Among the flurry of Cash Money releases during the late '90s, 400 Degreez certainly stands out, and not just as Juvenile's shining moment but also as the album that forced everyone to suddenly take this Dirty South collective very seriously. Before 400 Degreez, Cash Money had been operating relatively well, securing a distribution deal with Universal and broadening its audience with every successive release. But nothing prepared anyone for the success of 400 Degreez, particularly its two anthemic singles, the tongue-twisting "Ha" and the booty-calling "Back That Azz Up." These two songs alone make 400 Degreez noteworthy. They're absolutely two of the best songs to come out of the late-'90s Dirty South boom. Moreover, two remixes of "Ha" come late on the album, one with the Hot Boys, the other with Jay-Z. These four highlights -- "Ha," "Back That Azz Up," and the "Ha" remixes -- break up the album, somewhat concealing the filler. And, yes, there is filler here, as with any Cash Money album, but even it is worthwhile, either because of Juvenile's carefully structured rhyming or producer Mannie Fresh's seemingly bottomless well of hot beats. Among the singles and the filler here, there are also a few great album tracks as well. In particular, "Flossin Season" features some incredibly brash boasts from the Big Tymers, and "Rich Niggaz" features an absolutely frantic beat that ricochets on for five breathtaking minutes. All of this, along with perfect timing, dropping just as the Dirty South broke into the mainstream, made 400 Degreez a phenomenal release for Cash Money, quite arguably the label's crowning achievement. This album, of course, made Juvenile a superstar and, in turn, towered over him for years as the achievement by which he would always be measured.
AllMusic Review by Jason Birchmeier
feat: Big Tymers