Juice WRLD's "Goodbye & Good Riddance" Turns 5

Juice WRLD's "Goodbye & Good Riddance" Turns 5

Juice WRLD was SoundCloud's biggest breakout rapper in recent history with his debut studio album Goodbye & Good Riddance, which shook up the world of hip-hop. Whether he was nailing freestyles on radio shows or raging on stage, it seemed he became an overnight sensation. After releasing several successful tapes on SoundCloud, he signed a $3 million deal with Interscope. Just prior to turning 20, he released "Lucid Dreams" and "All Girls Are The Same," with each track landing near the top of the Billboard 100 charts. Juice WRLD could fit into just about any pocket of hip-hop, diving from a trap-based collaborative mixtape with Future to an emo-grunge banger with XXXTentacion.

His bratty songs would quickly become anthems throughout high school and college campuses. Juice WRLD would follow up the successful hit tracks with Goodbye & Good Riddance, which debuted at No. 6 on the Billboard 200 charts. His album blended the underground trap sounds of SoundCloud with the rougher sounds of South Florida, drawing comparisons to the likes of XXXTentacion and Iann Dior. Releasing the project at only 19 years old, Juice raps about teenage heartbreak and loneliness throughout much of the project. Singing "Tell me what's the secret to love, I don't get" in a monotonous tone, his vulnerable naivety is genuine at its core.

Goodbye & Good Riddance Pictures A Depressed Juice WLRD

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 18: Juice WRLD poses during rehearsals for the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on August 18, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by John Shearer/WireImage)

While Juice WLRD blew up off of emo-rap encompassing hip-hop in the late 2010s, he's not a one-trick pony rapping with his head down. He can be depressed and exhilarated or enraged and serene all at once. On "Armed and Dangerous," he's wielding a gun and a bottomless bank account, coming off as the most confident man in the world. However, "Scared of Love" gives us a completely different Juice WRLD, where he states, "I tell you that I don't care / Really I do care." This unpredictability aided his sudden popularity, as fans were kept on their toes from track to track. It's easy to pity Juice WRLD by the record's end.

Essentially, Juice WRLD's Goodbye & Good Riddance popularized emo-rap heartbreak like never before. It shows in the numbers, recently surpassing 5 billion streams on Spotify. He turns to dark substances to cope with the reoccurring themes of heartbreak and loneliness. "I take prescriptions to make me feel okay / I know it's all in my head." They're haunting lines to listen to in retrospect, as Juice WRLD would die of an accidental overdose of painkillers in December 2019. On the 2018 single "Legends," he famously stated, "What's the 27 club? We ain't making it past 21." He's acutely aware of his downfalls. However, the lyricism of Goodbye & Good Riddance reads as someone falling into this unhealthy world rather than looking to pull themselves out.

Juice WRLD Was Heavily Influencing Emo-Rap

Juice WRLD's untimely passing signed a death warrant for emo-rap itself. Named Jarad Higgins, Juice WRLD wasn't just impersonating the subgenre with Goodbye & Good Riddance. Through his variety of manic states and soundscapes, he was driving the genre into a new era. This all became apparent with his posthumous releases, such as Legends Never Die, where he dabbled in the world of EDM. An imposing rapper and vocalist, he made a name for himself as one of the greatest freestylers in the industry before his passing.

Of course, Goodbye & Good Riddance is far from a perfect record. Juice WRLD's unwavering self-deprecating tendencies sometimes read as downright cringy. This especially shows up on the outro skits, "Betrayal" and "Karma." If you're specifically grading Juice WRLD's debut album for its lyrical prowess, it falls well short of the likes of Kendrick Lamar or Kanye West. However, Goodbye & Good Riddance stick in fans' heads due to its catchy melodies. Taking cues from Young Thug or Lil Uzi Vert, the project is at its best when Juice stretches his vocals on a catchy beat.

Immediate Success

In essence, it's difficult to capture the appeal of Goodbye & Good Riddance from a logical perspective. While the lyrics are depressive and angst-filled, it quickly induces feelings of freedom or downright joy in its listeners. The record lifted him from making $100 at a live performance at the Chicago Rec Center and posting small mixtapes on SoundCloud to a global personality. In retrospect, the fame may have hit him too quickly. With Juice WRLD delivering a voice where "I speak my own language," it's a tragedy for music that we weren't able to hear him fully develop his unique sound. Even if Juice WRLD is at his lowest on Goodbye & Good Riddance, the posthumous personality has an understated sentiment to enjoy the ride while you can.

On May 18, Juice's team released a 5th-anniversary edition of Goodbye & Good Riddance. Surprisingly, we're getting new material on the project. "Glo'd Up" features a booming 808, as Juice fittingly screams, "Looking for closure." In addition, we get a revamped version of "Lucid Dreams" with Lil Uzi Vert.

via: https://www.hotnewhiphop.com/678617-juice-wrld-goodbye-good-riddance

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