Legends Never Die: the Legacy of Juice WRLD
Written by Nalini Deonarine on July 11, 2020
You found another one, but I am the better one. I won’t let you forget me.Juice Wrld, “Lucid Dreams”
Though he had a short-lived career, Juice WRLD (December 2, 1998 – December 8, 2019) reached millions and influenced a generation of people just like him. His latest studio album–appropriately titled Legends Never Die–was released posthumously on July 10th. Through his music, his legacy lives on.
Juice was born as Jarad Anthony Higgins in Chicago, Illinois. He was raised my his single mother, Carmella Wallace, who was strict about the type of music her son was allowed to listen to. Despite this, Juice still took an interest in a wide variety of music genres during his early years. He has cited some of his influences to be The Beatles, Billy Idol, Fall Out Boy, and Blink-182.
Prior to being a Billboard chart-topper, Juice got his start as a smalltime SoundCloud rapper. He recorded his first solo track, “Forever”, and several others on a cell phone and started releasing them on the music platform in 2015. His original stage name was JuicetheKidd, drawing on Tupac Shakur’s role in the crime thriller Juice (1992).
By the time his first professionally produced track was released in 2017, JuicetheKidd became Juice WRLD. Later that year he released his debut EP 9 9 9 on SoundCloud for free, which included his most popular song, “Lucid Dreams”.
Juice’s first studio album titled Goodbye & Good Riddance dropped on May 23, 2018. It featured hits like “All Girls Are the Same”, “Lean Wit Me”, and the re-released “Lucid Dreams”. This track debuted at number 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, and continued to climb until it peaked at number 2. He even got a nomination for the 2018 MTV Video Music Award for Song of the Summer with this single.
As he continued to gain popularity, Juice started collaborating with several other artists: Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Mosey, Travis Scott, and embarking on a short European tour with Nicki Minaj. His second studio album, Death Race for Love, was released in 2019 and starting topping charts immediately.
On December 8, 2019, Juice passed away after having a drug-induced seizure and overdose. The incident took place as he arrived at the Chicago Midway International Airport from Los Angelos. The rapper’s untimely death shook the music industry, sparking both fans and fellow artists to publicly express their mourning.
Several artists released new or remixed tracks that featured vocals from Juice WRLD. The first song released after his death was Eminem’s “Godzilla” in January of 2020. To honour the late artist, Juice’s mother and his record label released his third studio and first posthumous album on July 10, 2020. The album is titled Legends Never Die, and features guest artists Halsey, Marshmello, and Trippie Redd.
Wallace established a foundation called the Live Free 9 9 9 Fund to help youths who struggle with drug addictions, anxiety and depression like her son did. She wishes for her son’s death to be a lesson for people so they don’t have to experience what Juice did. Other than through this organization, Juice’s legacy lives on through his music.
His songs were broken fragments of his own emotions that his generation could relate to. Juice’s vocals and collaborations with others are echos of his talents.
Check out Legends Never Die in the link below.