Released just about two years to the day of his unexpected death, rapper Juice WRLD’s (Jarad Higgins) fifth album and his second post-death album is available. “Fighting Demons” strikes streaming services on Dec. 5. As the title hints, songs in the album speak about Higgins’s inner conflicts like addiction, depression and anxiety. He stresses the importance of speaking out and destigmatizing depression.
The album was originally teased back in May with the title “The Party Never Ends.” Since Juice WRLD isn’t here to give his opinion about what the album is called or what songs are placed into the tracklist, some aspects may have changed. Along with the album coming out, a documentary, “Into the Abyss,” to celebrate his life will be coming out within a week.
The first song, “Burn” looms with overwhelming sadness and sets the mood for the rest of the album. Despite the fact that “Burn” is depressing, the song is unbelievable. Juice WRLD always wanted to spread awareness and not let people feel guilty for having flaws. One of the lyrics states “The truth hurts; let it bleed out.” The very sad irony to the whole situation is that Juice WRLD passed away due to overdose. As much as he spoke out about drugs, he couldn’t stay away from them. I feel like this song sticks to me and I truly hear what Juice WRLD is trying to say to his audience.
There are two songs on the album that were released very shortly before the album release date. The first one released was “Already Dead” and with no surprise, it is an upsetting song. He constantly states that he is “already dead” and “they can see the pain in my laugh.” It honestly makes me feel bad for the guy for all the struggles that he went through, but it was just covered by his fame. It is a very good song and it matches Juice WRLD’s music style. The next song, “Wandered To L.A.,” was released a week before the album with the popular artist Justin Bieber. Juice WRLD sings about his experience coming to L.A. and all the challenges that come along with it. I am not a huge fan of Bieber; however, he produced a very good feature and the quality of his voice was superb.
When the trailer for “Fighting Demons” was first released it had a faster-paced song playing in the background, with only three words spitting out before the trailer comes to end. The three words were “I go hard” and then it ends. The trailer showed a cartoon of Juice WRLD in space looking over the rest of the world. Once I got to this track I knew exactly where I heard the familiar music. The first words of the eighth song were “I go hard” and it clicked instantly that this was the song from the trailer but this time with a title: “Go Hard.” This is by far the best song in the album because of the soft-sounding and futuristic beat. Since the album came out I have had this song stuck in my head, and I am not disappointed.
Juice WRLD did not have as many features as I expected. He has two features in the song “Feline” and luckily they are both my favorite artists; Rapper Polo G and Trippie Redd sing towards the end of the song. I show a ton of sympathy toward Trippie because that was Juice WRLD’s best friend and his go-to when making music. Polo G is also one of my favorite artists because he is relatively new to the music game, and he is marvelous. The way Polo G is able to rap on beat and keep his flow is remarkable. I honestly don’t like the song though, but it may grow on me the more I listen to it. The rapping moves too fast and it is hard to catch up with it. The other song that has a feature is “Girl Of My Dreams,” which is such a sad song. When Juice WRLD died he did have a girlfriend, Ally Lotti, and I can tell that this song is directed towards her. Juice WRLD was clearly in love with her; it seemed like his missing piece. The features included South Korean music producers SUGA and BTS. They do rap in their native language which is very interesting, but I can’t understand anything. Even with the language barrier, the song is a hit. It may just be good since I know the backstory of why it was written, but I love this song.
Juice WRLD does something that no other music producer has done. On the album, he puts small snippets of documentary-style questions that he has answered. He speaks about what he has done for his family, such as buying his mom a house, and he speaks about how depression doesn’t shape you. On this album, he has the rapper Eminem speak about the time he was close to overdosing. Eminem was just two hours away from death but survived. Juice WRLD has always wanted to spread awareness so he added these small snippets. It felt good to hear his genuine voice in this album.
Sadly, that wraps up the album. I loved it and I will have it on repeat for a while. Each song is added to my playlist. Overall it was just under an hour, which I think was too short. I just hope more and more can be released from him. Maybe if he was still here more would be released, but since he doesn’t have a say it could be a while before we hear from him again. I am going to be biased, but I give the album a 9/10. The only issue I have is it is too short, but we may learn more once the documentary is released.