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In an era when the pressure to sustain one’s relevancy has resulted in the rise of gimmicks and publicity stunts, one artist who’s managed to capture the attention of the public while keeping the focus squarely on the music is Juice WRLD. Seemingly coming out of nowhere with his smash single “Lucid Dreams,” the Chicago native has built on that success with a number of releases including two solo studio albums (Goodbye & Good Riddance and Death Race for Love) and a collaborative mixtape with Future (WRLD on Drugs). Hailed for his emotive lyrics and artistic range, the newcomer taken home awards from a number of award shows.
In honor of the star, REVOLT highlights seven facts about Juice WRLD that the average person may not know.
1. He’s Business Partners With Lil Bibby
Juice WRLD’s $3 million deal with Interscope records may have drawn headlines, but many are unaware in rapper Lil Bibby’s role in facilitating the partnership. Also a native of Chicago, it was Bibby who was the first to go all in on taking the then-relatively unknown artist’s career to the next level. Putting his money and resources where his mouth was, the Free Crack rapper signed Juice WRLD to Grade A Productions, subsequently sparking a bidding war between various labels with Interscope ultimately coming out on top. “It was kind of early on and nobody was really on it like that,” Bibby told Complex. “We was just willing to put everything in it, all the time, whatever money it would have been. And like all of the connections I have—a lot of label heads, a lot of label execs, all the A&Rs—they like me a lot and they kind of respect me, respect my decisions, and respect my opinion on music.”
2. He’s A Multi-Instrumentalist
“Lucid Dreams” producer Nick Mira is responsible for molding Juice WRLD’s sound, but the star is musically inclined in his own right. As a youth, the rapper learned to play the piano, guitar, trumpet and drums.
3. He’s An Avid Fan of Rock Music
Chief Keef and 2Pac are often cited when Juice WRLD lists his favorite rappers, but his musical tastes are unabashedly eclectic with the Chicagoan crediting Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater and Guitar Hero for helping expose him to rock acts. Mentioning Billy Idol, Blink 182, Black Sabbath, Fall Out Boy, Megadeth, and Panic at the Disco as some of his biggest musical influences as a youth, Juice WRLD admits that his willingness to experiment with his songwriting and production stems from him being exposed to various genres.
4. His First Rap Name Was Inspired By 2Pac
Prior to hitting the radar in the music industry, Juice WRLD’s first performed and released music under the name JuiceTheKidd, which was inspired in part by his admiration for Tupac Shakur and his performance in the movie Juice. He eventually settled on the name Juice WRLD around 2017.
5. He Was Unfamiliar With Sting Prior To Recording “Lucid Dreams”
“Lucid Dreams” fueled his rise up the charts and was one of the most popular songs of 2018. But, according to the artist, himself, he was initially unaware of the origin of the sample used on the song. Juice WRLD told Vulture: “My mom told me that [the song] sampled Sting, so I went back and listened to his version. I haven’t heard from Sting, but he said publicly that ‘Lucid Dreams’ was a beautiful interpretation of ‘Shape of My Heart.'” The song, which was reportedly completed within fifteen minutes, peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and has since been certified 5x platinum.
6. Juice WRLD’s First Live Performance Was In A Rec Center
In 2017, Juice WRLD gave his first ever live performance at a local rec center in his hometown of Chicago. The crowd, which was comprised of classmates and friends, was receptive to the music and foreshadowed even more paid gigs, as the rapper cashed out with $100 for the performance.
7. Rap Was Banned From His Childhood Home
While most rap artists detail being exposed to rap music at a young age, Juice WRLD was a late-bloomer, as the genre was banned in his house as a youth. “My mom was real conservative, on some old hardcore Christian-ass shit,” he revealed to Complex. “She didn’t want me to grow up like the other motherfuckers around me. She listened to old school gospel music.” However, despite his mother’s efforts, the star would be introduced to music by Chief Keef, Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy through his cousins, which was enough to pique his interest for the genre.
If you love Los Angeles stars and hip hop, you’ll definitely want to join us and AT&T in L.A. on Oct. 24 – Oct. 26 for our three-day REVOLT Summit, which was created to help rising moguls reach the next level. Head to REVOLTSummit.com for more info and to get your passes now!
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