(born March 25, 1975), better known by his stage name Juvenile
, is an American rapper, actor, and songwriter. He is also a former member of hip-hop group the Hot Boys. At the age of 19, he began recording raps, releasing his debut album Being Myself
in 1995. He became popular when his 1999 single "Back That Thang Up" was released. In 2003, he returned to Cash Money to record Juve the Great
, spawning the number-one hit "Slow Motion". Following this album he again left Cash Money, and in 2006 he was signed to Atlantic Records. He released Reality Check
under that label. He released his eighth studio album, titled Cocky & Confident
, on December 1, 2009. He released his ninth studio album, titled Beast Mode
, on July 6, 2010.BeginningsJuvenile released the song "Back That Thang Up", which was a big hit in the early 2000s. He first began recording his raps in the early 1990s. One of his early recordings was featured on DJ Jimi's 1991 release, "It's Jimi". The song "Bounce For the Juvenile" was a minor local hit and helped popularize "bounce music," a new rap style emerging out of New Orleans. In his smash hit, "Back That Thang Up," Juvenile included dogs barking as part of the beat for the song.
1994-95: Being Myself
Juvenile's debut album, Being Myself
, was released in 1995 after signing with Warlock Records. The album did not gain much national attention and did not chart, but did fairly well on a local level.
1997: Solja Rags
After the regional success of his debut Juvenile signed to the larger Cash Money Records. In 1997 Solja Rags
, Juvenile's debut album with Cash Money Records, was released. It became popular among local rap audiences, and also saw some national success as it charted on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. It was the first time he worked with Cash Money in-house producer Mannie Fresh, who would go on to produce all of Juvenile's albums on Cash Money in their entirety except Juve the Great
. Also in 1997 Juvenile joined the group the Hot Boys with fellow Cash Money rappers B.G., Turk, and Lil Wayne. They released their debut album as a group, titled Get It How U Live!
1998: 400 Degreez
Juvenile's next album, titled 400 Degreez
was released in 1998. It was his breakout to the national rap scene. The Cash Money label now had joint distribution by Universal Records, which gave the music much more national promotion. This along with much more critically praised music made Juvenile a mainstream star. The album's first single "Ha" and later "Back That Azz Up", both became very successful songs charting on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. Powered by these two singles 400 Degreez
was eventually certified 4X platinum by the RIAA. It is his best selling album to date. However, there came a dispute over who owned the rights to the title of "Back That Azz Up", as another New Orleans performer DJ Jubilee claimed that Juvenile's song sounded very similar to a song of his. In January 2005, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans denied the case.
1999-2002: Tha G-Code & Project English
In 1998, capitalizing off Juvenile's popularity off 400 Degreez
, a remixed version of Being Myself
and reissue of Solja Rags
were released. The second Hot Boys group album, Guerrilla Warfare
also came out and was successful, being certified Platinum. Over the next few years Juvenile released two more solo albums for Cash Money Tha G-Code
in 1999 being certified Double Platinum, and Project English
in 2001 being certified Platinum. These albums each were very successful as they both reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 200, but they did not match the success of 400 Degreez
. UTP Records had promised an album titled 600 Degreez
but it never materialized.
2003-04: Juve the Great & UTP
Juvenile's manager Aubrey Francis and Cash Money's Baby met and worked out a deal for Juve and CMR to partner for another album. Juvenile returned to Cash Money Records in 2003, releasing Juve the Great
. Juve The Great was certified Platinum, it featured the?number-one hit "Slow Motion" featuring Soulja Slim. It was the only number-one hit for Juvenile and Slim before Slim died in November 2003. It topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart on the week of August 7, 2004. The last Hot Boys album, Let 'Em Burn
came out in 2003.In 2005 Juvenile signed a new deal with Atlantic Records for himself, and also a separate label deal for his UTP Records imprint. UTP Records is the label that was started by Juve along with his long time manager Aubrey "Pied Piper" Francis, and older brother Corey. The group called "UTP" (Juve, Skip, and Wacko) released the hit song "Nolia Clap" as part of UTP Records first album release. It was produced by Juve along with producer XL Robertson. Atlantic Records. Juvenile also performed the song "Booty Language". It was part of the soundtrack for the movie Hustle And Flow. Juve performed alongside fellow Atlantic artist at the movies premier party in West Hollywood, California. Juvenile's Slidell, Louisiana home was damaged during Hurricane Katrina. Juvenile and fellow New Orleans rapper Master P and other hip hop artists raised funds and supplies for some hurricane victims. He moved to Atlanta briefly after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In Spring 2006 he returned home to New Orleans.
