Taken from the world too soon, Chicagoan superstar Juice WRLD proves that he has bangers beyond the grave on posthumous album, ‘Legends Never Die’. The late rockstar, who sadly passed away from a fatal overdose last December, left behind a catalogue of shining, rock-infused pop-rap. And now left in the hands of Chi-town legend, Lil Bibby, he helps compile a Grade A album with Juice’s boxed-away, freestyled hits.
Overall, the record is a huge success but it’s also – understandably – fairly downbeat. Luckily though, this is Juice WRLD’s bag. Able to enthral listeners with emotion pouring out in his wobbly vocals, the album’s moodier tone feels apt. The head-banging ‘Hate The Other Side’ is a little more uptempo, worthy of your party playlists. Just like your typical trap song, it’s laced with hissing hit-hats and thumping 808s. And with fellow Chicagoan Polo G and label mate The Kid LAROI, the track is for those who are mentally, always in combat. As the Chicago natives rap about the status quo in the neighbourhoods they grew up in, the 16-year-old Aussie Kid LAROI taps into that youthful, rebellious nuance we are all once familiar with: “Shit, I heard they was lookin’ for me, I’m not hard to find / Everybody that I’m with got nothin’ to lose, bitch, they gon’ ride’.
It’s clear on this record that Juice recognised the power he held amongst his fans. On ‘Man Of The Year’, it’s almost supernatural how the late star “knows his lyrics saved you”. Juice speaks to the individual, recognising you and your pain, which he’s helped numb from time to time.
The most tragic moment comes on track ‘Can’t Die’, Juice rapping about the power he harnessed to change his life, but unknowingly speaking about his death, too. Talking about his addiction and all the warnings flung his way (“They tell me that I’m finna OD in no time”), he dismissed them (“I told ’em I’ll do it on my time, not your time”) and knowing what we know now, that his decision was fatal, you get a little pang in your chest of sorrow.
But a Juice WRLD album wouldn’t be without tributes to his turbulent love life – and soulmate Ally Lotti – and ‘Legends Never Die’ has plenty of those. ‘Come & Go’ is an amped-up, guitar-assisted track about love rehabilitation. Everyone’s experienced that nasty feeling after a horrid breakup, so when you find the right one, your guard’s up. However, ‘Come & Go’ moves in a new direction for Juice WRLD which started on his previous album ‘Death Race For Love’. Instead of mourning the toxic relationships of yesteryear and washing down the pain with lean and prescription drugs, Juice was now seeing that light at the end of the tunnel thanks to his girlfriend, Ally.
Finally being able to see the blissful light as well as acknowledge his scarring demons, ‘Legends Never Die’ is one of the best posthumous rap albums from a new-gen rockstar gone too soon. The once heartbroken man became love drunk, and had attempted to shift that drug-loving persona within these stowaways. With this fun yet thoughtful record, it’s safe to say that Juice WRLD’s legacy won’t die any time soon.