What happens when you combine emo and rap? You get Juice WRLD, and a string of multi-platinum singles. Blending the melancholy, introspective lyrics of the former with the flow and instrumentals of the latter, Jucie WRLD is someone to keep your eye on. With two full lengths albums under his belt — 2018’s Goodbye & Good Riddance and the recent Death Race for Love — along with a collaborative mixtape with Future (Wrld on Drugs, 2018) and over half-a-dozen EPs, Juice WRLD’s output is nothing to shrug at.
It’s an understatement to say Juice’s star is on the rise (he just capped off a world tour with Nicki Minaj). We don’t want you to turn up to this party late, so we’ve pulled together 10 of his essential tracks to help catch you up.
All Girls Are the Same , Goodbye & Good Riddance (2018)
Juice WRLD has had his heartbroken one too many times, and he’s got some things to say about that. On ‘All Girls Are the Same’, he wears his heart on his sleeve and sings as a spurned lover. He reminiscences about how previous partners have broken his heart, and how he’s turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the heartbreak. Produced by Nick Mira, his morose instrumentals help to heighten the sorrow of Juice’s lyrics.
Armed & Dangerous, Goodbye & Good Riddance (2018)
Are you not a fan of songs about heartbreak and lost love? Do you not care for melancholy raps about addiction? Well, good news, because ‘Armed & Dangerous’ is Juice WRLD at his most traditionally rap. This track from one of his earliest EPs is full on grandstanding: Juice has got money, he’s got guns, he’s got women. It’s a fun track and a nice break from Juice’s usual brand of gloomy lyrics.
Autograph (On My Line), Single (2017)
Do you hate Juice WRLD? Firstly, why are you reading this article? Secondly, and most importantly, why you mad? Compared to most of the other tracks on this list, ‘Autograph’ is a bit of a curveball. Juice turns off his introspection for a moment for this diss track that’s aimed directly at all of his haters.
It’s a fun track, and full of great burns like: “Well if you’re gonna throw shade my way / Maybe you should throw with a little more aim.” He also tackles the two-facedness of these haters; they talk tough about him online, but chances are they’re also the ones lining up to get his autograph. (“Let me guess, you’re my biggest fan, right?”)
Fine China, Wrld on Drugs (2018)
You’d think a Juice WRLD collab with Future, of all people, would see the two introspective rappers tapping into their hurt emotions for another miserable track, but ‘Fine China’ is a surprisingly upbeat love song. You know how people say that love makes you act stupid? Well, Juice is definitely in love because ‘Fine China’ is full of some endearingly goofy lines like “Shorty like a thousand dollar plate / fine china!”
Hear Me Calling, Death Race for Love (2019)
The second single from Death Race for Love, Juice WLRD lays down a catchy chorus on ‘Hear Me Calling’. Produced by Purps of 808 Mafia, its tropical-inspired beats are poppy and warm, with Juice leaning into his melodic side. It’s another love song (no surprise there), with Juice singing about how devoted he is to his new partner.
Hide, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse Soundtrack (2018)
Juice’s contribution to the excellent Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, ‘Hide’ is another song about love but with a twist. Instead of another song about being heartbroken, ‘Hide’ is a celebration of finding that special someone. Juice raps about the strength of his newfound love, and how his partner helps him overcome his troubles and become a better person. (“When it gets dark outside, in you I confide / You help me face my demons, I won’t hide.”) Considering how much he sings about having his heart broken, it’s nice to hear Juice feeling so happy and in love.
Lean Wit Me, Goodbye & Good Riddance (2018)
On ‘Lean Wit Me’, Juice WRLD goes dark and tackles how his substance abuse effects him. It’s a bleak, introspective track, with Juice touching on the fatalistic view of living fast and dying young that super-stardom promotes (“Told her if I die I’ma die young.”), and how his substance abuse is leading to his own self-destruction. (“Fucked up liver with some bad kidneys.”) It’s a mature song, with an equally dark music video that tackles the devastation of drug addiction. It’s Requiem for a Dream levels of sad.
Lucid Dreams, 9 9 9 (2017)
If you’ve heard at least one Juice WRLD song before, chances are it’s this one. Racking up over 800 million plays on Spotify, ‘Lucid Dreams’ has become Juice WRLD’s signature song. Originally from his 2017 EP, 9 9 9, Juice raps about the lingering pains of heartbreak, with lines like: “I still see your shadows in my room / Can’t take back the love that I gave you.” Juice wants to move on, but emotional pain isn’t something you can just toss a Band-Aid on, unfortunately.
Robbery, Death Race for Love (2019)
Juice WRLD would like to report a crime. The victim? His heart. Of all of his songs about heartbreak and past love, ‘Robbery’ might be his most melodramatic. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad song though. You can hear the pain and hurt in his voice with lines like: “She told me put my heart in the bag / And nobody gets hurt.” Nick Mira is on production again, laying down some sad piano instrumentals to complement Juice’s melancholy.
Wasted, Goodbye & Good Riddance (2018)
Juice’s struggle with substance abuse is well documented (both in and out of his songs), and ‘Wasted’ tackles the deep tragedy drug addiction; that even though Juice can see how much it’s hurting him, he’s unable to stop. He’s wasting away while wasted, stuck with an addicted girlfriend who’s enabling him, and he can’t seem to escape that vicious cycle. Lil Uzi Vert also drops by for a guest verse that steals the show. At the very least, listen to “’Wasted’ for that.
Juice WRLD’s 2019 album ‘Death Race For Love’ is out now.