Death Race for Love
Chicago rapper Juice WRLD’s ascent happened so quickly that in the same year he released his 2018 debut Goodbye & Good Riddance, he was able to scratch an item off his career bucket list: a collaborative project with Future, WRLD on Drugs. Just five months after that, Juice WRLD delivered Death Race for Love—22 tracks, with only Brent Faiyaz, Clever, and Young Thug as guests. The significance of extra, unadulterated Juice WLRD is not lost on the MC, who raps on the project’s opener, “Empty”: “I was put here to lead the lost souls.” His second album would also be the last released before the artist tragically passed away in December 2019, just days after his 21st birthday.
As operating practice, Juice WRLD traded in the dramatic—singing or rapping about love as both life-affirming and destructive. He reached his poetic peak on “Won’t Let Go”, crooning, “You can bury me with her/And if she die before me, kill me/And carry me with her.” Elsewhere on the album are dramatically drawn-out beat changes (“10 Feet”), multiple flows within single songs (“The Bees Knees”), studied introspection (“Flaws and Sins”), and even a touch of flowery dancehall (“Hear Me Calling”). The cover of Death Race for Love features an illustrated version of Juice WRLD hovering over a demolition derby of sorts, likening the album to a video game. And not unlike a popular gaming title, there’s enough to explore within Death Race to keep all who engage it entertained for untold hours.