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RIP Juice Wrld: What is the state of hip-hop after another rapper overdoses?

On the early morning of Dec. 8, rapper Juice Wrld passed away after suffering a seizure at a Chicago airport.

Fans were extremely confused and distraught, as Juice Wrld had seemingly only scratched the surface of his musical genius and popularity.

The Chicago-born rapper’s death also comes in the wake of other young artists’ deaths, including XXXTentacion and Lil Peep, who both died at age 21. Does this point to an epidemic of a culture that fetishizes drug use and reckless behavior?

“What’s the 27 club? We ain’t making it past 21”

Juice Wrld rapped in his song, “Legends,” about XXXTentacion and other late young artists. Many fans have brought up this lyric when analyzing the circumstances of Juice Wrld’s death.

Juice Wrld was a talented and unique artist because of his blending of fly and witty lyrics with catchy, tonal melodies. Some considered him an integral part of the new “genre,” emo hip-hop, which XXXTentacion and Lil Peep also fell under.

“All this jealousy and agony that I sit in. I’m a jealous boy, really feel like John Lennon”

Juice sings on his hit song, “All Girls Are the Same.”

All three artists (though Juice to a lesser extent) made songs with sad tones and extremely introspective lyrics. Juice Wrld has a propensity to rap about drugs and how they numb his pain. He would go on to release an album with Future titled WRLD ON DRUGS.

“Codeine in my sippy cup, I chug it, don’t sip a lot”

Juice sings on “Ain’t Livin Right,” with Future. After his death, many people criticized the culture of highlighting a “cool factor” of popping pills and sipping lean. Others pointed to this generation’s recklessness leading to overdoses.

There is certainly a problem with extreme drug use in this country, but it is not just young people hooked on pills and opioids. Also, talented artists on the brink of superstardom have been dying from overdoses for decades in this country.

Another part of the issue of artists’ deaths is how their numbers skyrocket afterward. XXXTentacion’s numbers went through the roof after he was murdered. Lil Peep’s death was the first time many people heard of the artist, and his numbers consequently went up.

Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee might be on to something…

Juice Wrld was the most streamed artist on the day of his death, with more than 38.2 million streams. His on-demand audio streams spiked 487 percent. “Lucid Dreams,” Juice’s biggest hit of his career, was also the most-streamed song of the day.

Amidst the mess of speculation that Sunday caused, were theories that Juice faked his death.

These theories are by no means credible, but they do show the immense impact that social media has in today’s age.

If there is an old tweet, an old video that may lay credence to a theory, someone will find it. To make this story even creepier, people noticed a trend on Tik Tok a month ago of kids playing “Lucid Dreams,” and pretending to have seizures.

Fame is not all that it is cut out to be, and Juice Wrld knew this all too well.

An absurdly talented and thoughtful individual, his memory will live on and he will be remembered as he was: a legend.

May Juice Wrld rest in power.


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