Retro Review: 400 Degreez
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Retro Review: 400 Degreez

400 Degreez album cover
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400 Degreez, by Juvenile

While it was his third studio album, 400 Degreezit was basically the mainstream introduction of Juvenile. It served it’s purpose as a wedge for Cash Money to get their foot in the door, but it’s nowhere near the classic it could have been with a little more attention to detail. It has its place in hip-hop history, but not as one of the greatest albums of all time haha.

  • Lyrics
  • Instrumentation
  • Production
  • Features
  • Longevity
  • Impact
  • Personal Preference
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Review

Lyrics
Even though his lyricism and tone have improved since this album, they’re nothing impressive or insightful this go-round. His biggest appeal is the way he sounds, and the anthemic qualities of his songs. It’s all pretty repetitive, but in some cases, it works.
Instrumentation
Mannie Fresh definitely did his part in making this album better. The beats are the strong point of 400 Degreez, all catchy and more memorable than most of the songs themselves. That’s probably why that Cash Money Instrumentals album did so well, haha.
Production
The production value was easily the WORST aspect of the album. Shit, take the first song, “Ha,” and see if you can’t get that same sound recording through a styrofoam cup. While the other songs on the album are a little better, you can easily tell that this was a low-budget album, and for the time of its release, that’s just uncalled for. Especially with the Universal-backing that Cash Money had at the time. I don’t blame Juve for that, though.
Features
Most of the features came from the in-house Hot Boys (B.G., Turk, Lil Wayne, Juvenile) and the Big Tymers (Baby and Mannie Fresh), but they did manage to land a Jay-Z feature as well. 400 Degreez was a mainstream introduction to the whole Cash Money crew, but I think the most notable introduction is from Lil Wayne. So many people fell in love with the kid for this album, that his first solo, Tha Block Is Hot, reached platinum status faster than 400 Degreez. Now, I’m not going to say that the Jay-Z verse on “Ha” was garbage…but it was severely overrated.
Longevity
Most of the songs on this album just feel like filler and don’t really hold up well compared to modern albums. That being said, there are a couple exceptions. The obvious one is “Back That Azz Up,” which can still be heard pretty much everywhere. Every now and then, I’ll catch someone playing some version of “Ha” on a satellite radio station. Usually, it’s the Jay-Z remix version, even though I think the Juvenile-only version is better.
Impact
I’d be in denial if I said this album didn’t impact the mainstream in a major way. While Master P managed to still have some clout in the New Orleans rap scene, this kinda solidified the direction that hip-hop would be going for roughly the next decade. As much as I would like to say that this was because of Juvenile, it was mainly because it introduced some major players for the near future. That being said, the follow-up “Tha G-Code” ended up being a lot better than this album, and wouldn’t have been possible if 400 Degreez wasn’t as successful as it was.
Personal Preference
Listening to this album was a decent trip down memory lane, but it’s nowhere near as good as it used to be when I was still in high school. For nostalgic purposes, it got higher points, but if this album had come out recently, it probably wouldn’t have gotten as much love, from me or anyone else.

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