A New Book Presents The Oral History Of The Juice Crew & Cold Chillin’ Records

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It was in the mid-1980s that Hip-Hop saw domination by one of New York’s most prominent and influential collectives, The Juice Crew. Founded by radio DJ Mr. Magic and his engineer/producer Marley Marl, the crew pioneered the posse cut and chased provocation by way of beef and answer records. Their members include legends in their own right: Big Daddy Kane, Kool G. Rap & DJ Polo, Biz Markie, MC Shan, Roxanne Shanté, Masta Ace and Craig G, among others. Meanwhile, much of the collective eventually signed with Tyrone “Fly Ty” Williams’ Cold Chillin’ Records. That New York label would also introduce the masses to Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA (as “The Genius”), Grand Daddy I.U., and Kid Capri. Both the crew and the label get the recognition they deserve thanks to author Ben Merlis and his upcoming book, Goin’ Off: The Story Of The Juice Crew & Cold Chillin’ Records, due out November 5.

The book will serve as part-biography and part oral history, as it chronicles the rise and fall of Cold Chillin’ and its partnership with Warner Bros. Records. Here, Merlis lays it all out for the world to hear, following each individual Juice Crew member’s careers as recording artists and interlacing interviews with rappers and industry executives who directly felt the impact of what the primarily-Queensbridge squad’s success laid out for them. Named after Biz Markie’s LP, Goin’ Off includes interviews with Masta Ace, Big Daddy Kane, Craig G, Kool G Rap, Grand Daddy I.U., Ced Gee, Warner Bros.’ Mo Ostin, Fly Ty, and other execs from Tuff City, Tommy Boy, and Cold Chillin’. Also featured are DJ and producers Arthur Baker, Mister Cee, and Easy Mo Bee. Additionally, the book is supported with photography by George DuBose, the photographer and designer of the majority of Cold Chillin’s catalog.

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To celebrate the book’s release on November 5, author Ben Merlis will join Marley Marl, Cut Chemist and Peanut Butter Wolf, who also wrote the forward to Goin’ Off, at the Artform Studio in Los Angeles on Friday, November 1 for a book-signing and discussion.

The following week, Merlis will travel to Powerhouse Arena Books in New York on Thursday, November 14 for a conversation with Masta Ace. Those interested can RSVP to the New York event on Facebook.

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Goin’ Off – The Story of the Juice Crew & Cold Chillin’ Records releases on November 5 as apart of BMG’s RPM Series, a series of music-related books that are released in a 7″ x 7″ size, mimicking the style of a 45 record.