Release date: December 31, 1991
Record label: MCA
Since Tupac Shakur is one of the stars of Juice, you'd think that the soundtrack would feature at least one original song from the legendary rapper, but, alas, he's not included. His only contribution to the Juice legacy is the exceptional performance he gives in the movie, playing Harlem resident Bishop, an aspiring gangster whose desire to make a name for himself in the streets leads to numerous tragedies.
2Pac's absence is, fortunately, not a gaping hole on the Juice soundtrack, being that the 14-track hip-hop powerhouse has more than enough audible greatness as it is. Plus, Shakur co-starred in the video for Naughty By Nature's soundtrack opener "Uptown Anthem," which, in the minds of many rap heads, eclipses NBN's more popular recordings, like "O.P.P." and "Hip-Hop Hooray." Equally top-notch is Eric B. & Rakim's ferocious "Juice (Know the Ledge)," a blistering assault of Rakim's lyrical wordplay and a dizzying beat marked by frantic vocal samples and urgent instrumentation.
Stretching far outside of the New Jersey/New York metropolitan area, Juice also finds Too Short dropping pimp jewels on "So You Want to Be a Gangster" and Cypress Hill cutting right to the violent chase on "Shoot 'Em Up." Again, there's no 2Pac, but it's all good.