
What made your Best Songs of 2012 list? Tell us in the comments!