Juice and The Machine: Twisted Metal

You

have heard the name Juice by now, or at least you should have. The

Chicagoan earned his MC stripes in the late ’90s by smashing big name

MCs in head-to-head freestyle battles. Legend has it that Eminem, Kanye

West and Common all came out on the losing end after battling Juice. He

has released a slew of albums, been heard on numerous mixtapes and

spread his highly metaphoric style of serious lyrics throughout

internet chatrooms and college campuses all over the world.

Today, he has a new menagerie of musicians and vocalists called Juice

and the Machine. They are currently working hard honing their skills

and sharpening the edges on their first full length album. Juice and

the Machine is fueled by jazz riffs and powerful lyrics. This

collection of music makers uses the vibe of live instruments and

improvisation to deliver a full-blown musical experience to fans. The

jazzy feel is supported by Juice’s liquid flows, slick metaphors and

“tell-it-like-it-is” lyrics. The combination is the equivalent of what

would happen if The Roots met Rage in the Machine and created their own

Stetsasonic Hip-Hop band.

AllHipHop.com: Juice, how did you transfer the battle-rhyme skills into band-backed music?

Juice: It was a natural chord progression because I’m known for

freestyling. At first, the sound was too jazzy [and I] had to shape it

into what I wanted Hi- Hop to sound like. The transition occurred

naturally. The total sound gives respect to Hip-Hop and its roots. It

also encompasses elements of all music. [Our sound] pays tribute to all

music.

AllHipHop.com: The new music has a feel that’s part jazz mixed with funk and certainly Hip-Hop. Who’s the inspiration?

Juice: I don’t know if there’s anyone in particular. My family has

direct relatives from Charlie Parker. As a kid, that didn’t mean s**t,

but as I grew up, I realized that that was significant. [Our music is]

also influenced by Neo-Soul and R&B. We wanted a diverse sound. As

the MC, I’m the mouthpiece—the conduit and the band came together and

sculpted the sound.

AllHipHop.com: How did all of the cogs come together to create Juice and the Machine?

Juice: My business partner, Eric Sheinkop, was having a birthday party

and asked if I would be interested in rocking with his band. We met,

and after the second rehearsal, they picked up the music like a

‘machine’ and there it was. I didn’t know anybody’s credentials and

they didn’t know mine. [It] just ended up happening because of synergy.

So from that experience as a collective, we decided to stay together

[as a band].

AllHipHop.com: What was the motivation for the song, “Black”?

Juice: Well, I wrote “Black” and nine other [songs] in seven days. It’s

the story of how I grew up and how being Black shaped my experiences.

But all of us can imagine doing things to get money in this economy. It

[the song] uses a play on the definitions of Black. The band picked up

the groove and added some accents and like everything else…it clicked.

See, I approach music like a writer. Look, I’m not gonna be around forever. So, my songs are like letters to my fans.

AllHipHop.com: Who is The Machine?

Juice and the Machine: First of all, all of these guys are accomplished

musicians in their own right. There’s Russoul, the lead singer. There’s

Aaron Getsug on sax, Brian Abraham on drums, Tim Lincoln on bass, Brian

Felix on keys and my business partner, Eric Sheinkop.

AllHipHop.com: How can fans hear your music?

Juice: They can check us on myspace. We aim to have personal contact

with people that like our music and the internet makes that happen.

That way, we’ll never overstep our major goal which is to stay

connected directly to the fans.

AllHipHop.com: We appreciate your time. One last question, if you could

work with any producers in the industry, who would it be and why?

Juice: Wow…Anybody? The ultimate situation would be recording sessions

with Rick Rubin because of his ability to understand the different

genres [of music that] we’re dealing with. Maybe Timbaland and

definitely Dre. But we want Rick Rubin. We get Rick Rubin and s**t

gonna be mean.

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