Nice read I say....
Interview with Juice from Black Wall Street: Part 1 of 2 : SOHH Left Coast
Interview with Juice from Black Wall Street: Part 2 of 2 : SOHH Left Coast
Although it is unclear just how involved the only other rapper in The Game's Black Wall Street stable of talent (Bay Area heavyweight Ya Boy) will be in the camp's future, Phoenix Arizona's Juice has made it clear that he has taken the reigns as the "heir to to the BWS dynasty". With the release of a promising mixtape and a DVD on the horizon, a rep in his home state and a steadily-growing buzz throughout the rest of the country, and a full length in the works, things have never looked better.
Last week, this rising star took a moment to catch up with SOHH Left Coast and get everybody up to speed on what he's got going on right now and more importantly, to anser the question... who is Juice?
SOHH: So first off, what are you up to right now?
Juice: Right now, man, Iím just putting these finishing touches on my mixtape The New Breath Of The West Coast thatíll be reaching everybody May 18th, ya dig. If you donít know about it, learn about it.
So May 18th is the magic day, huh?
Yeah, you know the business. Itís the magic day.
Who are some of the guests you got on there?
Of course I got the homie Juelz Santana, I got 334 Mobb, I got Game, I got a record with Wayne on there. I got a couple features, man. Real real talk, Iím really trying to not do the whole feature thing right now Ďcause I want the world to know me for me and let n****s know how real it is.
So as far as the ratio of features to non-features, thereís a lot of just you on there.
Thatís something you donít see a lot on mixtapes these days. It seems like people are just trying to ride the strength of everybody else.
With me cominí from Arizona and haviní that classification of a couple of the artists who got signed and came out and they didnít really live up to the expectation of the other cities and other states, so I really feel like I want the world to know me and know ya boy Juice is a real lyricist, ya know what Iím sayiní? He really is the real deal with Phoenix, and Iím gonna do what I gotta do to put my state and city on the map, by all means.
Now I obviously donít know Arizona as well as you do so I could be wrong, but it seems like as far as making connections to get some people as guests on the mixtape, it would be harder place to poly than in California or New York or some places in the South.
I mean, Arizonaís been overlooked for a long time. LA been running it for so long, New York been running it for so long, Atlanta had their time... Now, itís time for the new West Coast to begin. Real talk, if people ainít been to Arizona, this mixtape is really gonna show them, yo, Phoenix is the real deal. We got the same s**t goiní on that the next city got, man; we got hoods, we got ghettos, we got white collar cats, we got million dollar s**t goiní on. Everything that the next city and next hood got, we got too. Itís just about time for a person like myself who got the quality and skills to really highlight our state and city.
So as far as other people that are reppiní Phoenix, who else do you feel is representing the city properly?
I mean, I really canít fake... itís just me right now. Like I said, thereís really only two signed artists from Arizona- thereís that other guy from that other crew, and thereís me. And at the end of the night, weíre two totally different artists who represent two totally different things. I ainít gonna sit there and hate on dude Ďcause I ainít got time to do that, you know what Iím sayiní? Iím worrying about myself and my situation on my label that I run with, but as far as Arizona go man, I got my whole city behind me and it shows. If you go to my myspace page you can hear a couple of tracks, but on top of that I got a theatrical trailer to my dvd thatís cominí out called The New Breath of the West Coast.
Whatís the DVD gonna be all about?
I mean, basically it just takes you through Phoenix and lets people know how real I got it out here. With me, man, Iím not all fake and slanted, you know what Iím sayiní? N****s donít write my music. I was the dude who was out here in the streets slanginí my mixtapes that the city respect, that the city uplifted. But I got Amare Stoudemire on there from the Phoenix Suns; Iím doiní his Nike commercial. I got GLC and Good Music. When people come to the city, they holla at me, you know what I mean? And I just make sure everything is good; set Ďem up and do the right thing, man. People really f**k with Phoenix, I just gotta be the one to highlight it and put us on the map like that.
As far as people rolling through Phoenix and getting a hold of you, is that kind of how you linked up the features that you do have on the mixtape?
Not really. The reason I got those particular features is just cats really respect my hustle, respect my grind and really respect the way I spit. One thing about myself is, Iím a West Coast dude mixed with a East Coast swagger, you know what Iím sayiní? So I kinda got the best of both worlds, you feel me? So itís kinda like when people come out here, they just respect the way a n***a move, man. Iím not tryiní to be something Iím not. Iím not out here disrespecting websites and this and that. At the end of the night my dude, Iím trying to build a positive relationship, get money and break bread between everybody so we all can eat.
You kind of touched on it earlier for a second, but as far as you being a lyricist... There seems to be a major lack of lyricism in the game right now- I think that goes without saying. So you obviously tried to do what you do and make that shine on the mixtape, right?
