By Kate Puhala
“Don’t even worry about it. Don’t even fuckin’ worry about it. I only want to talk about the future, you know? I don’t dwell on the past. I don’t got time for that shit. Don’t worry about it.”
And I just asked for his real name. “Juiceboxxx, that’s three x’s. That’s all that matters,” says the 19-year-old Milwaukee-based rapper. A self-described “fusion of contemporary retro rap and dance with a punk-rock energy,” Juiceboxxx seems harmless at first, chuckling about a Gumby exhibit he was going to see at a museum in Hollywood. Then try mentioning “up-and-coming rap career” and he turns into a cussing, arrogant teenager. He doesn’t have time for anything superficial. He doesn’t care that he’s a skinny white kid. And he doesn’t mind that he’s from a state most famous for its cheese. But it’s no gimmick.
“If there are people out there who want to only think about age and other physical filth, they can go fuck themselves,” Juiceboxxx says with increasing aggressiveness. “If they’re not willing to see past looks, if they’re so fucking superficial, then you’re just a superficial motherfucker. You know I don’t care. I’m not concerned about those people, I can’t be worried about it. If people like me, great, but if people won’t even listen to my music because I look a certain way, they can go fuck themselves.”
Signed to Vicious Pop Records, part of the No Karma Label, Juiceboxxx’s “R U There God?? Itz Me Juiceboxxx” showcases fresh, playful hip-hop and grimy beats from the mind of a nerd-gone-wild. His lyrics, especially on “Thunder Jam #3,” reveal an innocent outlook on life—a reckless pursuit of fun while wishing, respectably, to rise to fame. With an anger in his voice aimed at no one specific and at everything all at once, Juiceboxxx rhymes, “Everybody all over the globe/ comin’ through straight to your earlobes/ Keep your head up and keep the beat slamin’”—and to Juiceboxxx, that’s simply all that matters.
“With the music I’m making, I just think it’s important to forget about all this shit and dance. To dance to music and rage. Know what I mean? Focus on the fuckin’ important things and fuck everything and rage. F.E.A.R. Fuck Everything And Rage, motherfucker. You know? Slogan for 2K6 and beyond. Completely fucking lose it.”
According to Juiceboxxx, there’s no better place to start the F.E.A.R. fad than Milwaukee.
“I think the fact that Milwaukee is not a hip town makes it a good place to be,” Juiceboxxx says. “Visiting L.A. or New York is cool, [but in Milwaukee] there’s none of that big city bullshit that you find in Chicago or New York. It’s like when I throw parties, people come and dance and don’t take shitty pictures of their friends or worry about what they wear, you know? In big cities, you can’t help but focus on the bullshit because it’s there. I mean, the focus-on-what-you’re-gonna-wear shit happens everywhere. But I think Milwaukee is small enough that it can break away. I don’t give a fuck about anything besides playing a good show and making sure people are dancing and not turning shit into a fashion show. And I think Milwaukee has the potential to reach it, and it’s my battle to unite the kids in the city with that.”
And Juiceboxxx doesn’t discriminate—he’s talking about making music for all kids: an audience that includes a borderless blend of hip-hop movers and shakers with those not at all familiar with the beat underground.
“There are some motherfuckers out there that talk about inclusiveness and say they make music for all the kids, but their music is so obviously targeted at a certain group of people, and that’s bullshit,” Juiceboxxx says. “I make pop music influenced by the current mainstream, you know. It’s rap for the youth, rap for everyone, all united. I make an effort to make music for everyone. ’Cause it’s a message everyone needs to hear. F.E.A.R., motherfucker.”
Juiceboxxx plans to unite the youth of the Midwest with his high-energy live show. “It’s all about an extreme intense punk rock feel and fucking shit up,” Juiceboxxx says. “Take it all out and fuckin’ mess it up. It just takes ten-to-fifteen seconds for me to get in the zone. I sit in a corner and then it’s just fuckin’ high energy. It’s pointless for me to describe it. I just fucking go nuts for like ten-to-fifteen minutes. Don’t even worry about it. I don’t even want to describe it. See for yourself.”
Juiceboxxx plays July 16 at Empty Bottle, 1035 North Western, (773)276-3600, at 9:30pm. $8.