An all too common storyline in hip-hop has become the untimely passing of its brightest stars. On December 8th, a freshly 21-one-year-old Juice WRLD overdosed on Percocet pills at an airport. In 2018 XXXtentacion was killed in a car shooting and Mac Miller overdosed. The year before that, Lil Peep died of an overdose.
“We have got to change Hip-Hop it wasn’t made to glorify drugs, objectify women and promote violence. It was meant to give a voice to the oppressed. Yet the music we make today oppresses our own people and paints the image that all of this is okay. We have to stop it’s killing us,” singer/rapper Byron Juane pleaded through a Tweet.
That was preceded by this tweet:
It breaks my heart to see every single young artist that has shaped today’s sound in music die. It doesn’t feel real ?
— Byron Juane (@ByronJuane) December 8, 2019
Juice WRLD was most known for his smash single “Lucid Dreams” that carried the torch of “Cloud Rap.” The music is a mixture of trap and emo rock that has literally changed the industry and the notion of rap music. Juice was universally loved by many artists because of his youth and out of the box music. Tragically, he had recently said he was trying to clean up his act. He also admitted that he was inspired to try lean because of Future’s glorification of it. This is something Future apologized for and then the two went on to make an album called WRLD on Drugs.
This drives Byron’s point home the most. Young people are looking up to their idols to make decisions. Young artists are trying to emulate the artists they want to be.
“I just want people to know I’m not here to judge or say what is right or wrong,” he said to Rapzilla. “Regardless of what we do, words have weight to them and we should always aim to spread positivity and love with them.”
Ruslan had a bit to say on it too:
Just watched the juice wrld interview @adam22 posted about his “relationship with drugs” ?? kid was trying to wean himself off and get clean.
My prayer is as we enter this new year & decade, this is the last death line this that can close a dark chapter in hip hop history.
— Ruslan (@RuslanKD) December 10, 2019
Lawren also reflected on things that were happening in the 90s and early 2000s as well.
my generation of rappers unnecessarily died violently. this generation of rappers died by substance abuse unnecessarily. both were due to glorification of two things, violence and drug use.
rip juice wrld. ?
— POLO (@lawrenpolo) December 8, 2019
His generation of rappers Tupac, Biggie, Big L, and then Jam Master J and an attempt on 50 Cent all were victims of unnecessary violence. Every generation has its woes played out in the public eye. Unfortunately, for these young artists, drugs have a stronghold in their lives. This also brought up a valid point from Derek Minor which sparked a broader discussion.
Regardless of the whys and what’s that cause these tragedies to happen, the loss of life, albeit a young-talented person, hits to the core. Pray for your heroes and pray that collectively, the culture begins to wake up from the glorification of things that are destroying it. For every Juice WRLD, there are hundreds of other kids, teens, adults, parents, grandparents, that are hooked in an endless cycle of depression and self-medication.
All you artists out there battling emotionally, mentally, and spiritually reach out. If nobody else is there I am. Don’t self medicate. Don’t suffer in silence. Hit my line. Hit my DM.
— Lecrae (@lecrae) December 8, 2019