The Tragic Real-Life Story Of Juice Wrld

Chicago rapper Juice Wrld would have been celebrating his 23rd birthday later this year, but his untimely death in 2019 cut that short when he passed away at just 21 years old. The rapper was aboard a plane from California to Illinois and suffered a seizure at Chicago's Midway airport upon landing, according to TMZ. He was later pronounced dead, shocking the music industry and fans. The artist was just on the rise as an up-and-coming young rapper, but his short-lived career didn't get to see the fruits of his labor.

A month after he passed, the Cook County Medical Examiner revealed that his death was an accidental overdose caused by use of codeine and oxycodone. Juice Wrld, who was born Jarad Anthony Higgins on December 2, 1998, joined the long list of American musicians who tragically died by drug use.

While his death came as a surprise to many, some of his most loyal fans were probably not too taken aback by the news. The rapper often spoke about his drug use in his music, and he even eerily predicted his death in his 2018 song "Legends."

Juice Wrld's dark lyrics predicted his death

Some of the now infamous lyrics of that song spoke about the rapper's desire to die young, and create a new and younger club of fallen entertainers. The lyrics included lines like these:

All legends fall in the making

Sorry truth, dying young, demon youth

What's the 27 Club?

We ain't making it past 21

The tragic 27 Club, as Rolling Stone explains, consists of young entertainers who died at 27 years old. But based on his lyrics it was safe to assume that Juice Wrld had no interest in going that far and probably preferred to go earlier. The song would subsequently chart a few weeks after his death, per Billboard.

He also spoke about his mental well-being in his music. In his first chart-topping hit, "Lucid Dreams," the rapper, who was also a singer, won over a lot of fans with the song about heartbreak. It was this song that placed him on the map, helping introduce many people to his music. The popularity of it earned him a spot to perform at the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards, reported Billboard.

Juice Wrld got sued for his famous hit

Just a few months before he died, Juice Wrld's blossoming career took a slightly tragic blow. Not everyone was a fan of his successful song. In October 2019, rock band Yellowcard hit him and his team with a $15 million lawsuit, reports Variety. They filed the suit claiming copyright infringement and alleged that his song "Lucid Dreams" copied the melody from the band's 2006 song "Holly Wood Died."

Even after his unfortunate death, it seemed like the lawsuit would proceed. But last summer the band dropped the suit against Juice Wrld's estate and co-authors of the song, according to Music Business Worldwide.

And that wasn't the only blow he got for that song. The song had also sampled (but credited) British rocker Sting's 1993 song "Shape of My Heart." And Sting was reportedly collecting 85 percent of the song's royalties, says the NY Post. Even though he had to share a very small portion of royalties with the rocker, Juice Wrld told NME it didn't faze him. It was less about the money and more about his artistry being acknowledged.

"I don't give a f*** about that, though. Money is gonna come regardless. If you doin' this for money, people gonna be able to tell. For me [it's more important that] Sting said my music is beautiful, the fact that he performed my version of the song," said Juice Wrld.

Juice Wrld battled a drug addiction

Naturally, after his early death, it was presumed that the rapper regularly used prescription drugs. His own mother later revealed that Juice Wrld was indeed suffering with an addiction, when she released a statement to TMZ a few days after he passed.

"We loved Jarad with all of our hearts and cannot believe our time with him has been cut short. As he often addressed in his music and to his fans, Jarad battled with prescription drug dependency," said Carmella Wallace, Juice Wrld's mother.

Juice Wrld, and other rappers alike, often sang and glorified the recreational use of prescription drugs like percocet, xanax, and opioids. Sometimes artists also praised using these drugs with marijuana and alcohol, and potent mixtures like lean — a liquid codeine cocktail mixed with soda and candy. The addictive mixture is said to cause its users to feel high, dizzy, and even have seizures, says Healthline. The rapper's autopsy showed that he had codeine in his system.

Saw the posthumous entertainer fame

It seemed like his short time in the music industry saw quite a few legal ups and downs. He was still able to enjoy a lot of recognition. But like too many other fallen rappers, he became even more famous after death. His song "Lucid Dreams" would move up to the top of the charts, and streaming sites like Apple and Spotify saw an increase in listeners, reported USA Today.

Even though his death stunned the music world and brought attention to the dangers of drug-use, he didn't get the memorializing honor he likely deserved, says Forbes. Juice Wrld was signed to Interscrope in 2018, and that same year and the following, he released two albums. His songs were charting and he saw a high level of success after being signed for less than two years. But according to Forbes, the 2020 Grammy Awards ceremony did properly recognize his contributions to music.

Juice Wrld probably suffered before dying

The day he suffered his fatal seizure, authorities were also en route to search the plane that he was on, reported The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The rapper and his entourage apparently had illegal guns and drugs aboard, and officials were tipped by the plane's pilot. When the plane landed in Chicago, FBI and FAA agents were waiting to search the plane. Juice Wrld swallowed "a large amount" of the opioid Percocet in an attempt to hide the medication from the authorities. His state of panic would have deadly consequences.

Juice Wrld likely suffered his medical episode as a result of swallowing the fatal dosage of drugs and went into cardiac arrest before being taken to the hospital where he died. Authorities did recover marijuana and firearms in their search, and arrested two of his acquaintances. The FBI allegedly began their search of his plane and belongings just before he started having a seizure, according to Revolt. In their own attempt to save him, agents administered two doses of Narcan. The rapper was briefly conscious but in a daze. He was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.