We made a playlist with all of our sleeper hits. You can listen to them here.
Memphis’ Jucee Froot does not play. She gnashes beats with her commanding vocal, but to my chagrin, I am just now getting my Jucee Froot education. Though the artist has been releasing music for the better part of the past decade, my introduction to Jucee’s work comes by way of her latest project, Black Sheep. Packed with bangers and wonderful collaborations with Rico Nasty, A Boogie wit da Hoodie, Juicy J, and more, Black Sheep is yet another reminder Memphis is—and has always been—a clear hub for hip-hop to thrive and evolve.
Picking the sleeper hit on Black Sheep is about capturing Jucee Froot’s ethos in one song. Though there are plenty of potential hits to be found on the album—“Loyal 100” is the most blustering song, and “Queen Talk” stands out as the mission statement of the record—“Sidewalk” is the decided sleeper hit of Black Sheep.
From the slowed down and booming production to Jucee’s bludgeoning the beat with her punchlines (“These n****s sidewalk / They ain’t street”), “Sidewalk” stands out on Black Sheep as it breaks the syrupy and quick-tongued mold of the rest of the project. “Sidewalk” takes its time growing into its hit status. Her slackjaw flows slip into breathless deliveries, and back to the drawling, with such precision.
Jucee Froot’s great success is her ability to make her voice malleable while never losing its forceful edge. Even at her most loose, she never loses her fire.
“Sidewalk” is meant to be played loud, with the bass all the way up. “Sidewalk” is intended to break speakers. You’re expected to play “Sidewalk” and watch the cars in your rearview mirror shake from the sheer disruption and power of the track. When Jucee raps “Bitch I been a monster,” she says it with her chest, but with this attractive air of nonchalance. Black Sheep and “Sidewalk” are strong showings from a rapper continuing her rise.
I’d like to end this piece with a two-year-old comment a Jucee Froot fan wrote on a piece about the rising artist: “Salute baby! Yall just now catching up, better speed up because shes [sic] taking off!” Amen.