Juice WRLD has died – and it has hit me harder than any death in hip hop history. I was barely a toddler when Big L, Jam Master Jay, The D.O.C., Big Pun, Tupac, and Biggie left us. When Nipsey Hussle passed, it was such a blow to the hip hop community, and I recognized it instantly. When Mac Miller died I bared my soul. But Juice? I never thought I would have to mourn such a loss. He wasn’t just a talented artist; he spoke to generations of people going through pain and suffering. Juice was bigger than his music – he was an honest young man sacrificing his vulnerabilities to comfort others.

His #1 hit, Lucid Dreams, encapsulated my entire love life. Many looked over his songwriting abilities, and how he could carry entire albums with little to no features. As soon as I discovered Lucid Dreams, I played it on repeat for days on end. I devoted an entire article to the song. While there are many hip hop artists that bare their souls, Juice’s felt the most authentic. Death Race For Love is, in many ways, a classic. The lyrics, the construction, the intricacy, the content, the instrumentals, the connection, the impact, the heart, the soul, the long tracklist that contained little filler. Regardless if you enjoyed it or not, he must be respected beyond his musical abilities.

I’ve always had an intense bond with Kurt Cobain that I’ve never been able to explain. I continue to feel that way with Juice. He was a beautiful man, inside and out. I rarely looked at his tweets, but when I did, I felt impending doom. Part of me knew he would die sooner rather than later. I was worried about him as if he was my best friend. The goal of this article is not to defend Juice’s music, or even Juice himself. This was written purely out of passion. I had no idea I would write my tribute just a day after his death, but certain events triggered me into pouring out all of my feelings and thoughts.

Juice, we all know you left us too soon, at the ripe age of 21. We all knew you were destined for greatness. I missed you yesterday, I miss you today, and I know we will take this journey through life together. No matter what.