Believe it or not, it’s only been slightly more than a year since Milwaukee-bred emcee Juiceboxxx earned his 15 minutes of infamy following what’s been called “the worst on-air rap in TV history” (that we’re inclined to chalk up to technical difficulties) on Wisconsin Tonight. Undeterred by the abundance of snarky national attention from popular publications and the @midnight show segment he inspired in the wake of the ill-fated performance, the Juicer released two new music videos and continued touring throughout 2014—even returning dangerously close to Wisconsin Tonight‘s studio with a few Milwaukee performances.
Today, Juiceboxxx put to bed any remaining doubts he’d gone into hiding with the release of a new mixtape, Highway To The Heartland. However, parts of the 27-song release can’t help but make people ponder whether he’s here to stay. Portions of Heartland—such as sampling @midnight host Chris Hardwick’s televised insults on “Can’t Stop Moving”—directly confront the on-air incident with a sense of poise and motivation to move on. Other cuts seem to show glimpses of Juiceboxxx being battered by self-doubt. “Juiceboy Never Get Away” starts with the viral vocalist saying, “I just don’t fucking give a shit anymore, man. My whole life is a fucking dumbass joke. Whatever.” Similarly, “Might Stop Rapping” and “Third Eye Rhymes” also contain lyrical assertions that the self-proclaimed “Maniac from Mil-Wacky” is considering rap retirement.
Then again, if we know Juiceboxxx, those are probably just tongue-in-cheek lines directed at anybody who thinks he’ll quit doling out the Thunder Jams any time soon. In fact, 34-minute “Thunder Jam Infinity” features a portion of a live show where Juiceboxxx tells the audience how he’s lost “quite a bit of money” on his Thunder Zone energy drink.
“But I’m still making it, and I’m still here, right? That feels pretty fucking good. You can do whatever you want in this life. If you want to make an energy drink, go ahead and fucking do that.”
Inspirational stuff, right? He then threatens to quit music forever if he doesn’t sell three Thunder Zones by the end of the show. You can download Highway To The Heartland for free right now. In our heart of hearts, we seriously doubt it’s the last you’ll hear from Juiceboxxx, but snag the mixtape now just in case.