When 21-year-old rapper Juice Wrld’s untimely death sent shockwaves through hip-hop in December 2019, the entire music world was reeling. The sudden loss of the fast-rising Chicago hip-hop artist was one of the most devastating blows of the year, whose raw lyricism catapulted him to the forefront of the SoundCloud generation and then mainstream stardom.
In his cover story for XXL’s Spring 2020 issue, Future shared that he’s still coming to terms with Juice Wrld’s death. The two rappers connected and collaborated on their joint mixtape, Wrld on Drugs. After Juice Wrld’s passing, fans resurfaced Juice’s 2018 interview with Vulture where he admitted that he was inspired to try lean after listening to Future’s music. “That’s the first thing I told him. He just was like, ‘Wow.’ He kind of apologized,” the “Lucid Dreams” artist told the publication. While he did clarify that he was taking steps towards getting sober, his candid admission further fueled the longstanding debate around hip-hop’s relationship with drugs and street life. This became further magnified after Juice died from an accidental opioid overdose.
Speaking to XXL, Future shared that he’s “heartbroken” over the tragic circumstances. “Still to this day, I’m heartbroken. Rest in peace to Juice Wrld. He’s a great artist. He had so much more to do,” he said. He also said that it was never his intention to influence Juice Wrld or anyone to try drugs, noting that plenty of other musicians came before him who referenced drugs in their music.
“It was so many people that came before me that talked about drugs from rock ’n’ roll stars to pop stars to people aware of other artists going to rehabs and aware of other artists’ overdose and there is so many other people that was a part of this world way before me,” he said. “It’s just like, I probably [shed] more light on it and brought more attention to it from my cadence or my charisma and the way people reacted to it, but everything I said was already talked about before me.”
Though he said Juice Wrld’s death is a “touchy situation” for him, Future clarified that he was simply channeling his personal experiences into his music. “I wouldn’t want no one to go through anything to harm theyself or to bring death to theyself,” he said.
Elsewhere in the interview, Future spoke on his and Drake’s long-rumored follow-up to What a Time to be Alive, which was reignited after the two dropped “Life Is Good” earlier this year. While he was mum as to whether another project between the two is in the pipeline, he did confirm that his next project will be titled, “Life Is Good.”
You can read Future’s XXL interview in full here.
(Photos from left: Prince Williams/ Wireimage, Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Power 105.1)