wax Poetics

Oran “Juice” Jones

“The Rain”

Released 1986
record label Def Jam
Written by Ronnie Reese

The Rain
The Rain

If game does indeed recognize game, then it was fitting for Oran “Juice” Jones to start his monologue in “The Rain” with the aplomb of a schmaltz-voiced game-show announcer. It is a musical setting that is cinematic as it unfolds, as Jones lulls his unfaithful partner into the falsest of false senses of security before turning the situation on a dime with “I missed you, too…I missed you so much, I followed you today.” Actually, the situation most likely turned on the $3,700 lynx coat his lady was wearing—just one of the things the Houston-born, Harlem-bred singer provided in what he thought was a trusting relationship. It’s a place many of us have been.

As a seventh grader at the time, I’m not sure if I fully understood the ramifications of infidelity, but I do know that if I caught my prepubescent crush, Michelle Jimenez, walking in the rain with some other kid, one of us is going to detention while the other goes to the school nurse. Jones, however, was much more civil than I. Sure, he initially considered running up on his lesser half and her suitor, pulling out his jammy, and flat-blasting the both of them. But you know what he did instead? He chilled.

This was a smart move. It’s not worth catching a body over. Plus, he didn’t want to mess up that lynx coat, which is quite understandable. In 1986, at the height of Reaganomics, $3,700 was a lot of money.

I’m sure there are some sisters out there who are going to side with old girl and claim that Jones had it coming for whatever reason, but they’re getting it all wrong. After all, she was with the Juice, and he was giving her the world—silk suits, Gucci handbags, blue diamonds, and even things she couldn’t pronounce, which are always the most expensive.

In the end, Jones was driven to the brink with clichés, but remained sincere, offering sage advice just as he was offering hot chocolate minutes earlier. Yes, hot chocolate for a breakup. And that’s not gangster. That’s pimp.