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Juice WRLD Showed Fans ‘What Passion And Pain Really Looked Like’

Posted by on December 10, 2019
Juice WRLD Showed Fans ‘What Passion And Pain Really Looked Like’

Juice WRLD figured out how to make the studio his personal smash room. His music often spoke directly to current or old flames while exploring his own heartbreak, employing easy-to-recite melodies that won over a generation. On “Lucid Dreams,” his biggest song, he immediately voiced how haunted by love he was: “I still see your shadows in my room / Can't take back the love that I gave you.” He opened the most accessible door yet to emotional rap, showing people that not only is it OK to be heartbroken, but it’s also OK to stay heartbroken as well. The 21-year-old rapper died on December 8, leaving a brief but legendary legacy of a kid on the verge of an industry takeover built upon passionate, human storytelling that came from the heart.

Born Jarad Anthony Higgins, Juice WRLD first piqued ears in 2016, and two years later, he signed a reported $3 million deal with Interscope Records. That’s a lot of money to give to a relatively unknown lyricist. But Juice WRLD quickly proved to be worth much more than that, as evident in the Sting-sampling “Lucid Dreams,” which began as a sleeper hit and eventually hit No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 and went platinum six times over.

Two albums — Goodbye & Good Riddance (which went platinum) and Death Race for Love (which has gone gold) — and one mixtape — Wrld On Drugs (with Future) — followed, and, Juice WRLD’s became one of hip-hop's most exciting rising voices who understood how to excavate his feelings truthfully. He’s set to live on through the hearts of fans that have found themselves in the emotional safe space he created. That’s what his positive message of 999, which featured on merch as well as in his music, sought to capture. “999 represents taking whatever ill, whatever bad situation, whatever struggle you’re going through and turning it into something positive and using it to push yourself forward,” Juice told MTV in 2018.

His honesty unlocked the door for fans, friends, and peers around him to heal from their wounds and become better versions of themselves. MTV News talked to 10 of Juice WRLD’s fans about how important that legacy is.

  • Alani Richardson, 24

    Favorite song: “Armed and Dangerous”

    Discovered Juice WRLD's music: "In 2017 while teaching at a law program for high schoolers."

    What does his music do for you? "It speaks to a part of me that I don’t always give a voice. Most of us are dealing with feelings that are deeper than what we’re able to express to our friends and family. His music was able to tap into those heavier emotions that I hadn’t been able to express without being judged."

    How do you hope he's remembered? "By the huge impact that he had on the younger generation. He showed us what passion and pain really looked like."

  • Kemet High, 23

    Favorite song: “Astronauts”

    Discovered Juice WRLD's music: "In 2016, and I distinctly remember him not fitting into either of Chicago’s drill or SAVEMONEY movements. He provided my ears with sounds I had honestly never heard."

    What does his music do for you?  "His music had a Band-Aid effect on me and I think a lot of people. He prevailed when it came to being honest and laying out his pain on a microphone. His music was easy for anyone to receive, not only because it had influences from many different genres, but also because he talked about his own life in a way that millions could relate to theirs."

    How do you hope he's remembered? "As someone who was free. He proved that it’s possible to acknowledge the abyss of problems in your life and still be happy."

  • Keyera Williams, 25