The late Chicago rapper Juice WRLD significantly impacted hip-hop during his short but sweet time in the industry. The late emcee was revered as one of the best and most creative SoundCloud rap artists, and many argue that his death marked the end of the subgenre.
With his emo-like persona and ability to fuse rock with hip-hop, the ‘Lucid Dreams’ musician (real name Jarad Higgins) managed to merge the two genres to a vast critical claim. Juice WRLD’s ascension into the limelight happened at lightning speed and was, in fact, so fast that one could expect there was a certain level of anxiety present. However, he was battling demons behind the scenes.
The Chicago artist began in ‘The Windy City’ as an unsigned with complete creative control over his music. However, in 2017 aged 19, Higgins was scouted by A&R’s at Interscope and, before long, was releasing music professionally on a major label.
However, before he was scouted as Juice Wrld by Interscope, he went by another name. In the late-2010s Higgins was uploading music to SoundCloud as Juice The Kidd. This continued until 2017, when he began recording his debut album, and as he released his 2018 debut album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, he revealed ‘The Kidd’ for ‘WRLD’ as his new moniker.
In an interview with the Durtty Daily Hot 107.9 show, Higgins explained, “The people I was working with, we all agreed I needed something different. ‘Juice’ I had that because I had the haircut and everybody knew I liked that movie with Pac and the ‘Wrld’ came from a social media handle and I couldn’t spell it like ‘world’ ’cause somebody already had it, I guess and the ‘world’ ain’t really have no meaning I recently found meaning in that part of my name”
He continued, “It just represents globally just taking over the world pretty much and being globally known and heard globally.” The late lyricist achieved his goal of being listened to worldwide as his debut single ‘Lucid Dreams’ peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 and got certified Diamond selling the equivalent of over 12million units.
Unfortunately, shortly after the release of his debut project, prior to an interaction with police at Chicago airport, Higgins consumed multiple Percocet pills to hide them, triggering an aggressive onslaught of convulsions that would ultimately kill him. However, his legacy lives on. You can hear him explain his name change in the video below.