In the early 2000s, New York City saw a lot of changes in the Hip Hop community. The talent of both emcees and producers had evolved into a top-notch, competitive level, big corporations had infiltrated the music industry, and radio stations and record labels expanded drastically. Home recording was a lot more accessible as equipment costs were affordable. Demo tapes and CDs had flooded the scene, but it was the first sign of record stores closing their doors. The explosion of digital media and the Internet had completely changed the way people consume music. For many, it meant they could reach a wider audience. For others, it meant a decline in album sales. This led to the closing of Tower Records, Virgin Megastore, and Sam Goody, as well as local mom and pop stores across the country.
This also became the beginning of Creative Juices Music. As an intern for record labels in the 1990s, the traditional methods of marketing and promotion for album releases were becoming obsolete. Catering an approach that would appeal to record labels was not as sought after anymore, as the DIY (Do It Yourself) approach seemed to be the emerging method of maintaining a career as an artist independently. From networking and building relationships with people in NYC and many cities across the globe, we decided to release our own music. The first CJM release was Endless Varieties; a compilation disc of indie artists from around the U.S. whose music we believed in and who we knew personally. CJM sold copies online and out of the trunk to total over 20,000 units purchased. After the newfound success of Endless Varieties, CJM began operating as a grassroots record label. From following the success of imprints such as Rawkus Records, Stones Throw Records, Eastern Conference Records, Fondle Em Records, Psycho Logical Records, and Wu-Tang Recordings, we wanted to carry on a similar tradition of original groundbreaking Hip Hop music. CJM focused on artist management, production, engineering, graphic design, promotion, and more.
CJM was inspired at a time when record stores were a common ground to meet like-minded individuals and be exposed to live shows and events. Our collective has always been comprised of outspoken, unique, eclectic, and creative individuals. There are artists that have worked their way from the ground up, have mastered their crafts for decades, and are able to have complete creative control of their art.
CJM is home to artists that deserve more; in an industry where talent does not coincide with success. We provide music for leaders, abstract thinkers, and individual minds.
What started as a few friends plastering stickers all over New York City became a record label that has earned an international fan base with an extensive catalogue of releases with artists such as Jeru The Damaja, Sadat X, Killah Priest, Hell Razah (Sunz Of Man), Casual (Hieroglyphics), Snowgoons, Mista Sinista, Steele (Smif-N-Wessun), ILL BILL, Necro, The Arsonists, Thirsten Howl The 3rd, The Outsidaz, Sean Price, Killer Mike, DJ Revolution, Planet Asia and many more. CJM has also licensed music to brands such as DC Shoes, Etnies, Quicksilver, Adidas, Alpine Racing, and others.
The roster of CJM artists has included IDE, Alucard, cRITICAL, Jise (The Arsonists), Swave Sevah, U.G. (Cella Dwellas), Respect Tha God, Junior Makhno, Nems, DJ Connect, Destruments, Skavenger, Savage Messiah, Jak Progresso, 2 Hungry Bros, DJ Caique, CF, Dontique, and more. CJM offers digital and physical copies as well as the traditional vinyl and cassette tapes.
Some of the key players in the development of CJM have been IDE who runs most the day to day, in addition to being an engineer and artist himself. Aaron Active who has been involved in graphic design, website development, and social media. Alucard, besides being an emcee, has been a Creative Director for the label and has done graphics as well as overseen artistic direction of albums. Kenny Shumaker has been involved in graphics, video, and creative input for albums. Jise one has played a roll behind the scenes in documenting, photography as well as creative input towards projects. Most artists that released projects with us have been involved in promoting the label, themselves, and helping behind the scenes. Over the years we have had over 20 interns who have all contributed in major ways, as well.
As the result of a lifetime commitment of hard work and sacrifice, Creative Juices Music is dedicated to defining a sound that is unique to our collective and remaining a staple within Hip Hop worldwide. Our goal is to continue to focus on our artists’ creative expression and music that we believe in.