The music world is mourning the death of Juice WRLD, the 21-year-old rising star who was well on his way to superstardom. The rapper died at a local hospital on Sunday morning (Dec. 8) after suffering a seizure at Chicago’s Midway Airport.
Back in March, coinciding with the release of his sophomore album, Death Race for Love, Juice WRLD was featured on the cover of Billboard. The cover story delved into his story growing seemingly overnight from the South side of Chicago to a Beverly Hills mansion, and the caring, smart individual beneath the obstacles.
In rememberance of a talent lost, see below for five takeaways from Juice WRLD’s Billboard story.
1. Death Race‘s growth from his debut album
Even though the sophomore record came together in just five days, Juice said Death Race had a clearer perspective to it than his debut, Good Riddance. “The last album had a certain vibe to it,” he admitted. “But my new album has no boundaries. I finally found my own style, and it’s the best feeling ever.”
2. His wide range of music taste growing up
Juice’s childhood crush on a girl named Destiny who got him into screamo, listening to bands like Blessthefall, Black Veil Brides, Escape the Fate. Additionally, his interest in the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater PlayStation games introduced him to classic punk bands. And he loved Future and Odd Future, the latter by accident. “I asked somebody, ‘You know who Future is? He’s really hard.’ They said, ‘You mean Odd Future?’ So I listened to Odd Future and was like, ‘Whoa, this is not what I was talking about.’ Then I started drawing ‘OFWGKTA’ all over my skateboard.”
3. Future’s influence on his life
In 2017, he tweeted, “The day I make a collab album with @1future is the day I make it.” That day wasn’t too far off. After congratulating Future on Beast Mode 2, the two ended up recording a whole album together, Future & Juice WRLD Present…WRLD on Drugs, which debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 when it arrived in fall 2018. In the studio, Juice told Future his music had inspired him to experiment with lean. “Oh, yeah. I think I broke his heart a little bit,” Juice explained.
“What do you expect if I’m a young dude that really loves music, really looks up to these artists?” he said. “I didn’t have a man giving me no type of guidance. My father wasn’t in my life like that. So listening to this grown-ass man rap about lean, I’m like, ‘Well, that sounds really appealing.’”
4. His interest in exotic sodas
Juice collected a wide range of international sodas to pour a bit of promethazine syrup into. He kept a number of btotles of Japanese Ramune and at least 10 flavors of Faygo on a fancy marble chess table.
5. How he wanted to inspire his fans
“I look at it like this — you can’t change a motherfucker’s life by pointing and judging. It takes a motherfucker that has been through the same shit to say, ‘I understand how it feels. We’re going to get through this together.’” he said. “I speak from the standpoint of the true definition of an imperfect person.”
“I want to be that person that leads people out of the place they’re at,” he continued. “And in the process, maybe I’ll find the key to get out of the place that I’m at. The low places I may wander into or get trapped in.”