Death Race For Love (Bonus Track Version)
When making his sophomore album, 2019’s Death Race For Love, Juice WRLD refused to rest on the laurels of the chart-topping success he achieved with the 2018 single "Lucid Dreams" and the rest of his early hit singles and releases. He built out his sonic template and let his doomy, antisocial trains of thought travel in stranger directions, only attracting more fans in the process. At a full 72 minutes—75 in this bonus-track edition, released in 2022—DRFL remains Juice WRLD’s epic statement. With the emo and pop-punk influence being the focus of the discussion around his formative music, DRFL gave Juice a platform to showcase a larger breadth of talent—to prove himself as an artist whose sound could both evolve and stand the test of time. There is still plenty of music across the album that recalls this formative work. The record’s lead and biggest single, "Robbery," finds the rapper tapping into his emo-adjacent melodicism while stringing together a mélange of lines about getting too drunk, navigating anxious-avoidant dynamics in relationships, imagining his own death, and bragging about expensive clothes and jewelry. "Ring Ring" is an exercise in unhinged pop-punk, illustrating Juice’s childhood musical education from bands like Fall Out Boy and Blink-182. But there are more soulful and more recognizably hip-hop–oriented turns: the gospel patina of the Brent Faiyaz interlude, "Demonz," and the record’s second single, "Hear Me Calling," with its tropical, reggaeton-reminiscent beat. There’s also a wide collection of standard-issue, turn-of-the-2020s trap tracks: The gothic, horrorcore-informed "Syphilis" is a particularly notable example, featuring Juice yelling triplet flows about guns, sex, and popping pills. A 2019 single, "Bandit," featuring YoungBoy Never Broke Again, is the sole addition to this expanded version of the album; here, Juice tones down his vulnerability, flexing more traditional street-rap skills to hold his own against the Baton Rouge favorite. As with the album's musical juxtapositions, the lyrics on Death Race For Love are full of complexities and contradictions that engross us even when their meaning is unclear. As Juice explains in the self-effacingly titled "HeMotions," emotions can be "muddy." On this record, as opposed to the more uniformly despondent Goodbye & Good Riddance, days can be full of an assorted collection of moments and emotions: "Another life, another day, another chance to make it great/I'm running to the money all the time so I can never be late/Just me and my bitch, even though she drive me crazy, she still make my day."