“It’s no easy task for an artist to sum up who they are in one album, much less in one song. And yet, here, at the start of the first verse of the first song of his newest album, Juiceboxxx lays it all out for you:
Out of my mind but I’m a hell of a guy, I got the PMA, that’s just an FYI / I got a J-O-B and that’s to stay alive, 24/7 not 9 to 5…
“So begins “Freaking Out” on Freaked Out American Loser, the latest album from Juiceboxxx, the Milwaukee-bred punk rap artist who is quite simply the first and last of his kind all at once…
“Juiceboxxx grew up in the ‘2000s within the noise, punk rock, and underground rap communities of Wisconsin, and while those banners still fly high independently today, there are very few other artists who not only understand that venn diagram but who are also actively attempting to merge those sounds cohesively. There is something singular about a Juiceboxxx show, wherein he might run through some songs that remind you of Public Enemy—whom Juiceboxxx went on tour with, in Canada—or Beastie Boys. There will be some fast punk songs, and the whole thing might end on an anthemic track like “Never Surrender Forever” that has a Springsteen or Jonathan Richman influence. Yes, there are guitars, but he raps, too; Juice came out of those noise-damaged scenes, and everything he does is coated in a level of intensity. He sticks to his guns. He sleeps with his tension.
““There’s something weirdly eccentric about what I do that puts it to the left of culture,” he says. “I’m trying to do something eclectic but rooted in parameters I set for myself. Almost like when you watch a Beck show from the ’90s… There’s not that many people connecting the dots between rap music and raw rock-and-roll, attempting to use guitars in a different way. I’m not saying I’m the only one, but there’s not many taking classic rap influences and pushing it to more of a damaged-yet-anthemic punk zone.”
“Freaked Out American Loser is a punk rap blast that captures the anarchic, aggressive spirit of Juiceboxxx’s live show while also adding a new level of polish, focus, and dare we say, professionalism. “I’m looking at Beastie Boys as the Ramones or something, and trying to build on that language; looking at Public Enemy within the lens of punk rock,” Juiceboxxx says.”
Tune into WMSE on Tuesday, September 19th to listen to a live set from Juiceboxxx — WMSE.org to stream live or in the archives, or simply tune your radio to 91.7 FM at the 6 o’clock hour.