By Adam Sarsfield
Born on December 2, 1998, growing up in Calumet Park, and later moving to Homewood Higgens, Jarad Higgens was a native of Illinois. Jarad Higgens’s father left his mother when Higgens was only 3 years old. Living in a religious household, Higgens never listened to hip-hop or rock music. However, once he found video games with music by artists like Panic! at the Disco and Billy Idol, he was entranced by the style and lyrics. Jarad also learned how to play the piano at a very young age. During his high school years, he moved to Homewood, Illinois. During this time, he also learned how to play the guitar, drums, and trumpet. An important thing to mention is that Jarad was a heavy drug user who started to abuse drugs in sixth grade.
Jarad released his first single titled, “Forever” in 2015 under the name JuicetheKidd. He took inspiration from Tupac Skahur, the famous rapper, and a film titled, “Juice” that Tupac was in. In a lot of his songs, he talked about drug addiction. In the same year of him dropping “Forever”, Jarad changed his name to the now-famous “Juice Wrld.” After publishing songs for 2 years, Jarad was able to catch the attention of Internet Money, a popular record label, and delivered his first EP 9 9 9 with his song “Lucid Dreams”, becoming extremely popular and skyrocketing his fame. His recognition was on par with artists such as Future and Lil Uzi Vert. With some more recording and editing, Juice Wrld released his first album, “Goodbye and Good Riddance.” The album turned into a three-time Platinum receiving album; his songs, “Lucid Dreams” and “All Girls Are The Same” peaked at the top 5 songs on the US Billboard Hot 100. Future and Juice collaborated to create the song, “Fine China,” and released it to the world. Its release made fans of both of their music excited for their future collaborations. “Fine China” was followed up by an entire album from Juice and Future. It peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 200. His third and final album published while he was alive was “Death Race for Love,” which started with Juice’s lead single “Robbery” being produced and broadcasted internationally. Then, he released the entire album. Within the first two weeks of its release, it reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 200.
On December 8, 2019, Jarad was flying from Las Angeles to Chicago on a private plane when he was notified that police were going to search his plane for any illegal contraband. Upon hearing this, Jarad reportedly took unknown pills to hide them from the officers. As the police were searching the vessel Jarad collapsed and started convulsing. He was transported to the Advocate Christ Medical Center and was later pronounced dead from a drug overdose. Jarad’s funeral was held only five days later. Jarad was mourned by millions across many platforms. His death caused many people to realize the pattern in young rappers dying young. Lil Peep’s death in 2017 from a drug overdose, XXXTENTACION’s death in 2018 from a robbery gone bad, and then Juice Wrld’s death in 2019 from a drug overdose are just some of the young rappers who have unfortunately died. Ski Mask the Slump God posted to Twitter, “They keep taking my brothers from me,” referring to X. Many artists, like Lil Yachty, Drake, and The Weekend made remixes of Jarad’s most popular songs. Jarad’s Mohter hoped that his music and legacy would live on and teach people that openly discussing mental health and addiction is a positive thing to do and something that should be normalized. Juice’s producers and close friends released “Legends Never Die”, in reference to his single “Legends”. The album reached the number one position on over ten countries’ billboard charts. The album was created by the members of Jarad’s grieving family and his girlfriend, Ally Lotti. She suggested to Jarad’s producer the title, “The Outsiders,” the original title for Legends Never Die, but the idea was halted by Jarad’s family. The 15 songs on the album were added to “Legends Never Die” and the original album was scrapped. Jarad had over 2000 unreleased songs and his producers hinted that they were planning to release as many as possible. Jarad Higgens inspired many people with his music and became an extremely influential creator. His music and abilities to create new and well-made songs were on a new level. Rest In Peace Juice Wrld.