Real recognises real, and we’d have no claim to realness if we didn’t spotlight hip hop pioneers The Juice Crew. Headed by Marley Marl and home to some of the greatest emcees of all time, the largely Queens-based collective were responsible for some of the golden ages most essential records. In this series, we’re looking at the solo debuts from some of Marl’s prodigious collaborators.
Who are the Juice Crew? It’s not comprehensive, but “The Symphony” seems a good place to start: a classic 1988 posse cut featuring some of the greatest emcees to ever rock a mic. In this piece, we look at the recording of the Marley Marl masterpiece and ease into our Juice Crew article series!
Before Masta Ace was a dextrous emcee with a love of concept albums, he was a young kid trying to get ahead alongside his Cold Chillin’ colleagues. With invaluable assists from Marley Marl, Mister Cee and DJ Steady Pace, he released his astute and earnest debut, Take A Look Around, in 1990.
Kool G Rap has inspired some of the greatest emcees of all time, and is often given that designation himself. Despite this, he’s never really been a mainstream staple. In honour of G Rap’s contributions to the craft, we’re breaking down his 1995 solo debut, which found him exploring the subgenre he’d helped create: mafioso rap.
When Grand Daddy I.U. dropped Smooth Assassin in 1990, he was already a 22-year-old alumni of hip hop’s most legendary collective. Whilst his career never fully took off, the Grand Daddy still rocked the mic with his distinctive delivery and ostentatious garb. We’re looking back at the refined emcee’s obscure debut.
Before Queensbridge emcee Percy Chapman was Tragedy Khadafi, he was Intelligent Hoodlum, a young socio-political firebrand with a long list of grievances. His self-titled 1990 debut is a hip hop relic that explores injustice, upheaval, celebrations and irreverence in equal measure. That’s definitely something worth exploring, so jump in!
Big Daddy Kane’s 1988 debut, Long Live The Kane, remains an important milestone in hip hop. Kane’s lyrical dexterity and fast-paced delivery would influence artists such as Nas and RZA, helping shape the ever-evolving art of hip hop. In honour of the 30th anniversary, we’re breaking down the samples throughout the classic debut!