Monday, May 3, 2021

The Life and Death of Juice WRLD


When Juice WRLD boarded a private jet in early December 2019, for what would turn out to be the last flight of his young life, his friends and family had become increasingly alarmed about his drug intake


 Jarad Anthony Higgins, as his birth certificate read, had long been an open wound on wax and in interviews about his battles with prescription drugs like Xanax and Percocet, and his struggles with mental health in general. It was a habit, that started as early as his freshman year of high school and continued as he discovered the drug-saturated music of rappers like Future. In two weeks, he was set to enter a rehab program, but first he headed from Los Angeles home to Chicago, accompanied by a handful of friends and security guards, to celebrate his 21st birthday with a game of paintball.

 His music stood out for its rawness and emotional vulnerability: In the intro to “Lean Wit Me,” off 2018’s platinum-selling Goodbye & Good Riddance debut, he sang, “Drugs got me sweatin’ but the room gettin’ colder / Lookin’ at the devil and the angel on my shoulder / Will I die tonight? I don’t know, is it over? / Lookin’ for my next high, I’m lookin’ for closure.” 

Juice had been sneaking around doing drugs—prescription opioids and/or lean (codeine and sometimes promethazine, mixed with soda) were his usual choices—with different people, oftentimes pretending that he was sober in order to use again with a new group

When the plane touched down in Chicago in the early morning hours of December 8, federal authorities swarmed the aircraft, having received a tip that there were narcotics and illegal guns on the plane, . As officers searched two luggage carts—where they found multiple bags of marijuana, several bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, and three guns with metal-piercing bullets—Juice suffered a seizure, and a Homeland Security Officer administered Narcan, according to Chicago PD. Juice was then transported to Advocate Christ Medical Center, but he was pronounced dead en route. The official cause of death, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office, was an accidental overdose of codeine and oxycodone.

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