Juice Wrld, unfortunately, passed away today from an apparent seizure and the world of hip-hop is in shock. The 21-year-old was a rising star for the past couple of years from Illinois who took the music industry by storm with his hit song “Lucid Dreams”. Juice Wrld was unfortunately plagued by loss in the past two years from friends and idols such as XXXTentacion and Lil Peep, both were emo-rappers like Juice Wrld. These losses made him release the now prophetic song “Legends” in which he detailed how the 21 club is now the new “27 Club” and sadly that became true for him on December 8, 2019. While we continue to mourn the loss of one of hip-hop’s most unique and rising rappers, I compiled my writings of him on this article so that I too may pay my respects to the artist and his work. Rest in peace Juice Wrld, may you be forever missed.
2017 saw the rise of rappers being emotional and down to Earth with their music. Rappers such as Lil Uzi Vert, XXXTentacion, and Lil Peep are some of the few names that dominated the “emo-rap” genre of 2017. 2018 introduced us to another key player in the genre, that being Juice WRLD.
Juice WRLD is a 19-year-old rapper from Calumet Park, Illinois. His work can be compared to Lil Uzi Vert, XXXTentacion, and Lil Peep yet it still sounds unique and different from these artists even though they have a similar theme in their songs. Juice WRLD is perhaps the most human amongst these names, especially because of his age and his outlook on life. Lil Uzi Vert and Lil Peep were mostly about drugs, money, and losing the love of their lives. Meanwhile, XXXTentacion was more in line with releasing songs about life, death, and his feelings towards others. Juice Wrld can be described as the ultimate combination of these three artists who is then sprinkled with bits and pieces of other artists such as Trippie Redd, Wicca Phase Springs Eternal, Lil Yachty, and Lil Tracy to name a few. Juice Wrld is definitely someone I can see becoming one of the most notable acts of this year.
His music is what you’d expect from an emo rapper, however, his lyrics are what sets him apart from others in his genre. The way Juice WRLD raps on each dreamy and cloudy beat is perhaps his best feature. The delivery of his lyrics are sincere and full of sadness which results in an excellent display of character as each song follows this similar trend. Songs like “Lucid Dreams” are popular due to his unique take on the genre. “Lucid Dreams” is my favorite song by him due to his genuineness that he bleeds on the track. The message he maintains is deep and relatable on a personal level. Lyrics such as “Who knew evil girls had the prettiest face?” hit me in the feels to a great extent. I believe his honesty and straight-forwardness is what will propel him to further success this year.
His album Goodbye & Good Riddance is a very strong testament to his ability and versatility as a rapper. 15 tracks are barely enough to even scratch the surface of Juice WRLD’s persona. I don’t believe Juice WRLD to be a “character”; I consider him to be more lifelike than most of the current rappers. I feel that rappers such as Lil Xan and Yung Lean simply lack the humanity and realism that Juice WRLD extorts on this album. Nonetheless, this album is a song debut from the rising rapper and I can’t find many negative aspects of this release. Juice WRLD also made some solid skits for this album such as “Betrayal” and “Karma”. Skits haven’t been featured in modern music recently and if they are, they mostly just are called interludes. The skits on Goodbye & Good Riddance really set the tone and theme of the album as they feature a woman who laughs and betrays him at the start of the album, however, in the end, she gets her karma when he ignores her. These simple two skits really give the album an identity that can resonate with almost every listener.
With 13 songs and two skits, Juice WRLD released one of the best albums to come out this year. This year has already been a great year for music and if we get another release from him this year, I could see this year being better than 2016 when it comes to albums. I am glad to see Juice WRLD is blowing up and getting proper exposure and I hope he continues to put out quality work and works to further perfect his craft. I definitely must say that Juice WRLD is a name you need to look out for this year as I’m sure he will own a section of this year with his fantastic debut album.
10. ON GOD – Juice Wrld ft. Young Thug
Juice Wrld has been on a streak recently with releases and Death Race For Love is no exception. This 22 song album has some notable hits such as “Robbery” and “Hear Me Calling”, however, I believe the best song on this album is “ON GOD”. The song “ON GOD” features Young Thug and shows the insane chemistry that the two have together. With the two interweaving together they form a meticulous yet infectious song that ranks at 10 for this year’s list so far.