In 1992, we were in the tail end of the golden age of hip-hop. Dr. Dre had just released The Chronic, and G Funk was on the rise, but for fans of the east coast sound, there was still Eric B & Rakim. So as a nod to the good old days, today's Scenes (Songs) We Love is all about Eric B & Rakim's Know the Ledge from the 92 crime flick, Juice. The 90's timepiece was directed by cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson (The Wire and long-time cinematographer for Spike Lee) and centered on four friends in Harlem: Bishop (Tupac Shakur), Q (Omar Epps), Raheem (Khalil Kain) and Steel (Jermaine "Huggy" Hopkins) as they wrestled with the usual urban tropes about making it out of the 'ghetto'.
Music was a big part of the film, and if you are of a certain age, the songs in this movie will seem like the best house party you never got to attend. The soundtrack was a relatively big success, landing in the top 20 of the Billboard 200 with songs from Naughty by Nature, Big Daddy Kane, EPMD and the ambassadors of New Jack swing: Teddy Riley and Aaron Hall.
Probably one of the things that stood out in this film was that it tried to highlight the shift to a new kind of star in the world of hip hop: the gangster. In Dickerson and Gerard Brown's script, an idea emerges about the price of street cred' and the moral of the story falls on Epps' decision to put the guns down. But here we are almost 20 years later and when you take a quick look at the current state of hip hop, it looks like we haven't quite learned that lesson yet.
After the jump; "In a puddle of blood, I lay close to the edge..I guess I didn't know the ledge...."
As an added bonus: another Eric B & Rakim classic...sometimes I truly miss good Hip Hop.