Going against the tradition of hip hop’s gun-toting gangster acts in the U.S., Rochester aka Juice isn’t afraid to admit his life isn’t like that. “You don’t have to follow what everybody else is doing to still be hip hop. A lot of people have this notion that ‘keeping it real’ is selling drugs or acting like somebody who says they ‘keep it real’ instead of being who they are.”
The Toronto-based emcee, who got his nickname as a youngster asking for juice at his father and uncle’s bar and speaking up with the real thing in his system, loves hip hop, just not people fronting with 20 models and rental cars.
“I’m not hating on the image, I just feel some cats aren’t doing it right,” says Juice. “People in the industry only sign acts that have been shot a couple of times or lived the hardest life. They’re letting the story of the music take over the quality of the music.”
With the success of artists like Kanye West, Juice believes audiences are ready for his debut album, A New Day. “I’m not saying I’m going to be the saviour for hip hop. At the end of the day at my tombstone people will say, ‘Yo, this guy went on his own path and did his own thing and I respect him for it.’ And if it does end up changing the game, I’ll feel even greater.”
Photo courtesy of Maple Music
Written by Faze contributor Sydnia Yu