Juice WRLD, who put himself on the map with his single “Lucid Dreams,” passed away on December 8, 2019 after a medical emergency. He had celebrated his 21st birthday a week ago. The Chicago rapper was one of the fastest-rising young rappers to emerge on the hip-hop scene, until his promising career was tragically cut short. It’s estimated that he had built a net worth of $4.0 million at the time of his death. We pay tribute to this hip-hop artist gone too soon by tracing his short but exciting career.
Juice WRLD Began His Career with SoundCloud
His mother was his inspiration to start learning the piano at four years old. He graduated to instruments like the guitar, drums, and trumpet later. He became inclined towards a professional career in music when he was in high school.
It was at that time that he started recording his songs on a cell phone and posting them on SoundCloud, starting with his first amateur track, “Forever,” in 2015. He dubbed his SoundCloud persona “JuicetheKidd,” as a tribute to Tupac Shakur and his 1992 film, Juice.
When he embarked on a professional rap career, he changed his name to Juice WRLD, to symbolize his music “taking over the world.”
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Juice WRLD Signed a Million-Dollar Record Contract
Riding on the success of his SoundCloud fame, Juice WRLD dropped his debut full-length EP 9 9 9 in 2017. “Lucid Dreams,” one of the tracks on the album, was the runaway hit that gained him visibility.
He got on the radar of other hip-hop artists like Southside, G Herbo, and Lil Bibby. But it was Lil Bibby who would give him his first break, signing him to his label, Grade A Productions.
The viral phenom would go on to release an EP from which “All Girls Are the Same” became his next hit. This song and “Lucid Dreams” would soon get their own music videos and become Juice WRLD’s first entries on the Billboard charts.
After the release of “All Girls Are the Same,” Juice WRLD’s power to attract listeners on streaming platforms was clear as day. That led to Interscope Records adding him to their roster of artists in June 2018.
Interscope dropped $3.0 million to get him on board, making it the young rapper’s first major contract, financially. Even Higgins couldn’t contain his excitement at the contract.
“I mean, off the simple fact that this shit happened on short notice, off the fact that people were offering me money, period? Of course! Of course.” he said that time.
He went on to enjoy more critical success with his debut album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, in 2018. He would go on to have acclaimed collaborations with artists like RM and Suga of BTS, Ellie Goulding, Benny Blanco, NBA YoungBoy, and Lil Uzi Vert. He would also land a spot on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 2019: Music list.
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“Lucid Dreams” Has a Lawsuit against It
His first hit song would also be the first to land him in legal trouble. “Lucid Dreams” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 when it was officially released as a single. It also made him a lot of money.
However, WRLD was on the receiving end of a lawsuit when it was revealed that the song sampled Sting’s “Shape of My Heart” without the original artist’s permission.
Sting was reportedly flattered by the use of his song. Nonetheless, he considered legal action against Juice WRLD for using his song without approval. It’s reported that Sting received 85% of the earnings from “Lucid Dream” through the lawsuit.
“Lucid Dream” once again attracted trouble when the defunct pop-punk band Yellowcard claimed that Juice WRLD used the melody of their song “Holly Wood Died” for it. They were demanding $15.0 million in damages along with a share of future earnings through the song.
Though he reportedly lost money through “Lucid Dream,” to WRLD, it was worth it to convey the emotion he was going for.
“I don’t really give no f ** k about s**t like that,” he said at the time. “The song is way more [valuable] than any amount of money. That song, it changed lives. That song saved lives. That song has gotten people through all types of dark situations…You can’t put a price tag on no s** t like that.”
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Juice WRLD Showered His Girlfriend with Expensive Gifts
Unlike other rappers, Juice WRLD didn’t flex his fancy cars and luxurious pads often. He famously gifted himself a Rolls Royce when his album Death Race for Love debuted at No. 1 on the music charts.
He reportedly owned a home in L.A. and was in the process of renting another place until he decided not to. He reportedly had to sue the landlord to get his deposit back.
WRLD was also a romantic at heart, speaking fondly about his girlfriend Ally Lotti in interviews, his concerts, and on Instagram. Lotti is a rising Instagram celeb who has featured prominently by WRLD’s side, supporting his creative endeavors.
And she also showed how much he adored her by not only sharing his words of affection on social media, but also revealing his gifts to her. Lotti, who celebrates her birthday in May, regularly shared the gifts she got from him, including a diamond-studded Rolex watch she has worn in pretty much every Instagram post since her birthday.
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