This Saturday Moxie 1973 is bringing a blessing to Jersey City to celebrate the religion of Hip-hop. Some of Jersey’s finest DJ’s, dancers, artists, musicians and icons are taking over the magnificent Cathedral Hall, to create an event which will be the epitome of hip-hop culture- showcasing every element with clarity. Jersey has had a strong relationship with hip-hop and continues to flourish through the vision of Jersey- bred, Moxie 1973 and its Founder/Curator Juels Pierrot which will take the culture to new heights. JUICE is a culmination of passion, dedication and a lot of hard work for hip-hop. The product is something that will set the bar for our community.
Leading up to this weekend, the Moxie 1973 team put together some teaser events to set the vibe for JUICE. These samples we’re called the #RoadToJuice. It all kicked off with the screening of Testimony, a four-part series featuring beautifully shot videos of local culture contributors and what drove them.
The series captures the energy and drive of ENI, DJ Midnite, Mr. DT201, and Kev Love. Each of these artist have brought something incredibly special to the culture and are beacons for what we should strive for. After screening the film, the floor was open to questions from the observers and it became such a pure and powerful to experience. Each film was an inspiration and led to a lifting discussion.
The next stop on the samples took us to the Clearport, for the Redeye In-Flight DJ Battle featuring DJ Midnite and DJ RydeOut. Each DJ rocked grooves back and forth in the crisp streetwear space. It was an impressive display of control, dedication and skill to the craft of orchestrating a crowd.
The last stop on the sample tour is TONIGHT and takes us back to Cafe Sole for the Small Victories Showcase and Open Mic. Sign up is at 7pm and the show goes on at 8pm. Join in to gear up for the excellence ahead. To learn more, I spoke with the man himself, founder and curator Juels Pierrot.
What drove you to create a Garden State Showcase?
Growing up in Jersey, it taught me about culture and introduced me to hip-hop therefore I had no other choice but to come back home.
Why the name JUICE?
Juice itself describes the influence of the culture; hip-hop has the Juice. We influence pop culture not the other way around, but the reason we have the Juice is because it’s deeper than the music for us. It’s literally our way of life, our religion.
What are you excited for and what should people expect on Saturday?
I’m excited to see great talent in Jersey under one roof, and people should expect just that. Great energy, love, and togetherness will bind together through hip-hop.
How has Jersey influenced you as you’ve grown into your many projects?
The hustle of getting the job done, and not settling is one thing that was influenced by Jersey. Jersey is a place that they truly do not give you anything unless it is up to par. You have to find a way to stand out, but remain true to self to really connect. I have taken that ‘nothing-is-given’ attitude and applied it to every project.
What are some of the key differences of NYC and Jersey? What makes Jersey so special?
Jersey is the Garden State so bottom line the one thing that we do for a fact is produce. We have been producing great executives and artists since the beginning of hip-hop, starting with Sylvia Robinson and Sugar Hill Records. Being so close to New York, we were always looked like the step brother, and us knowing that we had to breed the best talent to even be noticed. Our criteria to even touch a mic was so high because the entry point into the music business was so slim. So, an artist can be B or C-level talent in New York, and get a break due to subpar talent and connections. With Jersey, it started with the talent being A+ first because if you are not, there is no chance for you to even touch the mic and say that you rep Jersey. If one person is not A+ caliber talent it messes it up for everyone coming from the Garden State. Therefore during the 90s and 2000s you had great emcees and rap groups such as Naughty by Nature, Redman, Fugees, Joe Budden, Lordz Of The Underground, Outsidaz, Chill Rob G, Lakim Shabazz, Apache, Poor Righteous Teachers, and the list goes on. One thing you cannot forget about are the queens of rap coming from the Garden State who are probably the most influential and impactful women in hip-hop with the likes of the great Lauryn Hill and Queen Latifah. Speaking of women in Jersey, you cannot forget about Rah Digga, Heather B, and Faith Evans. Even though Faith is not rap she is still hip-hop. Jersey has always been in the midst of the culture, and we are doing the show in Jersey City where it was always known to have the best hip-hop scene in New Jersey. So it’s now coming full circle. Please do not forget about one of the best DJ battlers of all time who actually changed the criteria of the DMC International DJ Tournament at the age of 18, Mr. DJ Cheese. Jersey is hip-hop, don’t front on the Garden State.
What are your plans after JUICE?
We are taking it to Brooklyn for the 3rd summer in collaboration with Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival, and continue to tell the story of Jersey through different content pieces such as the “Juice Testimony”.
Where do you think Jersey can grow and how can we get there?
I believe we can grow by having premium media content based in Jersey telling our story. If we have media content to document our culture and tell our story it will begin to bring more awareness to the Garden State outside of the music. If we can grow in that area I believe we will all be good.
I’ve been incredibly impressed with the commitment to the culture from Moxie 1973 in every aspect. From their design, execution, honesty and love. They are true purveyors of the hip-hop soul. JUICE is going down this Saturday- be sure to get your tickets HERE. And be sure to go follow and support the real. See you in church!
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