– I eat, drink and sh1t Hip Hop, I regurgitate Hip Hop and eat it again and then regurgitate it again….i DREAM hip hop’ – B-Luv
It’s been over 20 years since their last release and the F.O.R.C.E is still strong! J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E’s energy comes via intravenous drip directly from the streets – in that very vital sense they were, still are and always will be 100% hip hop. Heavily influenced by the first wave of Hip Hop artists (above all The Coldcrush Brothers), the trio of B-Luv, AJ Rock and Curt Cazal, ever since an early age were fascinated by group harmonizations. Being brought up within one block of each other in the Central Islip neighbourhood of Long Island (NY), the three boys studied at Central Islip High school. It was in those formative years that they discovered the burgeoning, new Hip Hop movement together, shared the vibrant popular culture of the late 70s and early 80s and ultimately formed the Hip Hop group J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E. From the very beginning of the group’s inception they were in every sense, in complete H.A.R.M.O.N.Y. Inspired by classic old school MC battles like Coldcrush vs Fantastic Romantic, the boys began rapping at a very early age. B-Luv and Curt Cazal started to develop the fundamentals of MC’ing at school in the 1st and 2nd grade while attending Cordello Elementary School, L.I. Around the same time, B-Luv’s father’s record collection became a constant focal point. They learned to appreciate sounds from a previous generation (a main ingredient of Hip Hop music) as well as the art of scratching, like many youngsters from that time and place, to the detriment of an older relative’s record collection!
J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E first performed as a crew at a neighborhood house party somewhere in Central Islip – the exact time and place eludes the group now – “It’s been a long time”. B-Luv and AJ jelled immediately in front of a crowd and became permanent rap partners. After graduating high school, B-Luv was the only member of the crew that went away to study at college. B-Boy records called while B was at school to say they L.O.V.E.D a demo the group had put together entitled “The New School.” B-Boy Recs asked for a meeting and instantly wanted to sign the group to the label. “Strong Island” (their seminal and one of Hip Hop’s seminal anthems) was only an idea at the time. Upon recording it they realised they had created something extraordinary. In their own words “It felt like real hip-hop”. Once “Strong Island” blew up, the label allowed J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E to make the classic “Doing Damage” album with no A&R involved, a privilege and a freedom they would not enjoy again. Later in their (relatively short) recording career, the record labels they worked with ‘encouraged’ (F.O.R.C.E’d) the group to include faddish Hip-House tracks and House-music-leaning joints on their albums in order to pander to a more widespread audience and satisfy a primarily commercial concern. To the boys, Hip Hop had never been a ‘money thing’ – it was about expression, passion for the medium and a love for where they came from, Long Island and even more specifically their own working class heritage. Having worked together throughout their professional lives and having built a strong, unbreakable bond, J.V.C.F.O.R.C.E amicably decided in 1992 to disband and pull out of their record deal with Big Beat Records before the release of the band’s third studio album. They all felt that they should stop the charade and listen to their consciences rather than be shaped and moulded by the whims of record labels. They did as they had always done – they kept it R.E.A.L.