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Juicy J's "Ballin" Single "Featuring" Kanye is an Exercise in Unmet Expectations

Juicy J and Kanye on the same track is a guaranteed banger, right? Wrong.
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Juicy J and Kanye West on the same track is a guaranteed banger, right? 

Wrong.

On Wednesday (September 28), the Three 6 Mafia rapper unveiled "Ballin," a brand new single off his forthcoming Rubba Band Business: The Album. Of course, the song was premiered by Zane Lowe on Beats 1 Radio.

Setting aside the fact Juicy J released the similarily-titled "I'm Ballin'" in 2012, for his part, the Memphis native comes correct with two quintessential Juicy J verses. But Kanye? His entire contribution to the song is a repeated three-word hook: "And I'm Ballin." That's it. Three words. Over and over and over and over again.

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To call this effort lazy would be an understatement, but the real problem here is unmet expectations. When Juicy J and Tidal announced a "Ballin" video premiere event last week, Kanye's name was attached as the feature artist. Naturally, fans, like myself, assumed Kanye would at most be contributing a full guest verse, at minimum a memorable chorus. Instead what we received was Juicy J "featuring" a leftover, pitchy, chopped up Kanye vocal. 

You can't blame Juicy J, his label, his handlers and the streaming platforms he aligned himself with for the release for promoting the song as 'Juicy J featuring Kanye West' since Kanye is indeed featured on the track, which means moments like this should serve as a reminder to us all that fans, just as much as artists, deserve to bare the brunt of unmet expectations.

"Ballin" marks the first time in just over ten years Juicy and Kanye have appeared together on a track, the last coming in 2006 when Three 6 Mafia remixed Most Known Unknown single "Side 2 Side." Now that was a banger.

***

By DJ Z, who loves to argue with you on Twitter.

Photo Credits:William Azcona / Instagram

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