One thing about me is, I want the world to see that ya boy is a lyricist- Juice is a solid lyricist at the end of the night. I think that a lot of rappers and up and coming cats feel like they gotta bang out an album in 2 months and donít wanna put that real effort and time behind it, you know what I mean? And real real talk, I think thatís effecting hip hop in a strong way, and itís starting to show in sales, and in the level of music thatís being put out. I totally agree with you about the whole lyricist thing. I think that a lot of cats right now arenít really taking the time to master their craft.
As far as major label artists that are doing high volumes of sales, you signed with a camp thatís one of the more lyrical camps out there. Was that kind of a conscious decision as far as you signing with them, or how did that all come along?
I was going through a time in my life where I felt like I was at the bottom. A lot of people was overlooking Arizona, a lot of people really wasnít checkiní for what we had goiní on out here as far as this whole lyrics situation. So of course, I put a mixtape together and Game was out here with Swizz Beatz working on his album- they was recording a track called ďScream On ĎEmĒ -and Swizz Beatz owns a club out here called CBNC where they had an afterparty. I was lightweight tipsy, but I felt like if Game at least got my mixtape he would listen to it and understand my hustle, my strive and what Iím tryiní to do. I went to the club and the security dude came up to me; I asked him could I get through to the VIP, he told me no, but he would take my mixtape. And I told him, like everybody know, man, Iím not gonna give my mixtape to nobody but the person itís intended to go to, because if you give it to a manager or give it to a security guard, man, that shit ends up in the trash- I been there. So long story short, I see Game get up and walk through the VIP area, and I kinda just swing by the security guard, he grabbed my arm- the magazine (XXL) made it seem like I caused this big olí fiasco, but I didnít man. I did it out of pure reaction; he grabbed my arm, I swung on him. Everything started getting crazy- Game kinda got in fight-back mode and I told him, ĎLook, my dude, itís no disrespect. Iím not here trying to get an autograph, Iím not back here trying to just hang wití you. I just wanna at least give you my mixtape and if you throw it away, you throw it away but at the end of the night I know it got to you.í He took it and two days later I got a phone call and a plane ticket to go to LA and itís been Black Wall Street ever since.
SOHH Left Coast: Now as far as a full length studio album, are you currently working on that?
Juice: Iím in the studio currently working on my full length album. Thatíll be out in early Ď08. Like I said, itís gonna be a real big movement for the West Coast and a real big movement for Arizona. I mean, being one of the first to really put our state up on the map, I feel that I got a lot of obligation and a lot of responsibility to represent it right.
As far as the mixtapes, are you just dropping this one to hold people off until the album drops, or are you gonna be dropping a couple more between now and then?
Iím only gonna do two mixtapes before my album does come out. Of course you can hear me on Gameís next mixtape, Nu Jerzey Devil got some s**t cominí out, and my DJ, DJ Haze got some mixtapes cominí out. Youíll be able to hear me on a lot of different things, but as far as Juice goes, this mixtape on May 18th, The New Breath of the West Coast, is gonna be something that people can really f**k with. Itís gonna silence all comparisons between me and that other guy and itís gonna really make me a contender in the industry. Real talk, whenever people start mentioning my name, theyíre not gonna put me in the same classification as that other guy, theyíre gonna put me in the classification of the greats, like The Game and Nas and Common Sense and Talib Kweli and with Jay and Biggie and Wayne- the people that I respect, you know what I mean? As far as my second mixtape go, Iíma probably drop that later on in the Summer. Itís called My Death Certificate. With my first one, weíre really just touching the surface, but my second one will be the one to really classify me. And when my album drops, thatís when theyíll go ahead and hand over the crown and be like, ĎThis dude is for real.í
In regards to the title of the mixtape you have coming out in a minute, there are a lot of people who donít necessarily associate Arizona with the West Coast, although it is. I mean, I even made the mistake of saying some shit about Arizona that probably wasnít okay when I first heard Hot Rod...
You was making a comment of how you felt off of his music. Real, real talk, thatís the reason for the mixtape; people havenít been highlighted to Arizona yet. Nobody has really stood up to the test and really competed with the big names out there. Like I said, that other guy didnít really do it, realistically speaking. I mean, you got a single with Mary J, my n***a, and you ainít selliní a million records. You dropped the ball yaíself. You wasnít comenting on Arizona because you was disrespecting, you was commenting off of what you heard.
But with more shit coming from different places, I think the West Coast is gonna be diversified a little bit, because right now, people just associate the West Coast with gangsta rap out of LA.
And again, thatís where I think Iím going to classify that in another realm. Like I said, n***as is real lyricists. I mean, of course we come from gangsta rap music; thatís what the West Coast was born on, thatís what the West Coast was raised on. But we develop with time. You got great rappers in AZ, and you got great rappers in LA, but itís just our time. But the more SOHH.com does interviews and you get to speak to people like myself and other artists from the West Coast, it makes the world aware that there is some real-ass talent out here, ya dig?
