Breakout Chicago star Juice Wrld may be best known for his starry-eyed combination of emo and Windy City hip-hop styles, but on his latest single, he’s adding another flavor to the mix: Dancehall. “Hear Me Calling,” which you can listen to below with an animated visualizer, still makes strong use of the rap crooner’s brokenhearted emoting, but changes up the foundation, placing his pained reflection over an almost incongruously breezy dancehall riddim.
It probably shouldn’t work as well as it does, but since it does, it’s just one more indication that the surprising young star can do just about anything and make it convincing. When hardcore rap fans said his singing on singles like “Lucid Dreams” and “All Girls Are The Same” meant he couldn’t rap, he spit an hour-long freestyle for Tim Westwood, proving he could rhyme with the best of them. Then he rejected the rapper label to give himself the creative freedom to author his career however he wanted.
His elders are taking note of his talent as well. Last year, in between his own projects, Juice joined Future for a collaborative mixtape, Wrld On Drugs, that bounced their creative sensibilities off each other to enjoyable effect, while Panic! At The Disco leant some legitimacy to Juice’s emo stylings with their own collaboration, “Roses.”