When Juice WRLD died of an opiate overdose at the end of 2019, he was experiencing one of the most explosive ascents in hip-hop history. By the age of 21, he had a platinum-certified album, another at the top of the Billboard charts, a European tour with Nicki Minaj, and an ever-growing legion of fans. The release of his new, posthumous album, Legends Never Die, even caused the Spotify listening platform to crash, much to the dismay of his fans. The late Jarad Higgins, a leading figure in emo rap, rarely deviates from his favourite subjects. The abuse of soft and hard drugs, mental illness, emotional insecurity – all the ingredients are present on Legends Never Die, on a base that’s sometimes trap, electro, or even pop-rock. With 21 tracks, a blatant reference to his age of death, this album must be considered more of a compilation. With no defined guideline or concept, it is an assembly of completed tracks from Juice, released by his family and his label. Regarded as one of the greatest freestylers of his time, the young Chicagoan’s sung lines are rather repetitive and make little use of his great talent as a rapper. Moreover, during the interlude “The Man, The Myth, The Legend”, excerpts from laudatory interviews with some of the biggest names in rap, such as Eminem, J. Cole and Travis Scott, testify to the world’s admiration for Juice WRLD and his sense of repartee. There’s no reinvention on Legends Never Die, it’s an album for fans already convinced by his work. Even if it’s unlikely to generate new fans, it will serve as a balm to those still in mourning, some seven months after his death.
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