"It was heartbreaking about Juice. Still to this day, I’m heartbroke," he said in his newly published XXL cover story for the Spring 2020 issue. "Rest in peace to Juice WRLD. He’s a great artist. He had so much more to do."
Juice died four months ago after suffering a seizure at Chicago's Midway International Airport, where he reportedly ingested several Percocet pills in an attempt to hide them from federal agents. The artist's death was yet another of hip-hop's longstanding drug problem, as rappers have been frequently criticized for glorifying substance abuse. Juice had touched on this in a number of interviews, claiming it was Future who inspired him to try lean as a young teenager.
"That’s the first thing I told [Future]," Juice told Vulture about his introduction to lean. "He just was like, 'Wow.' He kind of apologized."
Future, who collaborative with Juice on the 2018 mixtape WRLD on Drugs, told XXL it was never his intention to encourage Juice—or any listener—to try drugs. But he notes that he wasn't the first big-name artist to reference substance abuse in his art.
"It was so many people that came before me that talked about drugs from rock 'n' roll stars to pop stars to people aware of other artists going to rehabs and aware of other artists’ overdose and there is so many other people that was a part of this world way before me," he said. "It’s just like, I probably shedded more light on it and brought more attention to it from my cadence or my charisma ... Me having an influence on that, I just feel like ... that is not my intentions. My intention was just to be me ... I wouldn’t want no one to go through anything to harm theyself or to bring death to theyself and Juice WRLD is a touchy situation. I’m heartbroken by the whole thing. My heart goes out to his family, his mom."
Future was also asked about his collaborative relationship with Drake and their rumored sequel to What a Time to be Alive. He wouldn't confirm whether another project was in the works, but reassured fans he and Drizzy were always working together.
"Yeah, so we always gonna make music," he said. "How we put the music out—we strategically got to come out with different ways and new ways to be able to put the music out and connect with the fans in a different way, but also still feed the fans and always respect our duo."
You can read Future's full XXL interview here. He also touches on his love life, who he considers the most influential artist of the moment, and his forthcoming studio album.