In the wake of Drake’s Scorpion chart dominance, there remains only one rapper not named Cardi B challenging The Boy from Canada’s unprecedented success: 19-year-old Chicago rapper Juice WRLD, whose “Lucid Dreams” has held strong at No. 3 on Spotify’s Top 50 and on Billboard‘s Hot 100, only dropping down to No. 16 after 7 weeks near the peak. Now, it looks like the emo-leaning, genre-blending rapper has the perfect formula to return to the top of the charts with his new single “Wasted” featuring Lil Uzi Vert, reigning king of punkish, melodic rap deliveries.
With a twinkling, spacey, trap beat, a guest verse from one of the hottest young rappers in the game, and youth-baiting, pill-hawking subject matter, “Wasted” could have been built in a post-Millennial hitmaking lab. Although Juice WRLD is a relative newcomer, he’s already had an impact on the game with his self-produced mixtape, 999, and his Interscope-backed, digital-only debut album, Goodbye & Good Riddance, which peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard 200.
Album singles “Lucid Dreams” and “All Girls Are The Same” performed remarkably well for a rap freshman who didn’t make the XXL list, but Juice has already demonstrated a facility for both sing-song trap hits that appeal to sad teens and impressive, straightforward rap wordplay, spitting an hour-long freestyle for British DJ Tim Westwood that will certainly help him fend off the usual Soundcloud/mumble rapper complaints from older fans.