By Alan Cho
It begins as expected, with the prerequisite shout-outs over a standard horn sample, followed by the intro: “I’m here to give you just a sip. A taste of things to come.”
He goes by the name Juice. Sip. Juice. Oh, thy devilish wit hath slain me. See, you drink juice and his name is Juice. So utterly droll it becomes sublime.
What gloriousness shall this wordsmith tantalize us with next?
Well, 18 seconds in and Jason Rochester, the aforementioned Juice, is spent. That’s all he’s got, a play on words “Weird Al” Yankovic would slash his wrists over were he to utter it.
To be fair, Juice’s debut is not the worst of what’s passed off as hip hop today, it’ll blend in perfectly to the smear of sound that is Ja Rule and his ilk. He’ll do well on commercial airwaves while people like Madlib and Aesop Rock continue to be overlooked.
Known for signing artists such as Kathleen Edwards, the Dears and Sam Roberts, MapleMusic attempts to dip into the hip hop game by signing perhaps the most ponderously boring MC to have defecated in Canada. When your press release is touting your diction, you may be in a wee bit of trouble.
Lyrically, Juice is uninspiring. It’s not the masturbating of hip hop cliches or rhymes stiffer than R.Kelly reading the Baby-sitters Club, Juice simply lacks the facility for language and imagery to be anything more than MC McSnooze. His tracks are lifeless things buoyed by decrepit beats pillaged from mainstream radio, ripped off of everyone–from Kanye West to DJ Premier–but stripped of any kind of flavor or soul. Even helping hands from Kardinal Offishall and Juggaknot cannot raise this above uninspired pap…or is that rap?
Oh look. Look at me being all clever. I’m every bit of the wordsmith that Juice is. Hey, MapleMusic why don’t you give me a record deal? Bastards.