It’s been said that people think “MC is shorthand for MisConception”. By contrast Juice Aleem proves it to mean nothing less than Master Craftsman. Metaphysical mic handler, comic book and martial art enthusiast, high scientist and part mover who creates magic with words and music.
Long regarded as one of the UKs finest and most distinctive MCs, this Birmingham native has been responsible for laying some of the scene’s foundations whilst continuing to create music which pushes the art form light years ahead of the curve. Rocking stages since the early 90s, Juice first came to public attention as the original MC to sign to legendary UK hip hop imprint Big Dada, cutting the Luke Vibert produced 12” Misanthropic in 1997 under the moniker AlphaPrhyme. Over the next ten years this would be followed by a string of LPs released on the label including the album Permanament(2000) with the group Gamma as well as Equilibrium (1999), Understanding (2002) and Universally Dirty (2006) with the group New Flesh. Boasting collaborations with Roots Manuva, Beans of Anti Pop Consortium and Gift of Gab from Blackalicious, New Flesh would achieve high critical acclaim for the unique blend of Hip Hop, Dance hall, Soca and 2 step infused in their experimental sonic voyages.
Alongside all this Juice continued to collaborate in the studio under a range pseudonyms with a pantheon of world renowned producers (including Hexstatic, Evil 9, Dj Kentaro, Kraddy and Adam Freeland to name but a few) whilst also holding down live mic duties for electro godfathers Coldcut, dazzling crowds from Spain to Australia. Having crafted a vast canon of genre defying work, displaying both a cultivated knowledge of hip hop’s history and a far reaching view of the future, Juice Aleem finally released his solo debut album Jerusalaam Come on Big Dada in 2009.
Receiving critical acclaim from main stream publications and underground reviews alike the album captured the breadth of Juice’s character with its wry humour and pointed social commentary set against a musical back drop combining all manner of styles from dusty reggae and technofied dub to cinematic soundscapes and soulful synths. The record manages to be incredibly entertaining without compromising its sense of purpose. To hear Juice speak is to bare witness to man of real conviction with the ability to hold your ear. As Andy Gill of The Independent stated:
“it’s this kind of assertion of cultural identity that gives Aleem his sting. Unlike many rappers, he knows exactly what he stands for…”
A man who refuses to be singled down in content, delivery or musical style Juice Aleem remains one of hip hops most innovative and skilled artists. His rhymes may drop knowledge or have you cackling but no matter what he will always freak the beat and give your hips motivation to move.