Another young legend has been taken from this world far too soon. On Dec. 8, 2019, Jarad Higgins, better known in the hip-hop community as Juice WRLD, suffered a seizure and fell into cardiac arrest at approximately 2 a.m. at the Midway Airport in Chicago, Illinois. A federal agent who was at the scene during the time of Juice WRLD’s seizure, administered two doses of Narcan to assist the young rapper while waiting for the paramedics to arrive.
The musician awoke from his seizure, but was very incoherent, and paramedics quickly rushed Juice WRLD to the Advocate Christ Medical Center. Tragically, the rapper was unable to pull through and was pronounced dead at approximately 3:14 a.m.
On Juice WRLD’s debut album “Goodbye & Good Riddance,” the song “Lean Wit Me” includes lyrics that, at the time of the album’s release, did not catch the attention of listeners but eerily foretell these events. Upon revisiting the track in light of Juice WRLD’s passing, the song echoes the words from a young rapper who might have known that he was not meant to be on this earth for very long.
“Told her if I die, I’ma die young,” sings Juice WRLD on the aforementioned track. “Shawty tell me I should really sober up / This sh—t ain’t fiction, it’s too real, too real.”
Since his passing, fans have been anxious to discover what happened on the morning of Juice WRLD’s untimely death, so here is what is publicly known about the situation.
A Rising Star
Juice WRLD can best be described as a rising star that burnt out way too early. He catalyzed his career on SoundCloud, where he quickly made a name for himself and gained a massive following due to hit songs like “Lucid Dreams,” which landed on the streaming service in 2017 before exploding into a viral sensation.
After the song’s re-release in 2018, “Goodbye & Good Riddance” peaked at number two on the Billboard charts, and the hip-hop community quickly fell in love with Juice WRLD, embracing the artist’s melancholy anthems with open arms. To date, “Lucid Dreams,” is now a certified “6x Multi-Platinum” single according to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Shortly after the release of his debut album, Juice WRLD teamed up with iconic rapper Future and collaborated on the mixtape “WRLD on Drugs.” In my opinion, the mixtape was filled with nothing but hits from beginning to end, but maybe that’s because I’ve always been a huge Future fan, but my adoration for the project was only boosted thanks to Juice WRLD’s trademark artistry; his music fuses hip-hop with rock and, in addition to his infectious raps, he’s also fantastic singer.
Admirably, similar to preceding years, 2019 marked a rise in momentum for the 21-year-old rap star. Juice WRLD won the Billboard Music Award for Top New Artist, an honor that I think he absolutely deserved. Furthermore, Juice WRLD dropped his sophomore follow-up “Death Race for Love” in March 2019 and, similar to his first album, the release was filled with timeless songs.
What Happened That Morning
Juice WRLD’s private jet was filled with more than passengers as it landed at Midway International Airport on Dec. 8, and the Chicago Police Department and federal agents were well aware of this as they awaited the arrival of the artist’s flight.
The private jet carrying Juice WRLD and his crew was on its way to the Midway by way of Los Angeles, California on that Sunday morning. Sources say that authorities suspected contraband was being stored on Juice WRLD’s private jet, and law enforcement was already at the hanger waiting for the plane to touch down.
Regrettably, the suspicions of law enforcement proved correct. The search found 41 vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana along with six bottles of prescription cough syrup, also known as lean.
Besides a significant amount of narcotics, authorities also uncovered two 9 mm pistols, a .40 caliber pistol, a high capacity ammunition magazine and armor-piercing bullets. Two of Juice WRLD’s associates, who told police that they were working as security for the rapper, were arrested on misdemeanor charges for possessing the illegal guns and ammunition.
Juice WRLD’s girlfriend, Ally Lotti, was on the flight with Juice when the horrible incident occurred. Sources say that the rapper ingested a handful of Percocet as federal agents and the law enforcement boarded the plane. Lotti, who spoke with the police after the incident, told them that Juice WRLD consistently struggled with drug abuse, but no one would have guessed this would happen.
Rolling Loud 2019
Before his passing, Juice WRLD was scheduled to perform at Rolling Loud on Dec. 15. Nevertheless, in a sense, the artist fulfilled his promise, as a tribute set was hosted by a number of fellow artists — which included G Herbo, A Boogie wit da Hoodie and Ski Mask the Slump God — who not only played their collaborative tracks, but also lovingly recalled their memories of the late rapper.
In addition to music and industry talent, Lotti also took the stage to say a few words about the beloved rapper. “I just wanted to come out here and let everyone know that Jarad loved every single person that he helped,” said the artist’s girlfriend. “He literally loved every single one of you.”
The rapper’s partner also added that Juice WRLD wanted everyone to know that, “People need to take any negative thing in your life, he would tell you every time he saw you and change that to a positive situation. Change that to a 999.”
The speech concluded with the crowd chanting “999,” a number that Juice WRLD incorporated into his clothing line; the artist envisioned 999 as being the opposite of 666, which represented overcoming negativity.
Without a doubt, people everywhere will mourn the loss of the young rap icon far after the year ends. I’m not sure if there is a heaven, but if there is, I hope Juice is up there with other legends like Lil Peep and Mac Miller, hip-hop influencers who passed away before their time was due. Juice WRLD may have left this earth, but his music will live on forever. Rest in peace, Juice WRLD. Legends never die — 999 forever.