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Late Chicago rapper Jarad Anthony Higgins, known as Juice WRLD, left his mark on the earth before his untimely passing. The 21-year-old rapper’s album Death Race for Love peaked at number 1 on Billboard. His song “Lucid Dreams” exposed his unique sound to listeners, capturing heavy emotion and rap beats. His songs exposed the emo rap genre to the mainstream, gaining him the title of “breakout artist of the year” in 2018.
Juice WRLD died on December 8, 2019 at the age of 21, shocking thousands of people. When police investigated the rapper’s plane at the time of death, they found a host of objects that made it difficult to discern Higgins’ motives and mind frame. Higgins had died of a seizure. Police conducted an investigation on the rapper’s plane due to suspicions of him having contraband. They discovered 70 pounds of marijuana and 6 bottles of prescription codeine syrup. Police also found 2 9mm pistols, a .40 caliber magazine and bullets.
Many believe Juice WRLD many have died of suicide as the paraphernalia could point to that conclusion. Later, news articles disclosed it was a seizure. Despite this, there were several questions surrounding the late rapper’s death and the activity of the police officers involved, speculations including racial profiling and suicide. A TMZ article disclosed the rapper had allegedly swallowed Percocets to avoid arrest from the police, leading to his death. No drug charges were filed.
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Juice WRLD made large strides in the rap community fusing emo music featuring emotionally vulnerable lyrics with hip hop-beats. The genre of music showcases raw emotion, frustration, and hopelessness; Higgins wrote revealing thoughts of the world being cold and dying before the age of 27. Alternatively, drugs like opioids and narcotics have become prevalent throughout the music’s scene. Rappers created the genre to reveal inner-most emotions, and if harmful substances were part of their coping mechanisms, it was an undertone in the music. Some authorities feel concerned about the impact on individuals who listened to rappers popularizing the music style.
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Higgins recalled the power of music and its ability to be a healthy outlet for his emotions. Nevertheless, the death of Higgins was a shock to many, as family members recalled him as a good kid. His creative expression through music allowed him to connect with thousands of fans, and his success resulting in him being part of McDonald’s philanthropic campaigns. The rapper’s untimely death and bring awareness to substance abuse—namely opioids—encouraging education about their effects.
Codeine syrup is a highly addictive substance that is available by prescription. Codeine exists in some cough syrups, and has been mixed with sprite and candy to create lean—creating an addictive substance popularized in the hip-hop community. If you or a loved one fights codeine, lean, or Percocet abuse, please get help immediately by contacting a dedicated treatment provider.
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