The legendary Juice Crew, consisting of rap pioneers such as Kool G Rap and Biz Markie, reportedly offered Wu-Tang Clan‘s GZA a chance to join the infamous clique back in the day, according to Raekwon.
The “Chef” claims GZA had a shot at linking with JC but turned down the opportunity.
“The GZA had a record deal, Rae revealed in an interview. “Back then [I heard] GZA turned down being one of the members of the Juice Crew. So you know, these were the guys that we knew would be the outlet for getting put on one way or another.” (XXL Mag)
Active from nearly a decade (1983-1991), the Juice Crew is collectively known for their rap battles and collabo cuts.
The Juice Crew was a hip hop collective of largely Queensbridge-based artists in the mid- to late-1980s. Founded by producer Marley Marl and radio DJ Mr. Magic and housed by Tyrone William‘s Cold Chillin’ Records, the Juice Crew would introduce New School artists Big Daddy Kane, Biz Markie, Roxanne Shanté and Kool G Rap. The crew produced many answer records and “beefs” – primarily with rival radio jock Kool DJ Red Alert and the South Bronx’s Boogie Down Productions – as well as the “posse cut”, “The Symphony”. (Wikipedia)
Around 2008, KRS-One talked to SOHH about a Juice Crew film being scraped.
“The movie kinda collapsed,” KRS explained. “I spoke to Talib Kweli who was supposed to be playing Scott La Rock and I was gonna coach him through that but then the movie collapsed on his end. I spoke to Biz Markie yesterday ’cause the movie was supposed to be called The Vapors and asked Biz, ‘what’s up?’ I guess they didn’t get the response they wanted. A press release was sent out that didn’t have anything [confirming the production], but it got people hyped and support-but no money came with it. That’s the last I heard.” (SOHH)
Despite declining the Juice Crew invitation, GZA went on to flourish as a member of the Wu.
Time passed, and the Genius landed a recording contract with Cold Chillin’, which, unfortunately, was nearing the end of its brilliant run. In 1991, he became the only future Wu-Tang member to release a solo album prior to the Clan’s formation, with Words From the Genius. (All Music)
Check out Raekwon speaking on GZA’s Juice Crew turn-down below: