Remembering Juice WRLD

Samuel Boulos '21, News Writer

his past Sunday, December 8, popular hip hop artist, Juice WLRD passed away. After suffering a seizure in an airport, Juice WRLD (real name Jarad Higgins) was pronounced dead at age 21. Even in the few years that he spent on this planet, he accomplished so much and touched many people.

Jarad loved music from a very young age. After expressing this love to his single mother, she paid for lessons in piano and guitar. One thing that is interesting is that being very religious, his mother did not allow him to listen to hip hop music. As he got older, his love for music shifted towards the hip hop genre and his career began when he started recording songs on his phone and uploading them onto SoundCloud in his first year of high school. The first song he uploaded under the name JuicetheKidd was called “Forever” and was uploaded to SoundCloud in 2015. He later changed his name to Juice WRLD, inspired by his love for Tupac Shakur in the movie Juice. He said it “represents taking over the world.”

Juice WRLD did indeed take the world by storm, beginning to blow up in 2017. His song, “Lucid Dreams”, first released on SoundCloud, dominated the summer of 2018. “Lucid Dreams” debuted at number 74 on the Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at number 3.  Juice WRLD, himself, was familiar with the pain of the world losing talented young artists with potential. After the deaths of Lil Peep and XXXTentacion, Juice WRLD released an EP dedicated to the rappers. He collaborated with many famous artists including Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Scott, and Future. After releasing his album “Death Race for Love” in March 2019, he was named top new artist at the 2019 Billboard music awards in May.

Juice WRLD spoke to many young people partly due to the reason that he was not scared to be vulnerable with his music. While many rappers write about their material belongings and status, Juice WRLD commonly wrote about being heartbroken and his struggles with drug abuse. Many students at Wilmington Friends expressed sadness at his loss. Aine Grubb ’21 stated that she “thought it was really unsettling that someone that big and prominent in a lot of people’s lives and cultures all of the sudden is no longer with us.” Robby Friz ’21 even said, “I felt torn. I felt like a little part of me died.” Unfortunately, it is not uncommon enough for young people to have to deal with the loss of their favorite musical icons. High school Chemistry teacher Sarah O’Brien reflected on the loss of Kurt Cobain when she was in high school saying, “People were shocked. In retrospect, he was clearly depressed and struggling but when he killed himself it was shocking. There was deep sadness because there was a group of people who loved Nirvana. Cobain’s music spoke to them so deeply and people found his death to be tragic and personal.” The effect of Juice WRLD’s death is very similar, as many people resonated with his music on a deep level.

Juice WRLD was a young man with unlimited potential. His career was only beginning and it is a sad time for his mother, his girlfriend, his brother, his friends and his millions of fans around the world who he inspired. He will be missed and never forgotten.