It's difficult to talk about a new Juice WRLD album without discussing the perils of posthumous releases. In an interview with Complex, Juice WRLD's manager Lil Bibby said he and Juice's team sifted through over 2,000 songs to compile the final 18 tracks for his second posthumous release, Fighting Demons, all while fans trolled him with opinions about what Juice would’ve wanted. Admittedly, Fighting Demons sounds like it was handled with care, but the album itself is an emotionally taxing affair.
The most affecting part of the first annual Juice WRLD Day celebration was when his former DJ, Mike P, went out into the crowd to talk to fans about how the late Chicago rapper changed their lives. They said they discovered Juice in high school and credit him for helping them overcome depression and mental illness. One fan showed off a tattoo of lyrics to the song "Life's a Mess" on her arm.
The question of the moral viability of posthumous albums has risen in tandem with the cruel attrition rate impacting on the new generation of American rap. With young artists taken at such an appallingly young age, the need to broaden and protect their legacy comes in parallel with questions of taste, and authenticity. Juice WRLD passed almost exactly two years ago, and the prodigious rapper left behind a huge range of unreleased work.