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“The subject matter of his music was heavily based on his experiences as he talks about relationships and even drug usage,” writes VOX ATL contributor James Rhee. “Although some critics of his may not be fond of the messages in his songs, those are very relatable topics among young teenagers today.”

Photo: Screenshot/Lyrical Lemonade

RIP Juice WRLD: What His Death Means to A Teen Like Me

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It was around 9 a.m. on a Sunday morning when I woke up to a notification on my phone announcing the tragic passing away of one of the music industry’s most beloved and talented hip-hop artists of this year – Juice WRLD. I thought it was a joke at first, but with further digging on social media and on the internet, I came to realize that one of my favorite artists has passed away due to a seizure. Ten minutes into my morning and I was already overwhelmed with grief and disbelief. 

According to TMZ, Juice WRLD suffered a seizure after landing at Chicago’s Midway airport and was pronounced dead after being taken to a nearby hospital. One day after his death, TMZ also reported that authorities found 70lbs of marijuana on his private jet and was told the artist popped a handful of Percocet pills in an effort to hide them from FBI agents who were reportedly waiting for his plane to land upon hearing he and his entourage had firearms and drugs on board.

With so many young talented rappers dying in the past couple of years, it was a huge loss for the hip-hop community to see another talented artist taken away from us at such a young age. In 2017 Lil Peep died two weeks after his 21st birthday due to an accidental drug overdose. Then in 2018, rappers XXXTentacion (gun violence) and Mac Miller (accidental drug overdose) lost their lives. This was followed by Nipsey Hussle’s murder in March 2019. As someone who enjoys listening to many sub-genres of hip-hop, many of these rappers mentioned paved the way for a new and unique sound in hip-hop that intrigued a new audience, especially within our generation. 

Juice WRLD (born Jarad Anthony Higgins) , came into the spotlight in the summer of 2018 with his breakout hit “Lucid Dream” which skyrocketed to top the charts and garnered millions of plays. 

The subject matter of Juice WRLD’s music was heavily based on his experiences as he talks about relationships and even drug usage. Although some critics may not be fond of the messages in his songs, those are very relatable topics among young teenagers today.

As a teenager who enjoys making music as a hobby, I was instantaneously attracted to his music with his more melodic approach to hip-hop. His music style has even influenced my sound and preference in music profoundly.

His rise to the mainstream from when he was getting noticed on Soundcloud has been a marvelous journey to see, finally getting the recognition he deserved. I remember watching for an hour with amazement as freestyled without stopping. Although music preference is very diverse among people, it was no doubt that he was one of the most talented artists of our generation.

According to HipHopDX, the Cook County Medical Examiner performed an autopsy on Monday, Dec. 9 and are waiting for the toxicology, cardiac pathology and neuropathology tests results before they release an official cause of death. But I believe this seizure was an avoidable catastrophic event had it not been for the excessive drug usage he openly talked about in past interviews and most of his songs. What was really quite heartbreaking was the rapper had just celebrated his birthday on Dec. 2 and was flying to his home state to celebrate but died only six days after turning 21. 

One of the most influential artists that I have looked up to and praised is now gone, and I’m still in disbelief on how unexpected this was. More and more artists are taken away from us every year, and they seem to get younger and younger. Juice WRLD’s entire fanbase and celebrities who were friends with the rapper mourned his loss on social media, but instead of agonizing with the tragic news, we should be grateful for his music and talent he shared with the world. RIP to a legend where he will continue to live through his music.

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