Friends, family, and frequent collaborators contributed to a new article documenting the final days of the massively influential “Lucid Dreams” artist Juice WRLD.
The piece, written by Dan Hyman for GQ, opens with further insight on Juice having agreed to enter a rehabilitation program shortly before his death in December 2019 at the age of 21. At the time, per Hyman’s piece, Juice was set to enter a program in two weeks but had first made plans to pay a visit to Chicago with friends and a security team.
According to recording engineer Max Lord, who was not on the plane when federal officials executed a search, an Australian tour that ended one week prior to Juice’s accidental overdose included an emotional sit-down during which friends expressed concern for the artist’s health.
“I and a couple other people had come to him in tears, like, ‘We’re worried about you, and we’re scared we’re going to lose you if you keep up these habits. And we have to do something,’” Lord said. “And he agreed. And we had treatment booked for later [starting on December 22]. That was the soonest they were available to get him in. It hurts. It really hurts.”
Also included in the must-read new piece are Benny Blanco, Offset, G Herbo, prolific music video director Cole Bennett, and more. Those interviewed spoke passionately of Juice’s immediately-recognizable talent for songwriting, as well as the growing concern surrounding his addictions.
Offset, notably, reflected on a pair of sessions he had with Juice in Los Angeles.
“I worked with Juice twice at his crib in L.A., and he spoke to me about being the biggest star that he can be, and that he was just at the beginning of his path,” the Migos member said. “His intelligence was clear. He had so much love for his people and where he came from.”
Peter Jideonwo, a member of Juice’s management team, said he and other team members took Juice to as many as 30 doctor visits over a period of several years. At one point, according to Jideonwo, Juice was flown from L.A. to Chicago to have both his brain and heart scanned.
Also featured prominently in Hyman’s piece is Juice’s mother, Carmella Wallace, who—as has been well-documented and is known among fans—had an open and nonjudgmental relationship with her son regarding his drug use. During one of their last talks together, Wallace explained, Juice informed her that he was set to enter a program in a matter of weeks.
In an interview with DJ Vlad earlier this year, Lil Bibby—co-founder of Grade A Productions—addressed Juice’s decision to enter rehab.
“I found out that he was doing four (Percocets at a time). So I get to freaking out. Like ‘What the fuck,’” Bibby said at the time. “I get to telling people like ‘Look we got to send this kid to rehab.’ I’m telling everyone because I’m thinking ‘That’s a lot.’ Because all people I know only do at the max one. … And these is the 30s.”
Several months after Juice’s tragic death, his mother established the Live Free 999 foundation, which aims to provide assistance to young people who need help with addiction and anxiety. Among the goals of Live Free 999 are to support programs that “compassionately and successfully” address these issues, to normalize the conversation surrounding these issues with particular emphasis on underserved communities, and to help inspire others to explore their own mental health challenges in a positive way akin to Juice’s nonstop artistic output.
Late last month, Juice WRLD was announced as a finalist in seven categories at the 2021 Billboard Music Awards. A posthumous album, titled Legends Never Die, was released in July of last year via Interscope and Grade A. A second posthumous album is believed to be on the way, and in recent months several new Juice tracks have been released, including the long-awaited “Bad Boy” with Young Thug.
Most recently, Juice made a posthumous appearance on Clever and Post Malone’s “Life’s a Mess II.” Another version of the track, featuring Halsey, appeared on Legends Never Die.
Read the full Dan Hyman-penned piece here via GQ.