The Story of the Juice Crew & Cold Chillin’ Records: The Philly Connect

There’s an old school rap attack going on at Radio Kismet for “Goin’ Off: The Story of the Juice Crew & Cold Chillin’ Records.”

Tomorrow night, November 13, at N. 10th Street’s Radio Kismet space, Philly born-and-bred podcaster John Morrison of Serious Rap Shit will speak with Ben Merlis, the author of the newly-released book, “Goin’ Off: The Story of the Juice Crew & Cold Chillin’ Records” about all manner of old school hip-hop everything. Philadelphia bookseller The Head and the Hand will be in attendance, selling books that the author will sign, and rumor has it that the mistress of Philadelphia hip-hop lyricism, Bahamadia may stop by for a visit. 

Great. But why is an oral history of a pioneering New York City-based hip-hop collective and smart record label of the 80s and 90s, stemming from producer Marley Marl and spawning legends such as Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Roxanne Shanté, Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA, Masta Ace and more crucial to Philadelphia, now?

A). We’re 99 miles away from Manhattan, and what occurred between Philly and New York (all of its boroughs) affected each other while maintaining individual personalities. 

B). Lawrence Goodman’s Pop Art Records, founded in 1979 and the Philly-born home to Roxanne Shante and Biz Markie – to say nothing of rap classics such as “The Bridge” by MC Shan, “Show Stoppa” by Salt-n-Pepa – was directly connected to Cold Chillin’. 

The Juice Crew.

Philly acts such as DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince and 3 Times Dope, along with Craig G, Cool C, Steady B, and even Marley Marl and the Juice Crew came out of Pop Art. Though the label and its historic tracks were purchased in 2006 by The Coalition and hip hop entrepreneur Troy Carter, Pop Art’s glory days were proudly back-in-the-day. 

Certainly, “Goin’ Off” author Merlis and Philly’s own Morrison will connect the dots.

Pop Art is discussed at length in the book. Roxanne Shante’s first label and MC Shan’s label Bridge Records was an imprint of Pop Art. The first time Biz Markie was on a record was “Def Fresh Crew” where he beatboxed for Shante. And Steady B’s DJ is interviewed throughout the text.   

The night starts at 7:30pm, and here’s the Facebook event page.

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