A Legend’s Tragic Death Impacts Aspiring Rap Artists

Juice WRLD was expected to release an album the week of his birthday, but never got to drop the album due to his passing.

Juice WRLD was expected to release an album the week of his birthday, but never got to drop the album due to his passing.

Amy Yip and Madison Burnett

Jarad Anthony Higgins, aka Juice WRLD, was a legend. Argued to be the best emo-rapper of all time, he changed the way many young rappers thought and influenced a whole generation of emo rappers. 

Jarad was born on December 2, 1998, in Chicago Illinois. His parents divorced when he was two years old, his mom was left as a single mother with Jarad and his older brother. His mother is very religious and never allowed hip hop and rap music, but allowed rock and pop. At four years of age, he learned how to play the piano and was very musically gifted.  Later in school, he learned to play guitar, drums, and the trumpet. In his sophomore year of high school, he started to post songs to his SoundCloud and taking rapping more seriously. 

He originally started releasing music under the name “JuiceTheKidd”, his name was inspired by the late rapper, Tupac. He eventually changed his name to what we now refer him to, “Juice WRLD”. In his second year of high school, he began recording songs on his phone and uploading them to the online music platform, “SoundCloud”. He released his first EP (Extended Play) “9 9 9” on June 15, 2017, containing the platinum song, “Lucid Dreams”. Since then he has released two albums and a mixtape, all very successful. He was planning to release another album the week of his death.

At the age of thirteen, after hearing famous rapper Future’s song, “Codeine Crazy,” he started drinking lean. Lean is a beverage concocted by prescription cough syrup, jolly ranchers, soda, and occasionally alcohol. Getting hooked on the mixture, he started drinking more types of alcohol and started to become addicted. He eventually moved onto marijuana, molly, percs, and other dangerous drugs in his early teens. In July 2019 Juice vowed to quit drinking lean for his girlfriend. 

Early morning on December 8, 2019, after landing in Chicago, on his private jet, Juice WRLD had a seizure at the airport. At around 3:15 am, Jarad was pronounced dead at the hospital. When his plane landed, the police were on site to search it for drugs and weapons. 

It was later revealed that there were 41 bags of marijuana on the plane along with multiple guns, and codeine cough syrup, the main ingredient in lean. In the days after Juice’s death, witnesses disclosed that Juice WRLD was seen taking many unknown pills, right before his seizure. While it is not certain, a theory is that Juice had multiple percocets on him, and before the police patted him down he swallowed them in fear of getting caught. Another theory is that his anxiety rose as the police checked the bags, causing him to panic. 

Many of his fans had a hard time dealing with the tragic loss of their idol. Ally Lotti, Jarad’s girlfriend at the time, spoke out about her boyfriend’s death during his funeral. She states, “He wants everyone to know that you need to take any negative thing in your life, he would tell you every time he saw you, and change that to a positive situation.” 

Lil Pump, American rapper, dedicated a song called “Drugs Addicts,” in honor of the recently fallen, Juice WRLD. Long-time friend and fellow rapper, Ski Mask The Slump Dog also paid respects to Juice by attending his funeral. His social media comments are filled with emotion, affection, and sadness. 

Lavahn Ward, 8th grader at HMHS said, “It affected me because I played his music a lot, he is one of the most important people in my life, and has helped me through tough times.”

No matter if you listened to him or not, there is no doubt Juice WRLD contributed to the popularity of emo-rap and paved the way for young artists. In his short young life, he inspired many, and he will always be remembered as a legend.