Making posthumous videos for an artist is a challenge. Given that they’re not around to participate, options are limited for how to visually represent them. Sometimes they actually started making the visual before their passing and there’s enough existing footage to use, or you can use other archival clips. There’s also animation, which has become more popular during the pandemic and the social distancing it has necessitated. The later is the route Juice WRLD’s estate went for the visual for his new The Weeknd collaboration, “Smile.”
The 3D-animated clip shows the rapper’s girlfriend Ally laying in bed looking at photos of the two of them, cutting back and forth between that and shots of him performing the track in scenic environments. The Weeknd also makes an animated appearance, emerging from a crashed car to sing his part of the song.
This collaboration would have been a dream come true for Juice. In September, before his passing, he put a wish out into the world, tweeting, “Me and The Weeknd would make a diamond record…”
He would surely have also been happy to see how well his debut album has performed. During its opening week, Juice had five songs charting in the top ten of the Hot 100, which was only the third time that has ever happened in the history of the chart.
Watch the “Smile” video above.