“What’s the 27 club, we ain’t making it past 21” raps Juice WRLD on his summer 2018 single “Legends,” a timely ode to fallen artists of the rap game.
History seems to be somewhat repeating itself yet again in the hip hop community, with rising rapper Juice WRLD suffering from a seizure and dying on Dec. 8 in a Chicago airport. He was 21.
Jarad Anthony Higgins, or Juice WRLD, a stage name is derived from the 1992 movie Juice starring Tupac, started making music while in high school back in 2015. Thanks to his debut EP 9 9 9 and breakup anthem “All Girls Are The Same” taking off, Juice was signed to Interscope Records when he was 19 years old.
The artist was most known for his 2018 breakout song “Lucid Dreams” that ruled radios and playlists alike. The monster single came from his debut album Goodbye & Good Riddance from the same year. The album also birthed other fan favorites including “Black & White” and “Lean Wit Me.” Later in 2018, he released a joint album with Future entitled WRLD ON DRUGS. His second and last album, Death Race For Love including 22 songs dropped on March 8, 2019. His final single, “Let Me Know (I Wonder Why Freestyle),” released on Dec. 7, one day before the artist’s untimely passing.
With most of his lyricism consisting of heartbreak and drugs, Juice was often accused of making the same sad aesthetic music. However, Juice proved to be a standout artist amongst his peers like Lil Yachty, Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert, Kodak Black, Lil Skies and Trippie Redd after several features and a one hour long freestyle on TimWestwoodTV. After supposedly freestyling his sophomore album, Juice also showed his prolificacy as an emerging artist.
Every once in a while, Juice WRLD would drop singles at random, including the aforementioned “Legends.” The somber, now eerie, tribute came four days following the murder of artist XXXTentacion. The track also pays respect to the late Lil Peep, who died from an accidental drug overdose in November 2017 at 21 years old. The song depicts Juice’s confusion and frustration with the untimely deaths of great artists with even greater potential. “Legends” still resonated months after with the passing of rapper Mac Miller, who also suffered from an accidental overdose at the age of 26. Fast forward to March 2019, and the song is still relevant when news broke out that rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and murdered at 34 years of age. Yet again, the song still connects to Juice’s very tragic situation.
Unfortunately, yet another young kid has died way before their time, and the rap game has almost since become synonymous with these senseless tragedies. Hopefully next decade will repent and be better. Rest in peace Juice WRLD, “all legends fall in the making.”