Know the Ledge

Last updated
"Know the Ledge"
Single by Eric B. & Rakim
from the album Don't Sweat the Technique and Juice (soundtrack)
ReleasedFebruary 1992
Studio The Hit Factory (New York City)
Genre Hardcore hip hop
Label MCA Records
Songwriter(s) Rakim
Producer(s) Rakim
Eric B. & Rakim singles chronology
"What's on Your Mind"
"Know the Ledge"
"Don't Sweat the Technique"
Music video
"Know the Ledge" on YouTube

"Know the Ledge" – originally on the soundtrack of the film Juice as "Juice (Know the Ledge)" – is a 1992 single by hip-hop duo Eric B. & Rakim. The film's theme song, also released on the duo's 1992 album Don't Sweat the Technique , it features a distinctive sample from Nat Adderley's 1968 hit "Rise, Sally, Rise".


"Know the Ledge" showcases Rakim's storytelling ability, sharing a first-person narrative of a neighborhood thug and drug dealer forced to come to grips with his violent and reckless lifestyle. Among Eric B. & Rakim's final hits as a duo, it was one of the most successful singles from the Juice soundtrack.

50 Cent told NME that the song was the one that made him want to be a rapper: "They were painting a picture of where I lived and all the moves you needed to make in order to live on the streets there. It was the law of the jungle out there." [1]


The rapper played a more active role in the song than usual:

"They let me go up in a little room and see the movie. It was funny: I was living in Manhattan, downtown on 19th street. So when I got to the crib, me and wifey, she knew I was zoning in the cab. When I got to the crib, I had my studio in a little room. I went straight up into the room and found the sample. The bass line. I took the bass line and put the regular drum sample underneath that shit. Half an hour later I had the lights off because I was in there zoning. Wifey came in; I was like, 'Turn the lights off and close the door back.' About an hour later, I came out of there with three verses, man. It was crazy." [2]

Rakim also played live drums on the track. [2]

Music video

The black-and-white video features Rakim rapping in the streets of Harlem, with scenes from Juice intercut.


Sampling and other references

The song has been featured in...


Weekly charts

Chart (1992)Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 [4] 96
US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs ( Billboard ) [5] 38
US Hot Rap Songs ( Billboard ) [6] 7
US R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay ( Billboard ) [7] 51

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