"It's Bigger Than Hip-Hop": Who Got The Juice?
ATHfactor-Liberty Entertainment in-conjunction with Cine Athens announces the third film in the "It’s Bigger Than Hip-Hop" Film Series. This series started in March 2018 with the film Wild Style, considered the first Hip-Hop film ever made. This was followed up in May with Beat Street, a film that combines all of the elements of Hip-Hop: the DJ, The MC, The Graf Writer, and The B-boy/B-girl. Each film in this series builds and highlights elements of Hip-Hop.
The next film in this series will be Juice, playing 10pm on August 24th at Cine. Tupac Shakur is one of the stars of this film with appearances by some Hip-Hop pioneers: Queen Latifah, Ed Lover, Doctor Dré, Treach, Fab 5 Freddy, EPMD, Special Ed, and Kool DJ Red Alert. The Hip-Hop element highlighted in this film is the DJ, even featuring a DJ battle.
Juice is the story of four teenagers growing up in urban America and their journey in the pursuit of power and respect. In the early 90's, to have power and respect meant you had "the juice." Many urban youths feel powerless and continually disrespected, so getting "the juice" gives them a sense of power and respect. This dynamic is highlighted in many Black films, especially in the film Juice, and throughout Hip-Hop music. Take the two main characters of this movie, Q (played by Omar Epps) and Bishop (played by Tupac), both are trying to get "the juice" but in two different ways. Q feels if he gets good enough and wins the big DJ battle he will get that power and respect he is seeking. Whereas Bishop finds the juice in the barrel of a gun, he does not need any talent, he does not need to work hard; he can just roll up and take it from whoever he wants. Everyday rappers, producers, singers, and people of many types face this same dilemma. These cycles are constantly repeated in the minds of not only the youth but also the old from many places all over the world. They feel they can have the talent which gets them the money, power, and respect so they go all in pursuing their dreams, or they feel like they can just take it by any means necessary.
Juice is a very important film for many reasons, one of them being it is a mirror of what many people face everyday. Everyone sees themselves in at least one of the characters in this film. When you feel powerless and disrespected, it can take you down a productive path like creating something from nothing (like Hip-Hop), or it can also take you down a destructive path where no good will come out of what is being done. Juice is a film that can be enjoyed, analyzed, and criticized to help us ask the same question Dr. King asked: Where Do We Go From Here?