I first heard Juice WRLD’s platinum hit Lucid Dreams as soon as it got the visual treatment from videographer sensation Cole Bennett. A bit sad, as the 19-year old is a Chicago native, and the song was featured on last year’s Juice WRLD 999 EP. Fakeshoredrive has covered him from the beginning, and last year music sites of high-caliber finally noticed the kid. This year, he made headlines after signing a $3 million deal with Interscope Records. The Twitter world went crazy, and my timeline was bursting with opinions of Juice. Did he deserve it? $3 Million?!?! What label in their right mind would sign an artist with only two SoundCloud hits to his name? (All Girls Are The Same being the second.)
Good music has the ability to strip away any preconceived notions. It transcends all. This was my experience with Lucid Dreams. Lucid Dreams has no mathematical structure. It starts with audio of a woman clearly upset with Juice, although her words are hard to make out. As they die down, Juice croons “I know, I know,” a creative pre-cursor to what lies ahead. A chorus hits first, with a capella interludes dispersed among verses and repetitive words. On paper this may sound messy and hard to follow, but it is anything but.
Lucid Dreams described my unhealthy, romantic relationship that turned into an unstable friendship full of blocked numbers, verbal and emotional abuse, and on my part, devastation that this person was engaged and no longer had feelings for me. For years I had searched for songs that described these experiences or feelings, but I took many L’s, and wondered if I was the only one putting myself through this. All of that went away when I heard the opening lines of Lucid Dreams:
I still see your shadows in my room
Can’t take back the love that I gave you
It’s to the point where I love and I hate you
And I cannot change you, so I must replace you, oh
Easier said than done, I thought you were the one
Listenin’ to my heart instead of my head
You found another one, but I am the better one
I won’t let you forget me
I felt like I had scribbled these words in my notebook long ago, and had just found them crumpled up at the bottom of a dusty cardboard box under my bed. I have written poetry for 17 years, and still haven’t come up with something so incredible. There is a rawness in his voice; a vulnerability factor that Juice has never been one to omit. He’s found a way to express complex emotions with specific imagery and a small amount of words.
I soon had Lucid Dreams on repeat day and night for 3 straight days. I didn’t listen to anything else, whether I was on the train, at home, or in the car. The song consumed me, but in a comforting way. I no longer had to spend my days ruminating, I now have a 3 minute song that can capture it all for me. Pain morphed into a close and personal relationship with a 19 year old I have never met. The power of music is real. And it’s ability to help you through any sort of struggle is simply miraculous.
I have these lucid dreams where I can’t move a thing
Thinking of you in my bed
You were my everything
Thoughts of a wedding ring
Now I’m just better off dead