real good. Real good, man.
off, who are the Replacementz?
are comprised of two dudes, myself, Ju1ce, from Chicago, and Tec Beatz
from Atlanta, Georgia. He does the majority of the tracks and I do the
majority of the raps.
you guys meet?
We met in
2002 in college. I went down to Atlanta to go to Clark. What's funny is
we didn't even know each other freshman year. Sophomore year, we were
living in the same dorm. I was working on beats in my room and he was
working on beats down the hall. Paris' boy was my roommate and knew the
both of us. We kept messing with each other going back and forth and then
we formed the Replacementz out of that.
you first sound compared to now?
When I met
him, I was making beats on the computer and he already had the whole studio
set up in his dorm room with the mic and beat machines and recording programs.
We were recording in a little room and everything was coming out good
compared to what everybody else was doing. It was a real premature sound,
but we eventually developed that.
you guys work together?
We have real
good chemistry. I understand where he's coming from. His variety of tracks
sparks something different in me. When he comes up with a track, I'll
come up with the song. We'll never knock each other's ideas. We'll try
them out to see if they work.
is it to have your production in-house in 2006?
we really are a treasure, because anybody can rap and do that, but we
can actually make songs and produce our own beats. I only started making
beats because I was rapping with my homeboy from back in Chicago. I always
had an ear for wanting to do that and we didn't have the money to pay
for beats. We didn't have the bread like that. It was a real advantage
to be able to do our own songs, record them, and mix them ourselves. That's
why I call Tec Beatz the man behind the scenes. He's doing the engineering
and mixing and making sure the songs come out right. He's real good and
we save a lot of money from not going to studios and paying $40 here and
point did you start taking hip-hop seriously?
I want to
say from the moment we first started working together. When we first started,
we were just going to make beats together. I wasn't that serious about
emceeing. Tec really put it in perspective and said we can really do this.
The first song we recorded was a song called "Thoughts 3000."
That song was just so raw. I wrote my verse and he already had a verse,
and we let people hear it and they liked it. Then we had another song
called "Smoke Session." That song just came out so crazy and
the next day we let everybody hear it around campus and they were going
crazy. After we finished that song, there was a little performance showcase
later that week. We let everyone hear that song and they were going crazy.
It just so happened that Warren G was there and he saw us and he said,
"Y'all really did your thing." We were hyped. That was the first
celebrity giving us good feedback. Since we had just recorded songs, we
had wanted to give him a demo, but we didn't have any on us. We went to
burn a CD, but by the time we came back, he was gone.
your affiliation come about with the Apphiliates?
to Clark, too. Drama was there before us, but Don Cannon was in school.
I didn't know Cannon like that but Tec would stay in touch with him. We
were still recording songs, but we were really going to be a beat-team.
We finally realized we had to put a mixtape together and Cannon mixed
it off love. We got good feedback and we did another one, Panic Room Volume
Two. He did it again for no charge, he mixed it, and it came out real
good. That's kind of how all that happened.
your experience at Clark help your hip-hop career?
Clark and just being in Atlanta period, Atlanta is full of people not
from Atlanta. You have people from all over and you get to see what kind
of music they listen to and their slang and everything else. You get to
be around a lot of people. I graduated this past May. I walked the stage
for graduation, but I'm still finishing one class this summer.
What's the current focus for the Replacementz?
we're just trying to build this fan-base. The way the industry is, people
are coming out with one song and the labels are picking up off that. We
feel we have a lot of longevity and we haven't created that buzz yet.
We're about to drop Panic Room Volume Three. We're getting ready to drop
that as soon as possible. We've also been working "We So Fly."
We haven't put a big push behind it yet, but it's been getting a lot of
spins on MySpace, especially on DJ Drama's page.
is DJ Drama's cosign?
It adds extra
ears, basically. Our first two mixtapes, we pretty much grinded it out
ourselves. With him being known as one of the biggest DJ's down south,
that just adds an extra ear. When he says our name, people want to know
who the Replacementz are. We had our mixtapes on IAP-TV.com and our mixtapes
were just sitting there, and now they're picking up. I'm pretty sure that's
because of our affiliation.
you learned working with the Apphiliates?
have a lot of growing to do. This is just the beginning. There is still
a lot of grinding to do. We're really finding out how much grinding it
really takes. We've sold our CD's, passed out CD's, and gone to the radio
stations. The real grind doesn't stop. We have more people checking for
us and we have to make sure everything we put out is top-notch and represents
currently looking for a label?
we haven't really talked to nobody like that. Sony flew us up to New York
and we met with them. This was at the beginning of this year. We flew
up there and we met with a representative from Atlantic too. You know
how it is with buzz. They want to see the spins and we didn't really have
that, so we really didn't hear too much back from them. We got real love
and they liked our music. One of their guys was quoting my lyrics. That
means he was really listening. We're just building the buzz up and seeing
what kind of buzz we can build up.
your next move?
this Panic Room Volume Three. That's the immediate, short-term goal.
your debut album coming?
The way we
feel, we have an album done. We were going to put all original music on
our mixtape, but we decided to put some freestyles on there. We have an
album done. It's really up to us. As soon as we get the call that someone
needs an album, we have it all ready for them.
you have to do to be successful in 2006?
I think we
just need to build a strong, strong team and foundation. We need to have
a lot of people who are 100% behind us and we need to go hard at these
shows and getting the music out there. Once the music gets out there,
the music speaks for itself. I just got back from a couple of showcases
and about ten people recognized us from other places, either from seeing
us perform, hearing us on the radio, or an underground DVD we were on.
I'm confident that once the music is out there, everybody will pretty
much be behind us.
college and hip-hop work for you at the same time. How important is it
to you to balance college and hip-hop and do both successfully?
go into life thinking you don't need college and the rap thing is going
to work. This industry is real shaky and it's situational-based. You have
guys like Kanye and they dropped out and he's doing it real big, but then
you have a lot who never went and don't have a situation in hip-hop and
they're back on the block. It's about how you feel and making a decision
off of what you know. I felt that since I had been here, I might as well
finish it up.
run into any problems with your name?
run into any problems. The only thing is my nephew thinks it's me every
time he hears Juice on the radio. I'm pretty sure there's going to be
some confusion. Some people think I'm the freestyle battle king. I knew
about the other Juice, but I've had this name since I was born. My family
gave me this name and things started moving so fast, I was like, "I
can't change it now." We'll see how everything plays out."
from Chicago as well, a lot of people are going to see this as being disrespectful.
I gave him
a shout out on the Panic Room Volume Two. I shouted out the other Juice
from Chicago. A name is a name. It shouldn't go no further than that.
and Tec going to get into any solo work?
trying to make this group work first. People were trying to steer us away
from what we were trying to do. Some execs think Tec needs to be a rapper
and I need to do the beats. The beats are so different that in order to
get the beats out there, we need to rap over them and show people what
to do with them. We were shopping some beat-CD's before we did songs to
them and they didn't sell, but then they heard what we did to them and
then people want them. The music we make is way bigger than rap. We did
a remix with the Pussycat Dolls. I don't know if it's going to get picked
up, but we've been doing things of that nature.
you want to say to everyone?
at it, stay with us. To all our fans, stick behind us and help us promote
ourselves. We're trying to change this music game. People are saying there's
no more music and rapping isn't rapping anymore. We're just trying to
bring it back a little bit.