Gideon Manasseh’s New York: “JUICE IS STILL FRESH @20”


Arts & Entertainment

Khalil Kain and Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E

Commemorate 20th Anniversary and Send Message for Youth to Silence the Violence

L/R-Jackie Rowe Adams (co-founder Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E), Khalil Kain (actor

January 17, 2012-At the Magic Johnson Theater in Harlem famed actor Khalil Kain hosted a red carpet reception and star studded 20th anniversary screening of the classic hip hop film “JUICE” which tells the story of four Harlem male youth whose lives are forever altered by senseless gun violence. The 1992 film starred hip hop icon Tupac Shakur, Khalil Kain, Omar Epps, and Jermaine Hopkins as the morally hijacked foursome.

“JUICE” is still relevant because its message of twenty years ago is today-nothing good comes from gun violence in our community,” says Jackie Rowe Adams, co-founder of Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E. According to the December 2011 police report; there were 52 murders in northern Manhattan and 490 homicides citywide for the year. Ms. Adam also said, “We are delighted to collaborate with Khalil to have our young people re-focus their attention on the message in the film “JUICE”. We must silence the violence, because homicide is the second leading cause of death among youth today.”

The film “JUICE” a 1992 film noir about four Harlem teens-aspiring DJQ (Omar Epps), ladies man Raheem (Khalil Kain), comic foil (Jermaine Hopksins) and hothead Bishop (Tupac Shakur)-who got caught up in the pursuit of power and happiness which they refer to as “JUICE”. The film was the breakout role for Tupac Shakur and Khalil Kain’s debut role.

Fame rapper “Tupac” was killed in a drive by shooting in Las Vegas in 1996 in his SUV at the age of 25, three years after the film was release.

“Unlike Tupac, I’m still here. This film isn’t dead. Its message is alive and kicking even after 20 years. That’s part of what this celebration is about, bringing the movie back to Harlem,” said Khalil Kain. He also said, “There are people out here like me and Jackie Rowe Adams of Harlem Mother S.A.V.E who want to show that there is a way to thrive; to get more out of life; and become a full human being with love in your heart.”

S.A.V.E (Stop Another Violent End) Mothers, with Khalil Kain (actor) standing rear

“JUICE” was the first solo project of young African American film-maker Ernest Dickerson. He co-wrote “JUICE” with Gerard Brown and directed the hip-hop film noir with its shadowy cinematography and conflicted characters. “The hip-hop was the cultural context of their lives. We wanted the milieu of our film noir to be correct and that was hip-hop,” said Dickerson. He also said, “There were many community and church groups who recognized our true message…they felt we accurately portrayed the forces they faced.”

The anniversary screening of this ground breaking film was given in conjunction with Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E (Stop Another Violent End) the NY City’s prominent anti-gun violence group (www.harlemmotherssave.org).

Gideon Manasseh / photojournalist

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