The Paper Box
Thursday, August 16
Better than: Everything ever.
Covered in sweat, sporting his trademark locs (or stunners), making a crowd mosh and surge at his beck and call, you’d never know Juicy J is in too cool for school New York City. Then again, this is Brooklyn—Bushwick, at that.
Upon arrival, the doors were shut down, cops shining floodlights at the crowd. Took a minute, but we got past the bewildered security who were a bit overwhelmed by the turnout. (You advertise a $5 Juicy J show, expect herds.) The place was a kiln, but luckily there was a cool (if also crowded) courtyard. A group called Nomadics performed, but save for one song, their material wasn’t compelling enough to stay in the heat.
Out back, kids skated a ramp; the crowd, many of whom had been there since around 7, were a little antsy by the time 11 p.m. rolled around, but nothing popped off except for a minor spat between a girl, her boyfriend and another girl. (Yeesh.)
New York MC Black Dave rapped weed tributes over OutKast’s “So Fresh, So Clean” and over a few old Three 6 Mafia beats, and after his set most of the crowd headed out to the courtyard. Then a funny thing happened. A crowd had gathered by the stage and was sort of blocking the way back inside from the yard. The crowd outside grew; people made attempts to push. When the outside speakers let the crowd know that Juicy J was on stage, though, there was a uniform push. The knot of bodies gave. The traffic was still thick, but at least it was moving—right into a mosh anyway.
“Get up, bitch! Get up, bitch! Get up, bitch!” Juicy J shouted as the crowd pushed and bounced off each other, throwing elbows wildly. The chaos turned the first song into a blur, but next up was “A Zip and Double Cup.” Things got lit; water got splashed; cell phones got dropped. “Slob On My Knob” preceded a minute given over to cursing the sound guy, and egging the crowd into chants of “Fuck the sound man!” (Poor bastard.) Sound or no sound he kicked of “Geeked Off Them Bars,” shouting “We Trippy Mane!” The crowd sadly waved their nightstick-sized trippy sticks in approval when Juice Man asked if they had ever sniffed xanies. Lordy.
He ran through “Stay High” and “Poppin’ My Collar,” but took his time with my personal favorites “Countin’ Faces, Smokin Dope” and “Who Da Neighbors?” (Now that’s crowd participation.) “Erryday” went over well, but the crowd’s energy was depleted from the heat. “Drugged Out” gave people a chance to just zone, and ‘Sippin On Sizzurp” and a few others kept the nods going—but then “Bands Make Her Dance” came on and the sea of people became turbulent all over again.
All too soon, though, he started talking that “I know it’s hot but we gonna do one or two more” talk. He thanked the crowd and the sponsor and told everyone to get a drink on him at the bar. “Stoner’s Night” closed the night out and he exited quickly while the crowd tried to cash in on Juicy J’s empty promise of free booze. Sly.
Critical bias: Legendary show. One for the books.
Random notebook dump: Getting caught up in a stream of bodies pushing and throwing elbows was a little too fun. Apologies to dude with the soon to be sore temple. Thanks for being a good sport.
Zip And A Double Cup
Slob On My Knob
Geeked Up Off Them Bars
Who Da Neighbors?
Bands Make Her Dance
Keep A Lotta Heat