Definitely. And I already know thereís some heads out there, Ďcause the day I made the mistake of saying something baad about Arizona, there was some hip hop board out there that was blasting me and rallying people up to come through here and put me on blast.
Yeah, it was called 602streets.com. I mean, again, a lot of people didnít fault you for saying that, my dude. Iím not just saying that because you was faulting Hot Rod; more success to him. Hopefully he does sell some units because like I said, that uplifts the city. But you was goiní off of what you heard. You just felt like, man, if this dude is supposed to be the one to hold down the state, heís dropping the ball real heavy. That was your opinion; you have the right to say that, but just like I got the right to come into the limelight to be like, you know what, I feel like that dude is not doing it either and Iím gonna go ahead and really stand for what I believe in and put our city on the map. And you know what, you might not feel me and say the same thing about me, but thatís your opinion. And nobody can fault you for that, my dude. It is what it is. Regardless if you say something about me or not, Iíma still represent my city and go on because my n***as believe in me like that, and vice versa.
So production-wise, are there people out in Arizona that you f**k with?
Oh yeah, hands down. I mean of course I got the major hitters- Iím gettiní some production from JR Rotem of course, I reached out to Kanye, Swizz, The Justus League, Nu Jerzey Devil -but as far as Arizona goes, Iím workiní with a crew called Planet X, thereís another crew called The Track Slayerz. :biggrin: Thereís another dude out there, his name is Rock; he got a production company called Rock House. So there is a couple heavy hitters in Arizona right now that the industry really needs to come check up on.
Now for the people that may have never heard you or arenít familiar with what youíre gonna be gettiní into on the album, is it gonna be on some real life s**t or some gangsta s**t or are you gonna try to cover a little bit of everything?
I donít really need to go out there and really display my type of gangsterism. Iím on some real grown man s**t, you know what Iím sayiní? Iím on some real life type s**t. Iím a man, Iím father, Iím a leader, so Iím gonna express to the world my life and my story live and direct, you know what I mean? One thing about me that The Game really respects is that weíre two totally different individuals. Of course I done did the whole gangbanginí thing, I done did the slanginí dope type thing, but when you get to the position to where you at right now where you got a son, you have a family and you overcame those obstacles, itís time for me to tell my story to the world, but do it in the right way. Iím gonna be touching on some real life issues, of course Iím gonna be talking about some street issues, but overall itís gonna be something that the average person can feel, ya dig?
Thatís dope though, because youíre talking about being father and this sounds like it might be something your kid can grow up and listen to and itíll be sort of a legacy as opposed to it being just an album full of negativity.
Exactly. Like I said, a lot of the s**t thatís going on in the industry, I really donít f**k with too much. Everybodyís always asking me about the whole G-Unit beef and The Game this, Game that, but I tell you man, Game is a father as well, and that n***aís a true boss. I knew coming into this situation the beef that he had and I knew that it would eventually fall over to me, and I gotta admit, at times Iíd be like, ĎGame, let me hop on this track and go to war with you,í but heíd be like, ĎNah my dude. This beef is for me, let me handle this. You worry about focusing on your album, making a classic album, and taking over this whole West Coast movement.í
With that said, thereís something I gotta ask you about real quick because Iíd be remiss not to ask it. Iíll keep it limited to this one question because this is an interview about you and not him, but thereís been some s**t about Hot Rod, as far as him being another dude whoís coming Arizona, and it sounds like you feel that heís been misrepresenting the state.
Is that based on you being with BWS and him being in G-Unit, or does it run deeper than that?
I mean, at the end of the night my dude, I really donít meddle in business that donít concern me. Like I said, I really wonít say anything about nobody else unless somebody says something about me- before Iím a rapper, Iím a man. And again, I donít really like to get into olí dudeís situation, but if you come to Arizona and see what it is and who people f**k with and who people donít f**k wití, Iím not gonna even jump between this whole argument and say like, ĎHot Rod is pissy.í Iíma let the people judge. And at the end of the night, my state and my city know what I do for our state and our city, you know what Iím sayiní? Everything I do is for the upliftment of our movement, and if you ask me right now, ĎIs Hot Rod better than Juice?í, Iíll tell you: no. And the fansíll tell you the same thing, you know what Iím sayiní? Iím not a gimmick, homie. Iím the real deal. The industry didnít align me with people, people f**k wití me Ďcause I keep it one hunnid. Iím out in the city politiciní, Iím out in the streets networkiní, yíknow what Iím sayiní? From the block to the corporate office. So the difference between me and Hot Rod? My dude, itís like I said- he got signed, he gets his money, he does what he does, but if you come to Arizona n***asíll tell you who they really support and who they really behind, and real, real talk itís ya boy Juice.
So yessir...Lookout for Juice's mixtape tomorrow..If things go according to plan I should have like 6 to 10 production spots on it ..and we did a lot of the Background music on the DVD..so..SUPPORT JUICE AND THE TRACK SLAYERZ...haha