On January 17, 1992, Juice, the feature film written and directed by Ernest R. Dickerson was released to a national audience. The movie would be well-received by critics, but as years passed the film would become so much more. In what was not your typical coming-of-age film, it told the story of four Harlem youths trying to find their way in the world—by any means necessary.

Juice launched the careers of young actors such as Omar Epps and Khalil Kain, and also gave audiences a glimpse into how special Tupac Shakur would become. The film resonated with people of color everywhere, exploring themes of police harassment, poverty, gang activity and the flawed public school system.

The film came to be known for its focus on hip-hop culture; the still growing genre that would eventually take the world by storm. Outside of the movie’s main characters, Juice also featured prominent rap acts such as Special Ed, Doctor Dré & Ed Lover, Fab 5 Freddy, EPMD, Treach, and Flex Alexander. 30 years after its’ release, Juice still continues to impact the culture and serves a nostalgic reminder of the beauty of urban life in the early 90s.

Take a look at our list of the actors that made the film so special—then, and now.

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