BioA new wave of Toronto-based rap talent is positioning itself to make a dent on Canadian music charts. Rochester aka Juice has emerged as one of the leaders of this new school. Don’t believe the hype? You don’t need to. Prominent press outlets, commercial radio and TV stations have already stepped in to cement the hoopla, and the stage is set.
Born Jason Rochester, the tall and noticeably handsome emcee grew up in the Islington/Finch corridor of Toronto and demonstrated a unique artistic gift as a young teen – that of a comic book illustrator. Influenced by the likes of Marvin Gaye, Dennis Brown and Jay-Z, Juice casually dabbled in the art of rhyme slinging in his old neighborhood, at one time joining rap clique The STC (Street Terrorist Clique). Years later when Canada’s first urban radio station (FLOW 93.5 fm) held their inaugural Soul Search talent contest (in 2002), he graduated with honours from occasional ‘hood cipher contributor to centre-stage entertainer. A charismatic performance coupled with an ability to paint candid pictures through his rhymes crowned Juice the Soul Search’s inaugural first prizewinner for his original composition “Young Luv” - an animated ode to early childhood romance – Juice’s career kicked into overdrive.
As music luminaries began to take notice of Juice’s rapid ascent, he continued to crash through music industry barriers with skillful rhymes that garnered unique marketing opportunities. His B-Boy-next-door good looks secured him a gig as the face of Athlete’s World/Bata Canada’s recent The World Is Yours national ad campaign. Juice was also commissioned by MuchMusic to appear in the campaign that launched urban video station MuchVibe. He went on to pen the theme song for “Basketball City” on Sportsnet/Raptors Television and to win Universal Music Canada’s “My Block” remix contest for the song “Too Long” (featuring partners-in-rhyme Mhedikc and Jarod). This would help to create the climate in which to meet both the market and fans’ demand for his music.