Friday, October 06, 2006

The Legendary Juice Crew

As requested, I'm going to profile some of the artists that were part of the collective known as The Juice Crew. This will obviously have to be spread out over a number of posts, as there's so much to write; so be patient!

For the uninitiated, The Juice Crew was the brainchild of producer Marley Marl. Throughout the mid-late 80's his crew brought out a string of successful records & also got involved in some historic disses with other artists; probably the most famous of these was the Bridge vs Bronx battle that seemed to go on for an eternity. The basis of this arguement was hip hop's origin. On the one side was The Juice Crew & their claim that Queensbridge was where it started; on the other side was KRS-1 & his Boogie Down Productions posse whose claim was it all started in the South Bronx. The feud went on until KRS-1's partner, Scott La Rock, was killed in 87/88(?), after which their seemed to be a bit of a reality check from both sides & they moved on. However, the Juice Crew's MC Shan (not being one to forgive & forget forever) eventually tried to restart the beef with his track "Juice Crew Law" but it never really escalated the state it was at before Scott's death. It will though remain as one of the classic "wars" which provided loads of lyrical entertainment for the neutral.

This war wasn't the only one that The Juice Crew (and particularly MC Shan) got involved in. To me, Shan was probably the most tenacious of the crew. Perhaps it was in his nature; I see him almos terrier-like, unable to let go of something when he's got his teeth into it. I could go on for ages about all of Shan's beefs but I'll leave that for an Artist Profile at a future date. However, I must quickly tell you about one of my favourite beefs that he got involved in - with LL Cool J.

LL's "Rock The Bells" featured a beat that Shan had used in a demo tape. Consequently, Shan followed up with "Beat Biter", produced by Marley Marl. At the time, I don't think I'd heard such a direct diss. The 1st few lines of the 1st verse leave you with no uncertainty as to what this record's about -

"Let me rock this rhyme only if I may,
It's directed to my man, LL Cool J.
You're brand new jam sure does sound sweet.
You rocked the bells but you stole my beat!"

The irony of it all was that even though Marl produced and, presumably, gave his full backing to this track by Shan, he later went on to produce much of LL Cool J's "Mamma said knock you out" album.

Anyway, enough of that....
Marl's Juice Crew had some of the best rappers of the era. It's prominent members included Big Daddy Kane, Kool G Rap, Master Ace, Biz Markie & Roxanne Shante. The first of these to be profiled on my blog is Kane - the post should be up this weekend.

Finally, I wanted to give you a link that summed up The Juice Crew's quality. For me, the choice of track was obvious - "The Symphony". This record came out in 88 on Marl's Cold Chillin label and included the vocal talent of Master Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap & Kane. Find the video clip here (courtesy of shockg - THE no.1 poster on youtube!)


Blogger travis said...


My all-time favorite crew with my all time favorite MC, Masta Ace!

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Mickeys said...

Looking good. I'll defintely be a regular reader of your knowledge, keep it up mate. Pz.

5:53 AM  
Blogger Screaming Donkey said...

Glad you like it Travis & Mickeys. Watch out for the Big Daddy coming tomorrow!!!

9:59 PM  

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