After the success of "Lucid Dreams"—one of the biggest songs of the year—and big-but-not-quite-as-massive singles "All Girls Are the Same" and "Lean Wit Me," and his cry-for-help collaboration with Future, WRLD ON DRUGS, Juice WRLD wants to be known as a multifaceted artist.
“I feel like that's what's going to be most respected at the end of the day, that I'm able to do so many different things and become less of a rapper and just more as a musician,” he told Billboard in regards to his talents as both a lyrical rapper and a more melodic crooner. The young rapper can go from pop-punk-inspired ballads to hour-long Tim Westwood freestyles as if both were second nature. Rightfully so, he refuses to be pigeonholed.
Juice WRLD is not the first, nor will he be the last, rapper to shy away from the “rapper” label. Earlier this year, A$AP Rocky went on the record declaring that he does not simply rap, he makes music. Whereas Rocky’s comments carry the notion that rap is in itself not musical, Juice WRLD’s comments seem to suggest he has a disdain for being boxed in.
Old heads who can only think of Juice as a wounded singer are often surprised to see the crooner spitting solid, off-the-dome freestyles for longer than an episode of Game of Thrones. But Juice WRLD does not seem to want the element of surprise, he wants the aura of respect.
Does this mean being regarded as a musician will garner him more respect than if he simply presents as a rapper? Maybe so. Is that dismissive to hip-hop as a whole? Yes. It's always going to sting hearing a talented rapper shrugging off the term of... you know... "rapper." Should we take Juice WRLD seriously as an artist of many skills? Also yes.
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