On Friday July 10th 2020, the highly anticipated posthumous album by rapper Juice Wrld ‘Legends Never Die’, was released, causing Spotify to crash temporarily.
An overdose of oxycodone and codeine led to the accidental death of Chicago’s rising rap star in December 2019, at the age of 21.
He distinguished himself by his dark and dreamy style, spokesman for the emo rap, as a lover of edgy and sharp freestyles, where he could express his innermost feelings.
The album is a collection of pieces that the artist had recorded before his death.
The 55-minute project brings together 21 tracks, including collaborations with various artists such as Marshmello, Halsey and Trippie Redd.
The album opens with the moving intro of ‘Anxiety’ where we find Juice talking about anxiety and substance abuse, sending an encouraging message to his fans.
"Music is just a beautiful thing, like I love myself so much, as far as the way I make music, the way God made me, the way God wired me to do the things that I do, and to change the world the way that I can. Before I get up out of here, I wanna tell you that you can do anything you put your mind to, period."
Pieces like "Righteous" and the off-beat "Screw Juice" remind us of the talent we have lost and what he would have been in the future.
‘Life's a Mess ‘offers us a more romantic Juice, where he leaves aside his obsessive thoughts about death and various psychological problems for a moment using phrases like "Have you ever fallen head over heels for someone?”.
'Titanic' has Juice comparing his life to the sinking ship while on board, still presenting us with his negative perspective and his inability to stay afloat in everyday life.
In ‘Can’t Die’ we can feel his overwhelming solitude and insecurity.
The album ends with another skit; "Juice WRLD Speaks From Heaven," an audio from 2019.
“I'm actually FaceTimin', not FaceTimin', I'm slow
I'm on Instagram Live from Heaven, huh
I made it y'all, I'm up here, I'm boolin'
Haha, I love y'all to death, uhm
How can I ask for better fans or supporters?
For sure, I love all y'all to death, 999, forever
The party never ends”
From a sound point of view, the new album is positively flourishing, with a well-elaborated production.
‘Wishing Well’ - co-produced by Dr. Luke - gives us sharp guitar sounds. Also, in ‘Hate The Other Side’ featuring Marshmello, Polo G and Kid Laroi, the use of guitars is still present, but with a more sleepy hip-hop. We find punky growls of percussion in ‘Man of the Year’ that echoes the punk side of Juice, having taken inspiration from Billy Idol - one of Juice’s heroes.
‘Tell Me U Luv Me’ gives us magnificent performance of King Crimson's guitar, combined with an excerpt drum n 'bass, the burst rap of Trippie Redd and the light, emotional hum of Juice.
This album was conceived to bring together all the work left by Juice before he died, to remember the artist and his unique and intricate style. The album partly reflects the vision and the usual style of the Chicago rapper, even though the more elaborate production in this work has left a different mark than Juice's past works.
Juice has managed to express himself through emo rap in a way like no other of his peers has ever succeeded, mixing his characteristics in a refined and natural way.
A real talent for melody and freestyle, making him a prolific artist, churning out thousands of songs.
The goal of this album is not only to pay tribute to the artist, to his vulnerability and musical spontaneity. But also, of deterring anyone to follow in his own footsteps, and the tragic path that led him to death. An album that celebrates the work of an artist with all its strengths and weaknesses, but which tries to use itself as an example that can help those who are fighting the same demons. This album is only an excerpt of the musical heritage of songs that the artist has written in recent years, perhaps the first of his posthumous albums to come.