2006: Reality CheckReality Check
, Juvenile's 2006 album, debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, being his first number-one album. It was certified Gold. Production began in May 2005, most of it being done at a Holiday Inn hotel room in New Orleans. Its first single was "Animal", followed by "Rodeo", "Get Ya Hustle On" produced by Donald XL Robertson, "What's Happenin'" Produced by Terrence "Sinista" Freeman, and "Way I Be Leanin'" featuring Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Skip, and Wacko. A portion of the album was recorded with engineer, Stewart Cararas at his studio Paradigm Park Studios in New Orleans. Within one month, the studio suffered the wrath of Hurricane Katrina
. Stewart now lives and operates in Los Angeles. On signing to Atlantic, Juvenile criticized his former label Cash Money for not giving him enough creative freedoms as well as Federal Emergency Management Agency over his perceptions over their handling of Hurricane Katrina. Shaheem Reid noted "Get Ya Hustle On" as a criticism of the George W. Bush administration handling of the whole Hurricane Katrina Disaster.
2009-2010: Cocky & Confident & Beast Mode
In a 2009 interview with Allhiphop.com writer Han O'Connor, Juvenile stated that his album Cocky & Confident
would take a totally different direction from his last project, which was made when he was still "mourning Katrina." He also revealed that he decided to work only with fresh, young producers on the album and discussed his respect for younger artists like Soulja Boy.Cocky & Confident
was released in December 2009. It peaked at #49 on the Billboard 200. It was Juvenile's lowest charting album since 1997. It featured one charting single, "Gotta Get It", which peaked at #53 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart. Following this album's release Juvenile began work on his next album, Beast Mode
. This album was released in July 2010. Its first single is titled "Drop That Thang".
Juvenile released his tenth studio album Rejuvenation
on June 19, 2012, which was distributed by Rap-A-Lot Records. The first single from the album is "Power" featuring Rick Ross. Juvenile collaborated with Lil Wayne, DJ Khaled, and Drake for the album.
Juvenile had a daughter, Jelani, with Joy Deleston. On February 29, 2008, Juvenile's 4-year-old daughter Jelani was shot and killed in her home, along with mother Deleston and older half sister. It was reported that Deleston's oldest child, 17-year-old son Anthony Tyrone Terrell Jr., returned to the home after police arrived and implicated himself in the murder of his mother and siblings. Terrell was charged with three counts of murder and three counts of aggravated assault. Due to his age, he cannot be held to the death penalty in Georgia, and has since been held in the DeKalb County jail. Though Juvenile received some criticism for not attending the funeral for his daughter and her mother, several statements were released that the rapper was "shocked and devastated" by the event, and also "was extremely saddened to hear the reports. As a private matter he has no further comment." The rapper stated that he made the decision to not appear at the funeral to prevent subsequent media attention, and was concerned that it would divert attention away from the ceremony. Anthony Tyrone Terrell Jr. was sentenced to two consecutive life sentences after he pleaded guilty to killing Joy Deleston, 39, and her daughters, Micaiah, 11, and Jelani. However, Porter said Terrell won’t be eligible for parole for at least 30 years.
In the summer of 2002, Juvenile was arrested for assaulting his barber over charges that the barber was bootlegging his music.In January 2003, Juvenile was arrested in New Orleans on drug charges. The next month, he was sentenced to 75 hours of community service for a fight outside a nightclub in Miami, Florida from 2001.Juvenile was involved in a legal dispute regarding failure to pay child support for his daughter Jelani with Joy Deleston, a deputy sheriff in Gwinnett County, Georgia. A paternity lawsuit was issued by Deleston in 2004, resulting in a DNA test and both parties agreeing that Juvenile was the father of the child. Attorney Randy Kessler represented Juvenile in the case, and stated that the case was resolved peacefully by consent order in 2006.On February 25, 2010, Juvenile was arrested in Arabi, Louisiana. While Juvenile was recording music at a house there, a neighbor called police to report smelling marijuana smoke. He was cited on a misdemeanor charge of marijuana possession and later released on bond. For that charge, he pled guilty in August 2010 and received a suspended three-month jail sentence and six months of probation and paid a $250 fine and court costs.On February 26, 2011, Juvenile was arrested in Sterlington, Louisiana for simple possession and speeding. He is due to appear in court in Ouachita Parish in April. A warrant has been issued for Juvenile's arrest in February 2012, for allegedly failing to pay child support. He faced 90 days behind bars in New Orleans after reportedly skipping payments amounting to $160,000 owed to Dionne Williams, the mother of his 13-year-old son.According to local media outlets and documents obtained by TMZ, the rap star hasn't been paying child support for over five years. A judge has ruled he can avoid arrest and potential jail time if Juvenile, real name Terius Gray, pays $50,000 immediately.