Juice WRLD – “Fighting Demons” review

Juice WRLD was a 21 year old rapper from Chicago, Illinois who quickly becoming a prominent face in the emo rap trend in the spring of 2018 off the strength of his commercial debut Goodbye & Good Riddance. This was followed up the next year with the sophomore album Death Race for Love but unfortunately, Juice passed away later that same year from a drug overdose. Now even though I personally found both of those albums to be average at best before his untimely death, they eventually grew on me & the kid was undeniably talented. Case in point: “Lucid Dreams” & his astonishing 1-hour Tim Westwood freestyle. Legends Never Die from last summer was a cool little tribute to Juice also but with the 2 year anniversary of his death passing by earlier this week, his estate is dropping his 2nd posthumous album albeit 4th overall.

“Burn” is an bittersweet opener produced by Metro Boomin’ opening up about Juice’s drug addiction whereas “Already Dead” finds Nick Mira working in some pianos & the dude is essentially foreshadowing his own death through the lyrics. Gezin keeps the heat going with “You Don’t Understand” talking about never giving a fuck about anything, but then the Justin Bieber-duet “Wandered to LA” just seems like a forced attempt at a radio hit & that’s not Juice’s fault at all.

After the “Eminem Speaks” interlude, we have T-Minus taking the album in a more cavernous direction on “Rockstar in His Prime” with Juice rightfully comparing himself as such leading into Take a Daytrip sampling “High School” by iON LIL GUT for “Doom” which speaks on looking for self destruction. “Go Hard” has one of the weaker instrumentals on the album even though I like that Juice’s basically paying tribute to Ally Lotti & after the “Juice Speaks” interlude, “Not Enough” is a badass rap rock tune about failed relationships.

Polo G & Trippie Redd tag along for the “Feline” even though the mellow beat doesn’t really shit the combative lyricism while “Relocate” almost has a country trap vibe to it talking about his success. After the “Juice Speaks 2” interlude, “From My Window” continues to fuse guitars with snares talking about living like Rambo whereas “Until the Plug Comes Back Around” has a more trippier sound once more detailing drug addiction.

The song “Girl of My Dreams” with SUGA is a pretty awkward romance ballad while the penultimate track “Feel Alone” sees Danny Wolf bringing in some somber guitar chords with Juice talking about depression. And to finish off the album, “My Life in a Nutshell” goes into a more cloudier route noting the fact that people knew him for his music & not his struggles before he passed.

I was honestly a bit worried about how this album was gonna turn out, but I ended up enjoying it quite a bit & it’s definitely one of the better posthumous outings I’ve heard all year. Only a couple of the joints on here seem cobbled together, but the rest is just fully fleshed out AND they’re actually enjoyable for the most part.

Score: 3.5/5

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