“Juicy” is one of iconic American rapper “The Notorious B.I.G.”’s (real name Christopher Wallace) most famous tracks. Available on the rapper’s debut studio album: “Ready to Die”, which was released in September 1994 by Bad Boy Records and Artista Records. It was written by a multitude of writers, one being Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs, who is known by his rap name “Puff Daddy” or “P. Diddy”.
The track consists of Biggie’s rise to fame, detailing his impoverished childhood and his lifelong dream of making it in the music industry as a rapper. Biggie opens up the track with these lines: “Yeah, this album is dedicated / To all the teachers that told me I’d never amount to nothin’ / To all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of”. The song seems to be Biggie’s message to all those who doubted him, and urges listeners that “you know very well / who you are”, which is sung in the chorus by an uncredited female singer. There was, however, controversy in regards to the production of the track, with producer Pete Rock claiming that P. Diddy stole his idea for the song’s original beat after he heard during a visit. In an interview with American music magazine “Wax Poetics” in 2012, Rock explained the situation with the production of the track:
“I did the original version, didn’t get credit for it. They came to my house, heard the beat going on the drum machine, it’s the same story. You come downstairs at my crib, you hear music. He heard that shit and the next thing you know it comes out. They had me do a remix, but I tell people, and I will fight it to the end, that I did the original version of that. I’m not mad at anybody, I just want the correct credit.” In the recent years, Rock has recently stated in a podcast that he no longer has any hard feelings towards the situation, but just wished that he was credited.
The music video was uploaded to YouTube in September 2011, but was originally released in 1994. Directed by P. Diddy, and has over 214 hundred million views as of May 2019. It follows the story line of the song, featuring Biggie singing the track, a child actor playing him in his childhood while he hung posters in his room, at pool parties surrounded by men and women as well as singing on a rooftop. The video also has over 1.1 million likes.
Release Date: 9th August 1994
Songwriter/s: Christopher Wallace, Hunter Mcintosh, Sean Combs, Pete Rock, Jean-Claude Olivier & Samuel Barnes
Producer/s: Poke of Trackmasters, Pete Rock
Label/s: Bad Boy, Arista
Music Video Release Date: 1994, but uploaded to YouTube in September 2011.
Music Video Director: Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs
Chart Rankings, Certifications & Accolades: In its year of release, “Juicy” went to #72 in the UK Singles chart, #16 in the UK R&B charts, #27 in the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and #1 in the US Billboard Hot Rap Singles. “Juicy” has Platinum certification in the UK. “Juicy” has many accolades:
• Blender Magazine ranked the track #168 on their “Top 500 Songs of the 80’s-00s” in 2005.
• Hi-hop magazine “ego trip” ranked it #1 on their “Hip Hop’s 40 Greatest Singles by Year 1980-98” list in 1999.
• Pitchfork Media ranked the track at #14 on their “Top 200 Tracks of the 90’s” list in 2010.
• “Pop” ranked “Juicy” at #1 on their 1994 “Singles of the Year” list.
• “Q”, a British music magazine placed the track at #9 in their “Greatest Hip-Hop Songs of All Time” list.
• “Rolling Stone” magazine ranked it #424 on their “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” list.
• German music publication “Spex” included “Juicy” in their “Best Singles of the Century “list in 1999.
• “The Boston Phoenix” placed it into their “90 Best Songs of the 90s” list in 1999.
• “The Source” included it on the “100 Best Rap Singles of All Time” list in 1998.
• VH1 placed it at #7 on their “100 Greatest Hip Hop Songs ever” as well as #1 on their “40 Greatest Hip Hop Songs of the 90s”.