Earlier in the week, Juice WRLD’s estate made an announcement that left everyone with a bittersweet taste. The late rapper’s collection of work, recorded right before his passing, will be released posthumously in an album called “Legends Never Die”.
Today, the 10th of July, the 21 track studio album sees the light of day. And as fans revel in the massive collection of tracks, one can’t ignore the overwhelming wave of emotion enveloping this moment. The posthumous release features collaborations with some of Juice WRLD’s closest friends – Halsey, Marshmello and Trippie Redd.
From the get go, “Legends Never Die” pulls you in to the world of Jarad Anthony Higgins (WRLD’s given name), filling you up, track by track with insights into his deepest thoughts.
‘Anxiety’, an intro complete with sampled conversations and messages from Higgins to his fans, sees the rapper talking about loving himself. Grappling with the idea of what music means to him, he reflects, saying: “Music is just a beautiful thing. I love myself so much as far as the way I make music. As far as the way God made me, the way God wired me to do things.” Over an inspiration-inducing set of violins and strings, Higgins says with a tone of finality: “Before I get up out of here, I want to tell you that you can do anything you put your mind to. Period.”
The minute long intro launches you into the rest of this extensive project. Taking a sharp turn away from the signature lyricism that colours much of today’s rap, Juice WRLD dives into themes of anxiety, loneliness and more. Describing the fight between the good and the bad, detailing his “demons” and navigating his way through the push and pull of life, this album offers a lot more than just a rapper flexing on his haters.
This collection of songs is a catalogue of varied explorations. While his production stays within the limits of acoustic-trap rap, Juice WRLD’s lyrical exploration offers something new. Broken by a powerful interlude titled, ‘Get Through It’, the studio album is a reassuring, albeit overwhelming listen.
“Legends Never Die” is a poignant moment for listeners and fans alike. Keep your heart open; this one needs space and time.
By: Ahalya Narayanan