The need for respect in hip-hop often comes with a hefty price. Rappers have served jail time and sacrificed their careers all in the name of juice. The word, popularized by the ’92 cult classic flick Juice, which starred a young Tupac Shakur and Omar Epps, became a part of hip-hop lexicon as another word for respect. This year, one of rap’s most questioned stars is set to remake the film into a mini-movie.
Yesterday (Apr.20) Soulja Boy released a free mixtape to serve as the soundtrack for his version of Juice. VIBE caught up with SB just a few hours before the tape’s release to get the skinny on the new music and movie, his recent conversations with Birdman, Lil B’s controversial album title and his desire to pursue acting.—Mikey Fresh
VIBE: Can you tell us a little bit about the story line for Juice?
SB: Basically, it’s your boy Soulja and I’m Bishop in 2011, running around in the streets, man. You know how the movie goes, but we’re flipping it and shooting in Atlanta. I want to show these people my acting side and me being creative—always giving them something new; that’s all. I got same video director that shot “Crank That,” “Kiss Me Through The Phone,” “Turn My Swag On” —my most successful videos. The whole mixtape is the soundtrack for the movie.
Did you cast any other rappers in the flick?
Yeah, man. Actually Cam’Ron reached out to get in the movie. Some of the original actors that were in the original reached out too. We’re in pre-production right now. We start filming on the Apr. 28th in Atlanta. It’s going to be crazy. Of course I’m going to have my S.O.D. family in there. We’re juicing up!
Who from the original movie is going to be in it? Raheem [Laughs] ?
Not Raheem. You know the chubby one? He reached out. He actually wanted a part. I thought that was cool, so I told the director Rage to just go ahead and put him in the movie.
Going back to the mixtape, did you handle the majority of the production?
Nah, man. I got producers. My new producer Kwony Cash did a bunch of beats. I produced a couple of the tracks. It’s mostly all new music, though. I recorded the whole mixtape within the last two month. Basically, it’s just this whole Juice movement I got going on.
I actually watched the “Zan With That Lean” on YouTube and…
That’s the promo video, bro. We’re shooting three music videos. Rage is directing them all, “Zan With That Lean”, “That’s Right” and the third one is “Kickstand.”
Can you explain “Zan With That Lean” for people who don’t know what that means?
For the people who don’t know what “Zan With That Lean” is… it’s that drank. Just being juiced up in the zone. Yea!
Is there one song on your mixtape that is your favorite so far?
Aw man. I think the whole mixtape is hard. I got a couple of favorite ones—”That’s Right” with Diamond—that’s hard. “Numbas” featuring 2 Chainz and J. Money—that’s hard. “Rich Hoe” featuring Lil B is crazy.
Do you think Juice is best listened to while under the influence?
Hell yeah, why you think I’m dropped it on 4/20! I want you to have the most positive vibe, be leaning… on the national smoke holiday . Everybody should get fucked up and listen to my tape [Laughs].
Was there anyone you wished you could have worked with?
If I could get anybody, I would have probably put Lil Wayne on my mixtape. Me and Wayne, man.
Have you had the chance to talk to Weezy, since he came home?
I talk to him, but I’m cool with Birdman. When I’m in Miami I be with Birdman. He’s trying to get me to come over to Cash Money. I’m cool with Birdman. I feel like if I drop my mixtape and get Wayne on it, I’d really have the juice then [Laughs].