Boston emcee Just Juice is an artist who has been on our radar for a while now. Whether you know him for spitting rapid flows on tracks with Logic or from rapping his order at Chipotle, Just has the juice and is inserting his name right into the hip-hop conversation. Fresh off the release of his free album Lavish Life, I was privileged enough to sit down and catch up with the fast rising artist.
Ryan: First, we have to talk about the name. How did you come up with “Just Juice”?
Juice: “Juice” has been my nickname for as long as I can remember. Adding “Just” to my name came about when I established that I want to give the listeners of my music just the realness, and just me, minus any “artificial flavors”. When you bump my music, you get just the juice and no less.
Ryan: What made you want to get involved in hip-hop? And at what age did you start rapping?
Juice: I’ve been creating music and performing for what feels like forever. I started drumming a very young age and eventually moved onto rapping. My first hip-hop performance was at a summer camp talent show and the response from my peers was positive. It felt great so I stuck with it.
Ryan: There is no doubt that you have an outstanding flow and delivery. Who would you say are your biggest influences (musically-speaking)?
Juice: To be honest, my biggest musical influence is a close homie of mine, Logic. I’ve learned more from him than anyone else. The Bone Thugs-N-Harmony also helped with the development of my flow and delivery. I’m constantly learning, though, as I try to pick up and take away whatever I can from everyone and everything.
Ryan: You have been making some serious moves this past year. You had a few videos go viral, and of course the single “Lavish” which features VMG’s Logic. How did that collaboration come about? And do you consider that your “biggest break” thus far? If not, what was?
Juice: As I said, Logic’s the homie and has been for several years now. We actually began discussing a collaboration in 2012 after a show of his in Boston. It was just a matter of finding time and crafting the perfect joint to link up on. When I laid down the first draft of “Lavish”, we knew right away it’d be a hit. “Lavish” was most definitely a big break for me. Aside from that record, a big break for me was a video a homie recorded of me freestyling during a game of pool which went viral within hours after uploading it to Twitter.
Ryan: In your opinion, what distinguishes an artist from a rapper now-a-days?
Juice: I feel that what separates artists and rappers has to do with what each set out to do. One way I look at it is “Entertainer vs. Emcee”. An entertainer has many focuses, such as music videos, appearance and image, etc. Not to say that emcees don’t consider these things, but an emcee’s primary focus will always be their rhymes. Lyricism, wordplay, music as an art and not an act. Certain musicians stand out to me as “entertainers” and others as “emcees”. But I don’t think labels need to be so restrictive. I have tremendous respect for both, as well as anyone who is passionate about their craft.
Ryan: What music do you find yourself listening to when you aren’t making music yourself?
Juice: I can listen to almost anything. A lot of the time I find myself listening to my own music trying to find ways to bring something new to the table and improve.
Ryan: What are some of your interests outside of music? What does Juice do in his free time?
Juice: I’m almost always in the lab but when I’m not I try to spend time with my friends and family as much as possible. Most nights off consist of eating good food and living lavish.
Ryan: If you had to describe your music in one word, what would it be?
Juice: I don’t think music can be described in one word, and that’s the best part about it. It’s something you feel.
Ryan: Lastly, 2015 is more than half way over. Are you working on any releases for the second half of the year? Can we expect an album? Any more big features? Merch?
Juice: I just put out my second free album, “Lavish Life”, which features the homies Logic, Dizzy Wright, Hi-Rez, Reeves from Aer and Mojo. I’m going to be putting out a limited number of merch packages consisting of buckets hats and signed hard copies of “Lavish Life”. There’s a lot more in store for y’all so stay tuned. Much love, and deuces from the Juice.