One week after the posthumous release of Pop Smoke’s first album, “Shoot for the Stars, Watch for the Moon”, another new album is coming soon. Brooklyn drill master Pop Smoke and Chicago Emo-Influenced MC Juice WRLD were both lively inventors, using beautiful melodies of boring, memorable, and occasionally heartbreaking, angry, and crane-rap stories of joy. If anything, every rapper was exploring new ways to integrate hip-hop.
But the comparison between the two should end. Pop Smoke used Ambient R&B as the basis for many of its soft tracks, but Juice WRLD – who died in December of an accidental drug overdose – was a faint-dreamy, soft-spoken vocalist and a traitor to his vague but blind lyrics and Infectious music.
With no fault of the Juice WLRD, “Legend never dies” can be an arrogant title – “Legend” is a big word, and there isn’t much time for it to become. However, the Pacific MC was on a rapid upward trajectory from its two previously released albums (2018’s “Farewell and Happy Emergence”, 2019’s “Death Race for Love”) and 2018’s Future WRDD Collaboration on Drugs.
The short of the new album, tied together from the tracks he had finished and the ones he was working on before his death, is quite dark and gloomy, like “Lucid Dreams”, with “You Fell Me and Entered My Tomb” / I know you want me to die / I take prescriptions to make me feel ok / I know everything is in my head “Stop. But there is no shortage of moody blues and red flags. In “Fighting the Demons” he said, “On my knees / I pray for a better day”, and featuring lines with autonomous vocal dreamy synths of shaking “evil energy”:
“Swallow all these pills with my pride / Married to my height, you can kiss the bride.
Problems with my brain, see it in my eyes / I’ve got a voice in my head, they keep me up at night
“I’m fine, but I’m lying. I feel like I’m dying. The soul is screaming and crying. Feel my brain fry.”
Then again Juice WRLD liked the title of floating shady emotions and mourning. Halsi’s (and co-produced by Rick Rubin) “Surviving“ Life is a Mess ”, he becomes more energetic and romantic than his usual psychological turmoil or obsession with death – he even cornices,“ Have you ever put your head on a heel? “For someone?”
Compared to Sonali, Ross WRLD’s early soundcloud component, “Legend Never Dies,” positively lashed out – not extravagant, but relatively well-arranged arranged by Dr. Luke’s “Wishing Well,” with an edge-like guitar identity and There are songs about fame, arrogance and percussion; Guitar-streaming “Hate on the other hand,” features Marshmallow, Polo G, and Kid Laroi, the dodgy hip-hop equivalent of “Wishing Well.” And a number of cuts like Skrillex-Colab’s “Man of the Year” felt intense, punk to them (Juice was a self-proclaimed Billy Idol fan), “Tell Me You Love Me” is the most complex song “Legend Never Dies” No, if not the whole hip-hop cannon.
And there are moments of genuine glory: “Tell Me You Love Me” is the title track of King Crimson’s Fractal Guitar Jute, Drum N ‘Bass, and Trippy Red’s fast-burning rap of juice, the mesmerizing dry, emotive crunchy track. Moments like these – and the dream voices of “righteous” and off-beat “screw juice” – are a grunting and heartbreaking glimpse of what the future of Juice WRLD could be.