Juice WRLD, the legend that never died

Peyton Finnegan, Courier Staff

On Dec. 8, 2019 music artist Jarad Anthony Higgins, known as Juice WRLD, was pronounced dead at the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office in Chicago just days after his 21st birthday from an accidental overdose of oxycodone and codeine after landing at Midway Airport. This is not exactly front page news, however, the late rapper had more than 400 confirmed unreleased songs. Although, it is speculated that there are more than 1,000 songs that are unreleased. His legacy still lives on today. His posthumous album Legends Never Die was released on July 10, 2020, through Grade A Productions and Interscope Records. The album features guest appearances from The Weeknd, Trippie Redd, Marshmello, Polo G, The Kid Laroi and Halsey. According to Billboard magazine, “The third full-length album from the late artist marks his second to bow at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, following last year’s Death Race For Love. What’s more, Legends enters with 497,000 equivalent album units moved — not only the best single-week mark of his career, but the highest single-week total for any artist in 2020. The set also places 17 tracks on the Hot 100 this week, including five in the chart’s top 10 — a simultaneous feat previously accomplished only by The Beatles and Drake.”

Many people that mourned the loss of their favorite rapper experienced floods of emotions from his recent album release. Longtime Juice WRLD superfan Melanie Higgins comments on the impact his death has on her generation, stating “He wrote so many songs about his struggle with anxiety, depression and drug abuse. I think that’s why his death impacted his fans so much; because we all knew what he was going through and we all connected to him.”

In Chicago, Artist Corey Pane painted a mural memorializing the rapper days after the album’s release. The mural features a portrait of Juice WRLD surrounded by butterflies and shooting stars that’s similar to the cover design for his recent posthumous album Legends Never Die. Many fans have visited, leaving flowers and candles to pay tribute to the rapper that was taken too soon.

While the recent posthumous album by Juice WRLD features many popular songs like “Conversations,” “Come and Go,” and “Wishing Well”; Melanie names “Blood on my Jeans” as her favorite. “Blood on my Jeans” was written about his drug addiction and his relationship with his girlfriend, Ally Lotti. Melanie had been awaiting this song for a while and stated that, “Juice teased this song on his Instagram live in 2019 and I have been waiting for its release ever since then.”

Juice WRLD may have passed, but his music legacy lives on. So I guess the question is, do legends ever really die?