NEW YORK — “Can you feel it?/ Nothin’ can save ya/ For this is the season of catchin’ the vapors.”
In 1988, Biz Markie rapped about him and his music family, the Juice Crew, making the ultimate I-told-you-so, ashy-to-classy hit song, “Vapors.” And why wouldn’t he brag? Biz was on fire, teammate Big Daddy Kane had a hit record worldwide and the rest of their crew’s core members — Kool G Rap, Marley Marl, Masta Ace and Roxanne Shanté — had established themselves in the game as well. Also in ’88, the Juice Crew made one of the most definitive hip-hop posse cuts of all time, “The Symphony,” which appeared on Marley Marl’s In Control Volume 1 compilation that year.
Now, the team’s rise is being documented and brought to the silver screen to mark the 20th anniversary of the Juice Crew’s breakthrough. The movie is aptly titled “The Vapors.”
“Right now, it’s in the casting stage,” Marley Marl, the legendary DJ and producer behind many of the Juice Crew’s collective and solo hits, said about the film last week at Hammerstein Ballroom. Marley, who hails from Queensbridge and also works on outside projects for LL Cool J, was getting ready for a special gig: spinning as Nas’ DJ during a recent concert.
Blackfilm.com had previously reported some casting choices for the film, including David Banner as Biz Mark, “ATL” co-star Jackie Long as Big Daddy Kane, Keke Palmer as Roxanne and Cuba Gooding Jr. as Marley. Marley Marl told MTV News the filmmakers have talked to a slew of talent but insisted that no definitive casting choices have been made.
“We’re not reaching out — a lot of stars are reaching out to us because that’s an important movie in hip-hop history,” he further explained. “It’s basically me, Big Daddy Kane and Biz’s life story leading up to 1988. How we got there. How we made the golden era pop. … A lot of ups and downs, a lot of personal sh–. It is what it is.”
Marl, who dropped his most recent project, Hip-Hop Lives, with KRS-One last year, was politically correct when asked who he wanted to play him in the film.
“The best actor possible,” he smiled. “We gonna tally it up at the end and see who it could be. We need the movie ’Vapors’ to make its point, and a lot of the young kids to know what birthed the golden era. That’s what it is. It’s a 2008 release. My boy Furqaan [Clover] is directing it. I told him the idea, I fed it to him, and like within two weeks I started reading about it. So it’s moving very, very quickly. They got the investors. This is something that everybody’s excited about, and it should be one of the pinnacle [hip-hop] movies. You got ’Scarface,’ ’Krush Groove,’ whatever in your [DVD] rack, [you’ll eventually] have ’Vapors.’ ”
Marley is currently working on the film score to the movie “The Wendy Williams Experience,” a biopic revolving around the controversial radio personality. Clover is directing that as well.
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