In January, members of Vinyl Me, Please Rap & Hip Hop will receive the first-ever official vinyl release of Juvenile’s masterpiece, 400 Degreez. The album comes on transparent yellow vinyl, with an embossed jacket and other Easter eggs. You can sign up to receive it here.
Below, read about why we picked 400 Degreez.
Andrew Winistorfer, Vinyl Me, Please Head of Editorial and Classics A&R: This project started this summer, when we got sort of tossed the keys to the Cash Money vaults. We immediately decided we needed to do a Lil Wayne album, but me and Michael also went through the catalog and gave them a list of albums we wanted to do. We settled on Tha Carter III, Tha Carter II, The Mind of Mannie Fresh, Guerrilla Warfare, 400 Degreez and another one I won’t name because if it does happen I don’t want to spoil it here. We got the go ahead on five of the six for sure, and it was then that we realized that 400 Degreez had never been officially released, and we needed to do that as a separate month. This one feels like a really straight-forward release: It’s never been on vinyl, and here it is. Come get it.
Cameron Schaefer, Vinyl Me, Please Head of Brand: Yeah, and with doing the three exclusive colors, we felt like it was an opportunity to tell the story of Cash Money over the course of a couple months. This might be the way we do this going forward with Classics and Rap & Hip Hop and elsewhere, where we sort of take you on a journey into a label’s catalog over the course of a couple months. It’s a tidy story to tell via records in the span of just a few months, as opposed to trying to do this over a year or something.
Michael, you hadn’t heard this whole album till we full-on picked it. As a younger rap fan, what jumped out at you about it?
Michael Penn II, Vinyl Me, Please Staff Writer: I’ve seen so many memes and been to so many freshman parties that were centered around the big singles coming on, so I heard those. I didn’t hear the full thing till we picked it, and as a huge Wayne fan, it was awesome to go back and see, with the Hot Boy$ stuff and the Juvenile stuff to see where this branch all started. They’ve all been namechecked throughout history, and getting to extend that knowledge beyond the singles was great.
AW: The package on this one is insane. It’s got embossed letters and the shiny foil on it, to the point where it even looks like it’s got jewels embedded on the cover.
CS: It’s so rare that you get the opportunity to say “How audacious can we approach the extras of this package?” This cover and package is the most over-the-top we’ve probably done in a minute.
MPII: We’ve got to be extra. Shout out Pen & Pixel on that crazy cover, too.
CS: It felt like a natural thing, with how over-the-top the cover is, so we did embossing and we did glittery metallic foil, and the stamp on the back. The stencil is the Cash Money logo. Heavyweight jacket, 180-gram, 2 LP. This isn’t an album we should do like, a soft marble on or something. So we went with a bright transparent yellow.
MPII: And I got the best obi strip out.
AW: Yeah, as an Easter egg on this package, when I got the copy for the obi strip from Michael, I laughed for like 10 straight minutes. It’s so perfect. I don’t want to give it away, but make sure you check that out.
CS: Yeah, don’t chuck that one.
Andrew Winistorfer is VMP’s Classics & Country Director, and a writer and editor of their books, 100 Albums You Need In Your Collection and The Best Record Stores In The United States. He’s written Listening Notes for more than 20 VMP releases, and co-produced the VMP Anthologies The Story of Philadelphia International Records, The Story of Quincy Jones, The Story of Impulse and the VMP Classics release of Nat Turner Rebellion's Laugh to Keep From Crying, and executive produced the VMP Anthology The Story of Vanguard. He lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
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