When it comes to misogynistic, profane rap, at least Ice Cube and N.W.A. have a strong enough beat to distract you from the rotten lyrics. No such luck on the sound track to Juice, a mind-numbing collection of women bashing and foul language over some tired samples and rhythms.
Yes, it is a valid argument that this kind of rap honestly portrays conditions in today's inner cities, but the kids from the suburbs listen to this, too, and the aesthetic doesn't translate. M.C. Pooh talks about drug use and violence as his favorite hobbies on Sex, Money, Murder. Women are constantly refered to as bitches, and even Salt & Pepa contribute to the mess with He's Gamin' On Ya, an inane warning to women (I'm sorry, I mean bitches), about where the brains of most men are really located.
There are a few respectable cuts on Juice, but they don't manage to pull it up from the depths. Teddy Riley, co-producer of Michael Jackson's Dangerous, adds a dash of flavor with Is It Good to You. While Riley probably can sleepwalk into tracks this good, the vocals from Tammy Lucas are like a warm breeze.
And the Brand New Heavies, with their '60s soul sensibilities, seem out of place. No matter, any chance to hear lead vocalist N'Dea Davenport is a treat, but buy their self-titled debut on Delicious Vinyl instead.
The worst thing about Juice is how serious these rappers take their message. At least Two Live Crew can be dismissed as one-dimensional caricatures.
The boys on Juice preach murder and mayhem with the power of an evangelist, and make the lifestyle seem alluring by failing to show the flip side. Anything this far out of the ethical mainstream should set off sirens if touched by a minor.
Sound track to Juice