Juice Wrld’s Mother Writes a Letter to Her Son on His 23rd Birthday
In celebration of what would have been Juice Wrld’s 23rd birthday, his mother has sent a tribute to her loving son.
In honour of the late Chicago rhymer’s birthday, which is today (Dec. 2), Juice’s mother, Carmela Wallace, sent an open letter to her son, whom she refers to as Jarad.
“I never anticipated that you would not be here today celebrating your birthday 23 years ago,” Ms. Wallace said in the message, which comes almost three years after Juice died of an accidental overdose in 2019. “Despite the fact that you’ve been gone for over two years, I still think about you every day, and losing you has impacted my life forever. I’m happy we always made a point of saying goodbye when we parted ways since we never knew when we’d see each other again.”
She went on, saying: “I recall finding your birthday present the year you turned nine. I concealed it in my closet, a white MP3 player. When you spotted it, you were too pleased to keep it to yourself and proceeded to tell me how much you wanted a white mp3 player for your birthday. I considered returning it to the shop and surprise you with something different, but I chose to give it to you nonetheless. You concluded that you would prefer wait for the surprise than uncover your presents early as time passed and we spoke about it.”
Carmela Wallace, who founded the LiveFree999.org website in honour of her son to raise awareness about the issues young people experience when it comes to mental health, also spoke about the influence her son’s music had on his followers and music listeners all over the globe.
“You impacted the world with honesty and openness via your music,” she wrote. “You spread a healing message and really wanted to make a difference in the lives of people. I’m constantly getting comments from people who claim your music helps them deal with anxiety and sadness. I commit to carry on your healing message and to utilise Live Free 999 to mainstream the topic about mental health and drug abuse and to assist people who suffer in silence.”
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XXXTentacion, Skins (2018)
XXXTentacion created a name for himself by being able to transform his artistic inspirations (punk rock, hip-hop, and R&B) into something his listeners could feel in their souls. X, who was shot and died during a heist on June 18, 2018, accomplished the trick once again with Skins, an album that gives several glimpses of what made the 20-year-old rapper such an engaging performer. Despite being just around 20 minutes long, the album, which was released on December 7, 2018 (six months after his death), is jam-packed with tight, dramatic rhymes (“Guardian Angel”) and appealing melodies (“Whoa” and “Bad”). Tracks like Kanye West and Travis Barker’s “One Minute” demonstrate the screamo rock sounds that X was known for throughout his career. In “Train Food,” he raps on the inevitability of death. While X’s absence is more evident than would be desirable in certain places, the CD has tracks that his followers may listen to while coping with the anxiousness he constantly mentioned. When it comes to posthumous albums, Skins is an example of making the most of unused material and turning it into something important.
Eazy-E, Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton (1996)
Given that Eazy-E was one of the world’s earliest gangsta rappers, it was rather odd that he never followed up his first album, Eazy-Duz-It, with a genuine follow-up. Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton, released 10 months after he died of AIDS symptoms on March 26, 1995, is a fitting send-off for one of the most important rappers of his period. The whole thing is classic Eazy. Throughout, there are winding West Coast synths and casual threats. Dresta and B.G. Knocc Out, two of his regular collaborators, also make cameos. He even reunites with MC Ren from N.W.A. While the record lacks tracks as memorable as “Eazy-Duz-It” or “Boyz-n-the-Hood,” songs like “Ole School Shit” see Eazy approaching the heights of his finest work. Str8 off tha Streetz of Muthaphukkin Compton is a great entrance into Eazy’s repertoire and an appropriate way to memorialise the rap superstar, with production that matches a style he helped develop and lots of features from musicians he helped grow.
Lil Peep, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2 (2018)
It’s uncertain how Lil Peep’s music would have progressed or how famous he would have become if he hadn’t died of an accidental drug overdose on November 15, 2017. Keeping this in mind, his posthumously released CD, Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2, provides yet another tantalising peek of his potential. Peep was carved from the same musical fabric as contemporaries like Trippie Redd and XXXTentacion, the latter of whom he works with on COWYS, Pt. 2’s bonus track, “Falling Down,” with sad lyrics and some major pop punk elements. The sequel, like Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1, deals with loneliness (“Runaway”), fragmented relationships (“Broken Smile,” “Sex With My Ex”), and the inevitability of grief (“Life Is Beautiful”). Peep makes subtle observations on grief and human nature via his lyrics. The album succeeds due of its consistency. While many posthumous releases include unnecessary features to fill up nearly empty tracks, Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2 is almost entirely composed of Lil Peep and contributions from his friend and collaborator Smokeasac (production) and his mother, both of whom assisted in the completion of the haunting LP.
Big Pun, Yeeeah Baby (2000)
Big Pun had already established himself as one of hip-finest hop’s rap technicians before his unfortunate death from a heart attack on February 7, 2000. With Yeeeah Baby, his second and last solo album, he did little to dispel that idea. Pun’s sense of humour (“The Creation”), hyper-speed flows, imaginative phrasing, and elastic rhyme schemes are all shown on the 16-track record, which was published on April 4, 2000. His one-liners are as razor-sharp as ever. “Duck when the mac strikes or be dead before your corpse falls/Because when my shotty roars, we disregard Giuliani rules,” he raps on “We Don’t Care,” a single that highlights Pun’s aggressiveness and nimble flow. Other standouts include “100%,” a song about Puerto Rican patriotism, and “It’s So Hard,” a Donnell Jones-featured ballad on the hazards of fame.
Yeeeah Baby, which was released barely two months after his death and executive-produced by his close friend and colleague Fat Joe, seems like a unified effort from start to finish. Pun’s tight verses and buddies like Remy Ma, Joe, Cuban Link, and others make it seem just like the record he intended to create, and it’s a fantastic follow-up to his first album,
Tupac Shakur, The Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory (1996)
Tupac Shakur’s last songs were also some of his most powerful. They exist on The Don Killuminati: The Seven Day Theory, a 12-track masterpiece that foregoes the gloss of All Eyez on Me while amplifying the album’s anxiety and wrath to the point that listeners can’t escape the frenzied intensity. You can hear it all as ‘Pac’s voice becomes hoarse and he audibly loses his breath while hurling death threats and pleading for forgiveness. He alternates between being philosophical (“Blasphemy”), trying to improve the world (“White Manz World”), and preparing for a drive-by (“Bomb First (My First Reply)”). For a song that seems restless, he examines religion, society, and the role they might play in his own destiny on “Blasphemy.” “Hail Mary” seems like a seance to summon the ghost of Makaveli, with its ominous bells and uncanny allusions to Jesus Christ’s resurrection from ‘Pac. If you want to do so, your best chance is to listen to The Seven Day Theory, one of the finest posthumous rap albums of all time.
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