Vocalo Pays Tribute to Juice WRLD
Written by Vocalo Radio on December 9, 2019
This Sunday, hip-hop fans all over the world lost Juice WRLD. He was a 21 year old rapper, singer and songwriter from right here in Chicago, Illinois.
He was best known for his hit singles “All Girls Are The Same,” and “Lucid Dreams.” He had just signed a recording contract with Lil Bibby’s Grade A Productions and Interscope Records. On Sunday, while walking through Midway Airport, he suffered a seizure and passed away.
We, here in Chicago, of course have a deep love for our artists and a deep connection with people who make art here in Chicago.
This morning Jill Hopkins welcomed Bekoe, Vocalo’s new midday host, as well as Curtis Shaw Flagg, our social media correspondent, to discuss the life and musical legacy of Juice WRLD.
Jill: Bekoe, for folks who are unfamiliar with Juice’s work, can you help us parse through it?
Bekoe: He started on SoundCloud but what really took him to that next level was when he met up with Cole Bennett, the film director of Lyrical Lemonade, and they shot the official video for Lucid Dreams. That’s when I got introduced to Juice. That video now has over 397 million views. And for those that don’t know, this video dropped only a year ago! He was a bright kid in high school freestyling in his classroom or in the hallway, battling some of the MCs in the school, and you know to go from that to selling out arenas that inspires not just your family but your friends and then their friends that know of the friends you’re cool with. So it’s a lot of inspiration that he’s brought to the music game.
I would also like to highlight his Spotify streams. Just this year alone, he’s managed to get 3 billion streams, over 152 million listening hours, and reached 1.7 million listeners in 79 countries. Again, that’s just this year alone! So you know, Juice has definitely made a huge impact on not just Chicago but the entire world.
Curtis Shaw Flagg: I think he just got the Billboard award, too, or two. Wasn’t it like anything is like the Artist of the Year. It was his style of music that got me in as a fan because I listened to Blink 182 and 2 Pac, this kind of interesting range of music, and Juice seemed to bridge a lot of gaps in this emo Rap kind of sense. And if I’m not mistaken, he was on Sway, and everyone thought he was going to do this kind of like singy-songy thing, and then he hit him with bars for like eight minutes or something crazy like that! And I know that wowed a lot of people. Everyone who was a real lyricist paid kudos to this kid, and that got a lot of people into him.
Bekoe: My team over at iLLANOiZE Radio covered Juice WRLD’s last performance in Chicago, and I’ll quote what he said that night on stage. He said, “You can do anything you put your mind to, as long as you work hard, give it your all, and don’t listen to what anybody has to say. It’s your world, you can do what you want.” So I just wanted to leave everyone with that quote, because it’s highly true, if you put the hard work in, your hard work will truly pay off. So Rest In Peace to Juice WRLD.
Jill Hopkins: Our hearts and our hip-hop loving spirits are with you. When anyone from Chicago does well, we’re right there with them, and whenever anything bad happens, we’re also right there with them. That’s how this goes. We are a strong city because of the support that we give one another.
Audio Producer: Fyodor Sakhnovski
Transcript edited by Seamus Doheny
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