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Rapper Juicy J is still riding high on "Dark Horse" collaboration

Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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Rapper Juicy J won an Academy Award with his group, Three 6 Mafia, and topped the Billboard Rap Albums chart with last year's solo effort "Stay Trippy."

But his greatest success to date has come from a dark horse -- Katy Perry's chart-topping "Dark Horse," that is.

"That's been great man. That song has changed my life, being real with you," says Juicy J, who was born Jordan Houston in Memphis, where he formed Three 5 Mafia in 1991. "It was No. 1 for four week, and my phone has not stopped ringing since that song came out. I performed at the Grammys with Katy Perry. The video was such a masterpiece.

"It's done a lot of great things for me, man. It's boosted my career like never before. It's just been a breathtaking situation."

The timing is good for Juicy J as well. Not only did "Dark Horse" work to the benefit of "Stay Trippy" -- which was also Top 5 on the Billboard 200 -- but it's momentum will also help its follow-up, "The Hustle Continues," which the MC says is "90 percent done" plans to have out by late summer or early fall and promises will be something different than "Stay Trippy's" more upbeat, party-centric vibe.

"I'm just gonna tell everybody my story, more about just what went on in my personal life, coming up from the hood to the group to being a solo act now," he explains. "With 'Stay Trippy' I was in California, living my life, just partying and kicking it -- I was trippy, y'know? It was the club life. This (next) one, I still do my little trippy stuff here and there, but now I feel like I can tell people more about the story, more about the grind.

"That's why I named it 'The Hustle Continues,' because I'm still hustling out there. I never stopped. That's how I feel with all my music."

Juicy J, Travi$ Scott and Project Pat perform Tuesday at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 day of show with $60 and $125 VIP tickets also available. Call (248) 858-9333 or visit www.thecrofoot.com.

Web Site: www.thecrofoot.com

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