Rapper Just Juice squeezes out words of wisdom

Ana Gonzalez

Brandon Kelman

For his Journalism 1 class, Brandon Kelman interviewed rapper Justin Mojahed who is known by his stage name Just Juice. You can find many of his freestyle raps on SoundCloud.

  1. Tell me about your childhood and where you grew up.

I’m from Boston Massachusetts. I grew up with with a loving family, very supportive family. They loved anything I loved, you know?I have 4 brothers, one of them is an identical twin named MoJo. Music wasn’t always something that they supported off the bat but eventually once I started to put more effort into it and showed them it was possible, they started to believe in it the same way I believed in it. I had a good childhood.

  1. What was your high school experience like?

So my high school experience was interesting. I never really… honestly its not too good of away to put it but I didn’t put much effort into school. I kind of didn’t show up too often. I don’t condone that I don’t recommend that. I wasn’t super driven and I used to milk getting colds. Any excuse I could to skip class I would. It wasn’t because I was a bad student. I would put effort into the classes I cared about and I saw flying colors. Anything I really wanted to do I could do. I just didn’t want to do a lot of it. I ended up going to an art school after my high school career. I spent more time making music rather than being an audio engineer which is the other side of the glass that I didn’t want to be on in the studio. After they I went to Boston University where I did put my effort into it. I challenged myself, I told my father I would get good grades and I got all As. I really wanted to prove to myself that I could do anything I wanted to do. With that said, once I knew I could get good grades in school, now I’m going to spend my time doing what I love to do which is music. You need to focus in school. I m not saying don’t pay attention like I did. You have this. There’s a better way to do it than the way I did it. There’s enough time to do both. Make sure that you’re spending your time on everything that you think you need to be spending time on.

  1. Who are your musical influences and idols?

I grew up listening to people like Tupac and Bone Thugs-N-Harmony. Which you can probably hear some of that in my delivery, my flow. Eventually I discovered this rapper called Logic. He soon became my friend. I thought he was the biggest rapper on earth when I met him. I was 17. I thought he was amazing, I always knew he’d be one of the greats. I loved him and he is my favorite rapper. He kind of took me under his wing and in 2010 when we met for the first he really showed me that anything is possible. I got to witness him come up from the ground up. He is definitely my idol. He is somebody who I can call friend. He showed me first hand that anything is possible. He is my idol.

  1. What drew you to music and do you have a defining moment when you thought, “I want to be a music artist?”

I actually played the drum set growing up. I liked the belated and flows and rudiments and stuff which you can hear in the flows of different rappers. I ended up doing a talent show for rap in third grade at a summer camp. I love the response, they thought I was entertaining. I wasn’t the best at that point, I mean I am always growing. But I wasn’t anywhere near where I am now back then. I loved the response, I tried to replicate that response by pursuing rap. I ended up ditching the drum set because my shoulders and back would get tired and I didn’t really haven’t the stamina physically to play it. I ended up putting those beats into flows with my words and people loved it. So I was like, alright I’m going to see what I can do with it.

  1. What inspires you to write music?

I’m inspired by pretty much everyone and everything. You can really take away and learn from a lot of situations in life. Pretty much every situation there is something to be taken away from it. For example, this is super inspiring to me. I can speak with someone who loves my music and we share the same passion for making music. I may write a song about being inspired, there is so much you can take away from every situation. You can’t take anything for granted so I try to be inspired by everything.

  1. What is the process like for you when you write a song? Where do you begin?

I usually start with a beat. I have ideas or concepts in my mind during the day and I’ll write them down in my notes. I’ll end up picking a beat that stands out to me and I’ll see what it does in terms of setting the vibe and the emotion and the pace. I’ll go through my notes and I’ll find concept that I like and I will match them to the beat. So I will start with a beat but I’m always brainstorming and always thinking of concepts. It kind of just flows out once I start working with a beat that I like.

  1. What sets you apart from other rap artists?

My goal is to stand out. I feel like I don’t fit the mold or the stereotype of what’s expected or the standard of what’s expected. Maybe people want rappers to look a certain way, act a certain way or dress a certain way. But I truly feel that none of that is really as important as your hard work and effort and the message, how talented you are. But my goal is to stand out and prove that you don’t have to fit in the way they want you to fit in. This is for anybody. Anyone can do whatever they want to do in life as long as they believe in themselves. Be yourself. Love yourself. There’s no one else like you so you need to be the best you can be. Don’t worry about fitting in. That’s really what I want to do.I feel like not fitting in is the way to fit in now. You’ve got to be unique.

  1. You refer to yourself as “The voice of the underdogs”. What is the overall message you try to get out to your listeners?

What I want to do is be a voice for the doubted, the hated, the underrated, underestimated. If they’ve been told they aren’t good enough or they aren’t worth it or that they don’t have what it takes I want to speak to them and show them them that anything is possible. You’ve got to make up for what you lack in other areas.

I feel like If I’m not the best basketball player, I’m going to show them that I can make the 3 just like they can. It may take more practice and more effort but this is for anybody. Anyone can do anything. I want to prove that anything is possible regardless of any disadvantages. There’s someone else that may take a disadvantage as an advantage like people think me not looking like a rapper is a disadvantage but I think that’s the way that I caught everyone’s attention in the first place. Anything is possible.