Who Was In The Juice Crew? - Facts & Videos
The Juice Crew were a large group of affiliated artists who released most of their records on Cold Chillin' Records during the golden age of hip-hop (mid-to-late 80s). The crew mostly consisted of rappers hailing from the Queensbridge housing projects with the exceptions of Kool G Rap (Queens), Big Daddy Kane (Brooklyn) and Biz Markie (Long Island).
The crew got its start mainly through Marley Marl (Juice Crew producer) being Mr. Magic's sidekick on Rapp Attack on WBLS-FM (the first 100% hip-hop show on radio) and a series of famous diss records. However, they are probably most known for their classic posse cut ''The Symphony'' which has spawned many covers by other artists.
The Juice Crew have left a lasting impression on hip-hop history and the artists from the crew are some of the most revered and talented in the game from Big Daddy Kane's suave lyrical abilities to Kool G Rap's rapid-fire street tales to Biz Markie's light-hearted ponderings about life. As legendary Queensbridge rapper Nas said in 1998, ''Growing up in Queensbridge it was Marley Marl and The Juice Crew that gave rap niggas like myself hope that there was another life beyond our hood... He made us believe that although we came from those wild streets, we still had a chance to change our lives.''
The crew derived its name from Mr. Magic whos alias was ''Sir Juice''. He was the DJ on the first exclusively hip-hop show on radio with his show Mr. Magic's Rapp Attack. He also lent his voice to Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: Vice City game as one of the DJs on the radio stations.
Marley Marl was Mr. Magic's on-air assistant on his radio show as well as the producer for all the Juice Crew artists during the height of their popularity. Marley started the tradition of ''battle'' records early on when he had his girlfriend Dimple D do an answer record aimed at Run-DMC. The record came out in 1983 and was titled "Sucker DJ's (I Will Survive)", based on Run-DMC's ''Sucker M.C.'s'' from the same year. Other than producing many classic tracks for the Juice Crew, he also produced LL Cool J's classic comeback album Mama Said Knock You Out from 1990.
Roxanne Shante grew up in Queensbridge and she was only 14 years old when she ran into Marley Marl and Mr. Magic whom she offered to help make a U.T.F.O. Diss record for. The track they made together was titled ''Roxanne's Revenge'' and it started a line of battle tracks involving Roxanne which became known as the ''Roxanne Wars''. A biopic of Roxanne's life was released on Netflix in 2018 titled Roxanne Roxanne.
Big Daddy Kane
Big Daddy Kane is one the rappers in the Juice Crew that doesn't hail from Queensbridge. Kane grew up in Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn (the same neighborhood as Biggie Smalls). Big Daddy Kane is known as one of the most influential and skilled MC s in the game, who despite having asthma is known for his syncopated and sometimes fast style. He was known for his style and set a number of trends including high-top fades, velour suits, and four-finger rings. In 1989 Kane won a Grammy for his participation on collective track headed by Quincy Jones titled ''Back on the Block''.
Biz Markie like Big Daddy Kane does not come from Queensbridge, but rather the more suburban Long Island part of New York. Known as the ''clown prince of hip-hop'', Biz has always been a charismatic rapper who injects are a good dose of humor into his lyrics. Other than rapping, Biz has tried his hand at acting and reality television. His biggest hit (#9 on the Billboard 100) was ''Just A Friend'' from 1989 where he alternates between rapping and singing.
MC Shan is from Queensbridge and is most known for his song ''The Bridge'' which was instrumental in ''The Bridge Wars'' between BDP Productions and The Juice Crew. His biggest song, however, was when he guested on Snow's mega-hit ''Informer''.
Kool G Rap
Like Big Daddy Kane, G Rap is considered one of the most skilled and influential rappers from his era. His influence stretches into the turn of the millennium due to his early mafioso/street tale style which would dominate rap from the mid-nineties on. However, he's also revered technically possessing "superhuman breath control" while incorporating lots of multisyllabic rhymes in his verses. He's also one of the most prolific and consistent Juice Crew member having dropped 10 albums since 1989.
One could say Masta Ace is the most prolific member having dropped 5 solo albums as well as a slew of collaborative albums since his 1990 debut Take A Look Around. Masta Ace is a rap-veteran who is considered brilliant story-teller and underground luminary with a great catalog.
He was only 12 when he recorded his first song with Marley Marl titled ''Shout Rap'' in 1985 and he was also apart of the classic posse-cut ''The Symphony''. He has released 7 solo albums and has a long list of guest appearances.
Tragedy Khadafi/Intelligent Hoodlum
Considered a junior member of the Juice Crew, he hails from the Queensbridge housing projects and grew up without a father and mother addicted to heroin. He began his career in 1985 as one half of the DJ/Rapper duo Super Kids before being picked up by Marley Marl in 1986. After going to jail for robbery at 16, he became a Five Percenter and went by the name Intelligent Hoodlum. He recorded two albums under that name before becoming known as Tragedy Khadafi (after former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi). He also notable for appearing more on Capone-N-Noreaga's debut War Report than Capone himself (who was incarcerated). When Capone returned home, Noreaga severed ties with Tragedy and a longstanding beef began which involved a series of diss tracks.
Grand Daddy I.U.
Hailing from Hempstead, Long Island, he was put on by fellow Long Islander Biz Markie who helped him get signed to Cold Chillin' Records. He became noted for his high-end tailored attire, always appearing in public wearing a suit and tie. Grand Daddy would release a couple albums in the 90s, and feature on some tracks by Big L and others, before going into to production. In 2007 he released a solo album titled Stick to the Script which featured none other than 2Pac as well as production by Large Professor.