Today in Hip Hop History: December 31, 1991
Do you got the juice?
25 years ago MCA Records released the Juice Soundtrack for the 1991 film Juice. The film was directed by Ernest R. Dickerson and featured the actors Omar Epps, Tupac Shakur, and Jarmaine Hopkins. Juice is about “4 inner-city teens who get caught up in the pursuit of power and happiness, which they refer to as ‘the juice’.” It features four friends who struggle growing up surrounded by the allure of a criminal life, with their only outlet by the means of hip hop music.
The main character, Q, competes in a an organized DJ tournament in Harlem with the elegant, yet powerful, Queen Latifah as the host mediator. The principal villain, Bishop, played by 2Pac, becomes infatuated with the criminal life as he kills and betrays his own friends for his own benefit. Historically, the urban film is an immediate product of its displayed time and environment. There was allegedly a rumored remake in the works, starring Soulja Boy as Bishop, but as of now it does not exist. Thankfully.
As for the soundtrack itself, it features several early 90’s hip hop cuts, including Naughty by Nature‘s “Uptown Anthem,” EPMD‘s “It’s Going Down,” Big Daddy Kane‘s “Nuff Respect,” in addition to tracks from artists such as Cypress Hill, Too $hort, MC Pooh, Eric B & Rakim and several more. The hip hop soundtrack also contained the R&B hits “Is It Good To You,” “Don’t Be Afraid” and “Does You Man Know About Me,” alongside the new jack swing song “People Get Ready.”
The Juice Soundtrack is Complex Magazine’s 7th best Hip Hop Movie soundtrack of all time. The compilation peaked at #17 on the U.S. Billboard Chart and included four different charting singles. It became RIAA Certified Gold in March of 1992. Happy 25th birthday to one of the greatest hip hop movie soundtracks of all time!