Somewhat over an hour in, HBO’s Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss depicts one of the crucial haunting moments in any current music documentary. The younger rapper–who died of a drug overdose in December 2019–seems to be round conspiratorially and turns to face his videographer. He reveals the digital camera the 5 drugs, presumably Percocets, that sit on his tongue. He washes them down with water and shudders the way in which most individuals do after taking a double shot of tequila.

“Once we each die, we’re gonna have someone put that out,” he says.

Into the Abyss is the sixth and last installment of HBO’s Music Field collection, which has delved into the latter days of DMX, the phenomenon of Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Capsule, and the chaos of Woodstock 1999. Govt produced by Invoice Simmons, these movies are very a lot targeted on the pop cultural influence of their topics, and Juice WRLD’s fast rise and tragic dying makes him in all probability the most effective lens to discover the final 5 years in hip-hop.

Even at a time when stars had been being anointed faster than ever, the Illinois-born rapper’s ascent occurred with surprising pace. At first, information of the $3 million Interscope deal he signed at 19 practically overshadowed his precise music, however singles like “Lucid Desires” and “All Women are the Identical” broke by way of globally, and his debut album shot to triple-platinum standing. Juice proved his love for emo bands like Panic! On the Disco and Escape the Destiny with heart-on-the-sleeve lyrics and pained vocals that also stung by way of the smoothing impact of Auto-Tune.

Into the Abyss picks up in the course of Juice’s run, chronicling a stretch of sold-out reveals and late evening studio periods round 2019’s Loss of life Race for Love. Famend for his freestyle abilities, it’s most thrilling to look at Juice work out songs in actual time. His data weren't at all times terribly targeted—lyrics about melancholy coexisted uneasily with brags about designer garments or threats of retaliatory gun violence, typically throughout the identical couplet.

Seeing him pull collectively “Quick,” one the actually nice pop rap songs of the previous couple of years, or work by way of points together with his late father on the unreleased “Life’s a Dungeon” is fascinating. (“I hate you for dying earlier than I might repair this / However I really like you for making me, you made a legend,” he sings on the latter.) Consider it just like the Gen Z model of watching Paul McCartney concoct “Get Back” within the new Beatles documentary.

The glimpses of unreleased music we get are additionally intriguing, significantly with the context of what ended up making it onto Preventing Demons, Juice’s second posthumous album, which got here out per week earlier than the movie. The shiny pop songs like “Wandered to LA” with Justin Bieber and “Lady of My Desires” with BTS’ Suga are true to the artist Juice was changing into–he was already working with producers like Benny Blanco and Louis Bell earlier than he handed–however tracks just like the operatic opener “Burn” or the caustic “Already Useless” actually really feel like trustworthy interpretations of his artwork.

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