The Juice Crew Takes On Hieroglyphics In A War Of Lyricism (Audio)
Since the very beginning, Hip-Hop has been full of dope crews. While many of them are made up of solo artists, they still tend to come together for posse cuts or sometimes even entire albums.
The Juice Crew is easily one of the most influential squads of all time. Members include Big Daddy Kane, Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo, Biz Markie, MC Shan, Roxanne Shanté, Masta Ace, Craig G, and founders Marley Marl and Mr. Magic ruled Hip-Hop from the mid to late 1980s. They were the prototype of the Hip-Hop posse built around a label, Cold Chillin’ Records.
Since the 1990s, the Hieroglyphics crew has been another dominant force from the opposite coast. Their creativity, intelligence, and uncanny freestyling ability set a new standard for West Coast Rap along with peers like The Pharcyde and Freestyle Fellowship. When the whole crew went independent by starting a group label, they helped spark Rap’s 1990s Indie wave. Today, the Hiero Emporium remains open for business.
Chong Wizard, a DJ/producer out of Vancouver, British Columbia, just dropped the third EP from his six-part Infinity Stones series, The Space Stone. While there are quite a few notable names on the project, the opening track titled “Secret Wars: Juice Crew vs. Hieroglyphics” is hard not to prioritize. Masta Ace and Craig G of Juice Crew connect with Opio and Pep Love of Hiero to push each other to new levels of lyrical wizardry over a slapping Unjust beat. Then Chong comes in on the hooks and scratches classic lines from both crews.
While all the MCs involved bring their A-game, Craig G’s bars stick to the comic book theme best. “Call Kang The Conqueror, Molecule Man / Call The Lizard for all the digits, I’ll demolish ya, fam / I’ll abolish ya plans / Teleport you to the Battleworld / Where skills is all you have and that image, it doesn’t matter, Hurl / Planets, galaxies, and stars / I’m from beyond, let’s get it on, fuck ya jewels and cars / Ultron, Wolverine, see the armor’s adamantium / Impervious to weapons, this battle here can’t be won.” Obviously, Craig has read some comics in his time.
Creating a tag-team element between the two crews, Opio follows, then Ace, and with Pep closing things out. Each MC displays the kind of lyrics that have made Juice Crew and Hiero everlasting Hip-Hop brands.
Pep Love recently released the “Needs & Things” music video (embedded below). Last year, Masta Ace released A Breukelen Story with producer Marco Polo. That Fat Beats Records album was named one of Ambrosia For Heads‘ best of last year. In 2017, Opio released an EP, Wounded Healer. In ’16, Craig G released I Rap And Go Home.
#BonusBeat: Pep Love’s “Needs & Things” video: