Sunday, November 30, 2008

Respect Your Elders- Juice Crew

Long before the Native Tongues, the Wu, D.I.T.C., BCC, the Dungeon Family and G-Unit and yes even DIPSET cemented themselves within Gotham's rap scene as formidable rap collectives, there was the Juice Crew; a talented posse formed by Queens producer, Marley Marl. The group's name was taken from radio personality, Mr. Magic's alias, Sir Juice.

Initially the group comprised of Queens's natives MC Shan, Biz Markie, Big Daddy Kane and femme fatale, Roxanne Shante. However, in the latter years the likes of Kool G Rap, DJ Polo, Masta Ace, Craig G and the intelligent hoodlum, Tragedy would drink from the juice that Marley Marl procured. Nevertheless, it was the earlier members who left a long-lasting impression as the Juice Crew, even though it was the second generation of emcees that were largely responsible for what is generally considered the first posse cut in hip hop, The Symphony.

Despite the flurry of hits delivered by this prestigious crew, it is important to realize their importance with regards to the history of hip-hop. Through his extensive work with crew, Marley Marl was able to infuse himself as hip hop's first super producer. Prior to his work with the juice crew, producers were meet with the shit end of the recording stick. However, with the emergence of The Juice Crew with Marley at the helm, producers were no longer an afterthought.

The crew was also involved in one of hip hop's earliest beefs that pitted the Queens collective against Blastmaster KRS-One's BDP (Boogie Down Productions). On The Bridge a track that KRS-One took offense to MC Shan spit,

You love to hear the story again, again/
Of how it all got started way back when/
The moment is right in your face/
Sit and listen for a while to name the place/
The Bridge, Queensbridge/

The aforementioned lines were met with a fury. Under the direction of KRS-One, BDP retaliated with South Bronx in which the Teacher, made his claims that hip hop originated from his borough the Bronx,

KRS-One specialized in music/
I'll only use this type of style when I choose it/
Party people in the place to be, KRS-One attacks/
Ya got dropped off MCA cause the rhymes you wrote was wack/
So you think that hip-hop had its start out in Queensbridge/
If you popped that junk up in the Bronx you might not live

This rivalry would produce several other notable tracks including (South Bronx) Kill That Noise and The Bridge Is Over where Kris Parker cleverly spit,

I finally figured it out- magic mouth is used for suckin'/
Roxanne Shante is only good for steady fuckin'/
Mc Shan and Marley Marl is really only bluffin'/
Like Doug E. Fresh said I tell you now, you ain't nuthin'

Even before this cross-borough rivalry, the crew had been involved in another beef with U.T.F.O. that spawned the hit record, Roxanne's Revenge *, further solidifying the crew's potency (even the youngest of its members could stand and deliver).In the end members of the legendary Juice crew would go their individual ways and establish solos careers but not before imbedding themselves into fabric of hip hop culture.

*MC Shan co-wrote Roxanne's verses for the song, in response to UTFO's single, "Roxanne, Roxanne"



Boogie Down Productions- South Bronx

Boogie Down Productions- The Bridge Is Over

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