This Is How Juice WRLD Predicted His Own Death

The following article includes references to drug addiction.

The melodic, half-spoken-half-sung, emotional delivery and writing is the sound of the late 2010s and beyond in hip-hop, thanks to extremely popular, influential, and innovative heavy-hitters like Drake, Post Malone, Travis Scott, and Juice WRLD — the latter of whom had a prolific career that ultimately proved very short. Juice WRLD's first full-length studio album, "Goodbye & Good Riddance," arrived in 2018 and hit No. 4 on the Billboard albums chart, launching the hit singles "Lucid Dreams" and "All the Girls are the Same." Later in 2017, his mixtape collaboration with Future called "WRLD on Drugs" did even better, hitting No. 2 on the Billboard 200, and then he finally topped this same chart in 2019 with his sophomore solo effort, "Death Race for Love." Three records in two years is a lot, and that doesn't even count the more casually-released nine EPs and another mixtape Juice WRLD also made, all done before the rapper's 21st birthday.

Sadly, Juice WRLD wouldn't have a chance to make much more music after he reached the age of 21. He died in December 2019, a tragic event he seemingly foresaw and said would happen in one of his songs.

Juice WRLD died suddenly in a Chicago hospital

According to the Associated Press (via ABC News), Juice WRLD and about a dozen associates arrived at Chicago's Midway International Airport on December 8, 2019. In a search of luggage carts full of bags taken from the plane, a drug-sniffing dog indicated the presence of illicit substances, and a search by authorities uncovered prescription cough syrup and what was believed to be marijuana, along with guns and metal-piercing bullets. Per TMZ, Juice WRLD exited the plane around this time and while walking through the terminal, suffered convulsions, with blood pouring out of his mouth. A federal agent connected with the search administered Narcan, an emergency medicine that can end, lessen, or alleviate an overdose of opioids. The Narcan wasn't effective, and Juice WRLD was rushed to Christ Medical Center in the Chicago suburb of Oak Lawn, where, a few hours later, he was pronounced dead.

Per the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office, Juice WRLD's death was ruled accidental, brought on "oxycodone and codeine toxicity," or, in other words, an overdose of two very strong opioid-type prescription narcotics.

The rapper struggled to stay sober

As fans know, Juice WRLD had a tragic real-life story. He was very open about his substance use issues and addiction struggles. In a 2018 interview with Billboard, he admitted that he had a "horrible habit" in his predilection for "lean," which the Addiction Center defines as a concoction made primarily from prescription-grade cough syrup and sweet soda. The rapper added that he'd first started using opiates as a sixth-grader, and had tried to get sober. 

Per The New York Times, Juice WRLD alluded to drugs and drug addiction in his works on multiple occasions, notably in the video for "Lean Wit Me," which depicts the rapper in a support group meeting and includes a hotline for viewers seeking assistance. Juice WRLD, whose real name was Jarad Higgins, so often talked about the dark side of the human experience because he'd lived through so much of it. "I don't just [make emotional music] for myself. I do it to help other people through their situations," he explained to NME in March 2019. "I guess I supposedly save lives. People tell me all the time that I save their lives." The rapper added of his own musical inspirations, "The people I looked up to put their demons out there. They provided a path for me to walk on."

Juice WRLD seemed to have a preternatural understanding that the more troubling aspects of life, and his personal demons, were fated to end his life way too early.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

Juice WRLD feared he wouldn't live past 21

In "Legends," a song recorded in tribute to deceased rappers XXXTentacion and Lil Peep, per HypeBeast, Juice WRLD dropped this chilling and very sad couplet (via Genius): "What's the 27 Club? / We ain't making it past 21." In the first half of that excerpt, Juice WRLD made reference to "The 27 Club," which, according to Rolling Stone, is one of the most tragic and unsettling bits of music lore. It refers to the uncanny pattern of brilliant and talented musicians of many genres and nationalities dying at the age of 27, burning bright with some early career genius only for their lives to end brutally quickly. 

Among the unfortunate members of "The 27 Club": Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison of the Doors, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Amy Winehouse. Noticeably not among that list: XXXTentacion, Lil Peep, and Juice WRLD himself. XXXTentacion died at age 20, while Lil Peep died at 21. Juice WRLD was also 21 years old at the time of his death of a drug overdose in Chicago in December 2019. 

"They tell me I'ma be a legend, I don't want that title now / 'Cause all the legends seem to die out, what the f**k is this 'bout?" Juice WRLD went on to sing on this same track. "I'm tryna make it out, I'm tryna change the world." These striking lyrics from "Legends," a tune he'd recorded about a year and a half before his untimely death, proved eerily and accurately prophetic.