One of the fastest-rising artists in music, on paper and in practice, Chicago’s Juice WRLD made it up to Real 92.3 LA earlier this week to discuss his music and give his take on being labeled a "SoundCloud rapper." While Juice is happy to bear the title, he pushes back against the connotation the moniker has absorbed.
“It’s just not what people think it is,” Juice explained. “It’s not just a bunch of motherfuckers doing shit with they lives, recording little shit music and taking Xans. ‘Cause look at me: I don’t like Xans and I’m off SoundCloud.”
What Juice WRLD is getting at is the necessary frustration of subgenres: they’re as helpful as they aren’t. While two artists can come up off SoundCloud, take Juice and Smokepurpp for instance, it’s wholly possible for them to sound like polar opposites. Not to mention, Juice’s SoundCloud origins do not innately undercut the impact his music is having on young listeners who turn to him at their lowest.
Indeed, there is a subset of artists who follow the SoundCloud rapper image to a T, but Juice WRLD is busy breaking the mold, representing the timelessness of teenage angst on a national level. With massive hits like “All Girls Are the Same” and “Lucid Dreams,” and pushing back on the anti-rapping stigma of his peers by decidedly proving his lyrical abilities throughout a handful of viral freestyles, Juice WRLD is intentionally subverting what it means to be a SoundCloud rapper by embracing his roots, and the music is better for it.