Artist: Biggie Smalls ( The Notorious B.I.G. )
Album: Ready to Die
Director: Poke of Trackmasters and Sean “Puffy” Combs
Juicy became an instant hit in the 90s because the song is a “rags to riches” anthem that people from the East coast and West coast could bop their heads to. This song is the 10th track on Biggie’s highly anticipated debut album, Ready to Die. The music video may not be widely known, but the song sure is. The single and the music video depict the effects of Raegan’s “war on drugs” and how skills on the mic helped a drug dealing Black man make it out of poverty in Brooklyn.
During the beginning of the video we can see Biggie dressed in casual street attire in front of an apartment. This symbolizes where he grew up from, which is the streets. The lyrics start with, “This album is dedicated to all the teachers who told me I wouldn’t amount to nothin’ to all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of that called the police on me when I was just tryin’ to make some money to feed my daughter and all the n***** in the struggle, you know what I’m sayin’?” But then there is a change in Biggies attire, which goes with the theme of the song, climbing up the social and economic ladder. We see Biggie looking dapper in a place that no longer resembles the Brooklyn streets he came from and with a view he probably never imagined he would have.
In this frame we can see Puffy and Biggie’s crew “lounging” as Biggie says. This demonstrates how much Biggie loves those who supported him and how much money he had to spare by inviting his friends and girls to party with him. This is something he would not have been able to do otherwise had he stayed undiscovered and a drug dealer. I think it is also important to note that in this part of the music video Biggie is wearing his street wear. Biggie most likely did this to show his audience that even though he is pretty rich, he’s still connected to where he came from and won’t let his audience forget that.
This part of the music video is not the first to show Black men imprisoned. There are a couple of scenes like this. When these frames come up Biggie is usually rapping about his past life as a drug dealer/ criminal. Him selling drugs meant lots of run ins with the cops which is a topic many rappers have long brought attention to, even till this day. This is another way that Biggie reminds his audience of the kind of predicaments he found himself in before he had luxuries to show off and bask in.
Lets not forget the ladies! Rappers/artists are notoriously known to attract many women. Biggies says “Girls use to diss me now they write letters cause they miss me”. With these lyrics he is referring to when he was a “common thief” girls didn’t pay him any mind. But when he got fame and money they would not stop coming at him. Just some of the perks of fame and fortune. But I think Rap/Hip-Hop really can’t go without women.
Towards the end of the music video we can see where Biggie’s heart lies, with his mother and daughter. He has shared with them everything he did not have growing up as seen with his mother wearing pearls and his daughter with “5 karats” in her ears. Biggie did a lot for Hip-Hop, he set the bar high when it comes to story telling with a good flow. A legend is what Biggie will forever be known as.
By: Lucylibeth Gomez