Juice Wrld’s rise to fame begins and ends with addiction


Universal Music Group

by Zack Hunsaker and Evan Gobien

Jared Higgins also known as Juice Wrld was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1998 and raised by his single mother, who was very religious and forbade him from listening to hip hop. The world was shocked when Juice Wrld died early Sunday, December 8, after experiencing a seizure in Chicago’s Midway International Airport.

Juice Wrld started his rapping career on SoundCloud, originally under the name Juice the Kid,  before his rise in  popularity. The rapper became popular in 2018, when hit singles “Lucid Dreams” and “All Girls Are the Same,” which peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and got the attention of the world and record labels. The song, Legends, was made for two late rappers, XXXTentacion and Lil Peep, who died in 2018 and 2017.  Now Juice has joined these “Legends” he previously dedicated this song to. 

Many of his songs made it to student’s end of year summary on Soundcloud and Spotify.  His songs such as “Armed and Dangerous” and “All girls are the same” were Top 10 in our Soundcloud end of year most listened to songs.

We feel that Juice Wrld’s music and legacy had a bigger impact on teenagers.  He started off his career at a young age and started to appeal to teens right away because they felt he struggled with the same issues many others do.   Some of these issues he addresses in his music were depression, addiction, and breakups. Juice always struggled with his addiction. He considered this his greatest battleHe talked about how he started with Percocet at age 14. He has always been open about his addiction and struggled with this. 

“It’ll make you think, like … ‘I don’t want that to happen to me.’ But at the same time you’re already addicted. Your body is screaming for that…It can tear you apart,”said Juice Wrld in a radio interview in 2018. 

“We hope the conversations he started in his music and his legacy will help others win their battles as that is what he wanted more than anything. We know that Jarad’s legacy of love, joy and emotional honesty will live on,” said Carmella Wallace, Juice Wrld’s mother in an interview with Los Angeles Times. 

Juice Wrld’s death had a huge impact on the world.  His death was quick and shocking. Immediately after the internet and social media blew up with posts in tribute. Famous people and friends of Juice Wrld posted on social media their respect.  Some rappers that posted include Drake, Chance the rapper, Ski Mask the Slump God, Lil Nas X, Denzel Curry, Action Bronson, Lil Yachty and Juicy J, producer and songwriter Zedd, and professional streamer Ninja.   Thousands of teenagers posted on their Instagrams tributes and respect to him. He had a big influence on teens as they were his largest audience. On December 14 Lil Pump, Lil Mosey, and Tyla Yaweh all gave tribute at the concert Juice was going to perform at.  This concert took place at Rolling Loud Stadium and streamed online.

“I saw many students posting on their Instagram about Juice Wrld’s death.  It was crazy to see how many people were moved by his music,” said Cole Williamson, Class of 2023.

Hours after Juice Wrld’s death, his song “Lucid Dreams” rose to the top of the charts and has stayed there throughout December.  Similarly after XxxTentacion’s death, his song ¨SAD!̈ was on the top charts for a while. We have noticed this trend after rapper’s deaths. Many people idolize these rappers and consider their deaths a tragic.  This is true; however, we have to face the truth that drugs are destroying many,  not just rappers.

“After XxxTentacion’s death, the next closest rapper to X was Juice Wrld.  They had similar content and voice,” said Johan Somoyoa, Class of 2020. 

Juice Wrld may be dead, but his songs will remain popular for years to come.