Juice WRLD, MTV’s Push artist for the month of November, may be young, but he still knows what it’s like to hang with the modern hip-hop establishment. The 19-year-old rapper is fresh off a joint release with Future called WRLD On Drugs, which also features appearances by Lil Wayne, Young Thug, and Nicki Minaj. But his style is more varied than his résumé might suggest.
A few months ago, Juice sat down with MTV News for a game of This Or That, where he also made clear his love for Fall Out Boy, too, and specifically shouted out the song “I Slept With Someone in Fall Out Boy and All I Got Was This Stupid Song Written About Me” as a highlight. “That song is really, really, really, really hard to me, and the rest of [2005’s From Under the Cork Tree] had the same kinda vibe to it,” he said.
He shared the same love for Kanye West’s seminal 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak (“The songs made me sad … I don’t know why, you know?”) in a new interview with MTV where the young artist also shed some light on his creative process and how the song “Lean Wit Me” came together.
“I freestyle everything,” Juice said. “I come in there kinda just blind. If I write now, I feel like I overthink, and the stuff sounds way better when it’s off instinct ’cause it’s more natural. It’s not forced. Sometimes I just go in and the first thing comes out of my mouth is what’s on the song.”
For “Lean Wit Me,” what ended up on the song is, at times, pretty dark: “Will I die tonight? I don’t know, is it over? / Lookin’ for my next high, I’m lookin’ for closure.” But that kind of self-introspection just puts in him league with his musical ancestors like Kanye and Fall Out Boy.
And if Juice’s method of creation is a bit different from that of the Fall Out Boy dudes, at least he can know that emotionally, his, songs like those on Cork Tree, came from a place of feeling disconnected, too. “I think, especially in America, that people don’t realize it’s OK to feel down and sad sometimes,” bassist and lyricist Pete Wentz told The Independent in 2006. “It is part of the cycle of feeling OK. If you never feel sad, how do you know if you are OK?”
One listen of “Lean Wit Me” and you start thinking maybe Juice can get behind that sentiment, too. Watch Juice WRLD’s performance of “Lean Wit Me” above.