David Saracino

Celebrating 25 Years of “Gin & Juice”

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It’s got killer opening lines to hook you in (“With so much drama in the L-B-C/ It’s kinda hard being Snoop D-O-double-G”). It’s got a flypaper-catchy chorus that sticks in your head (“Laid back—with my mind on my money and my money on my mind”). And it all flows on a lush bed of Dr Dre’s signature West Coast G-Funk.

Snoop Dogg’s “Gin & Juice” was an instant classic when it came out in 1993, and this year, as it turns 25 (yes; you might be old), the party anthem has lost none of its appeal or relevance. “Gin & Juice” has been covered and sampled and referenced by artists from just about every genre in just about every year since its release—including 2018, when Justin Timberlake quoted it in his song “Filthy.”

There are country, metal, pop, ska, and reggae versions of “Gin & Juice.” Tongue-in-cheek lounge acts have covered the song. Paul Simon took a crack at it once, live onstage next to Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan. During a 2018 All-Star Weekend edition of Inside the NBA, basketball Hall of Famer Shaquille O’Neal provided impromptu human beatbox of the song’s bass line for Snoop to rap over, which he did, unfurling the first verse live on the outdoor set for an amped up crowd.

In addition to its musical legacy, “Gin & Juice” single-handedly revived a classic cocktail from the Jerry Thomas era, a tasty, simple, and endlessly variable concoction. As Snoop himself told LA Weekly last year, “Gin is upper echelon, it’s a step up.” His song brought the duo it’s named after back into the spotlight, and it hasn’t left since. Classic gin and juice drinks like the Gimlet are standard again at cocktail bars, and the boom in juice bars has only lifted the combo even higher.

David Saracino

Some more “Gin & Juice” factoids:

  • The lyric “My mind on my money and my money on my mind” was a staple of 1980s live hip hop shows; Snoop Dogg was the first artist to record it.
  • The repeated phrase “six in the mornin’” from the song’s first verse echoes Ice-T’s 1986 gangsta rap classic of the same name. (It also appears in Justin Timberlake’s 2018 track “Filthy,” as mentioned.)
  • The song’s distinctive bass line is a sample from George McRae’s I Get Lifted(1975).
  • The chorus borrows from the melody in Slave’s Watching You (1980).
  • VH1 ranked “Gin & Juice” 8th on its list of the best 100 hip-hop songs of all time.
  • Complex rated “Gin & Juice” the 11th best hip-hop video of the 1990s.
  • The track peaked at 8th on the Billboard Hot 100, No. 1 on the US Hot Rap Songs and Hot Dance Singles charts, and 13th on the US Hot R&B/ Hip Hop chart.
  • Snoop was called Snoop Doggy Dogg when the tune came out, the first of many monikers he’s had, including a short-lived spell as Snoop Lion.
  • “Gin & Juice” was nominated for the Best Rap Solo Performance Grammy in 1995. It was the first of 17 Grammy nominations Snoop has earned in his career.

David Saracino

Here are three almost certainly incomplete lists of “Gin & Juice” covers, references, and samples since 1993:

Cover versions:

Ska: Berlin Project, 1997
Country: The Gourds, 1998
Hip Hop: Chubb Rock, 2004
Cheesy Lounge: Richard Cheese, 2004
Reggae: Prince Fatty [Feat Horseman & Winston Francis], 2007
More Cheesy Lounge: Leisure Kings, 2007
Rap-Rock: Hot Rod Circuit, 2008
Pop rock: Panic at the Disco [live on the F’N MTV Premieres TV show, with Snoop fronting], 2008
Folk: Paul Simon [live at Night of Too Many Stars benefit], 2010
Metal: Leo Moracchioli, 2014

References:

The Coup, album title, Genocide & Juice, 1994
Lou Bega, “Mambo No. 5” [“The boys say they want some Gin & Juice”], 1999
50 Cent, “Patiently Waiting” [Name-checks and quotes Snoop], 2003
YoungBloodZ, "Mind on My Money" [Uses a similar "Mind on my money, money on my mind" chorus], 2003
Chamillionaire, “Hip Hop Police” [“With so much drama in the industry…”], 2007
Flo Rida, "Mind on My Money" [Chorus: "Mind on my money, money on my mind..."], 2009
Rihanna, “Cheers (Drink to That)” [“Got a drink on my mind and my mind on my money, yeah yeah”], 2010
Katy Perry, “California Gurls” [“Sippin’ on Gin & Juice /laying underneath the palm trees;” and featuring Snoop on a verse], 2010
Rihanna, “Pour it Up” [“Money, money on my mind”], 2012
Selena Gomez, “Hands to Myself” [“You’re metaphorical gin and juice”; no, really, that’s the lyric], 2015
Demi Lovato, “Cool for the Summer” 2015 [“Got my mind on your body and your body on my mind”]
Justin Timberlake, “Filthy” [“Six in the morning (six in the morning)”], 2018

Samples:

Notorious B.I.G. “Respect,” 1994 [Like “Gin & Juice,” this track samples George McRae’s “I Get Lifted”]
Lil Mo, “Gangsta (Love 4 the Streets),” 2003
Twiztid, “A Very Twiztid Christmas,” 2007

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