News of Juice WRLD’s death at 21 shocked the music community. Many musicians and fans have found their ways to celebrate the rapper’s life, including rounding up some of his most iconic freestyles. Rolling Loud LA festival organizers, Tariq Cherif and Matt Zingler, are equally stricken. Juice was set to headline this weekend’s Rolling Loud, but Cherif and Zingler are planning something special in place: a tribute concert.
Rather than replace Juice’s set time, Rolling Loud plans to keep his Sunday 8:30 slot open. The tribute will include his backing band and appearances from special guests. According to the The LA Times, Cherif remembers Juice fondly and wants to keep his tribute set lighthearted. “He was a super cool dude,” Cherif said. “He had these four-wheelers at his house and paintball guns and would invite people over and just have fun. Every show, he always killed his performance.”
Juice died in early December after suffering a seizure at Chicago’s Midway Airport when police inspected his plane for guns and drugs. After his medical emergency, his girlfriend reportedly told police he “takes Percocet and has a drug problem.” Following his death, many called for a reevaluation of drug use in hip-hop music. Zingler, who has been sober six years, agrees. “I don’t think it’s our place to tell anybody what to do, but I probably will go on our YouTube channel and talk about what I faced as a drug user because it’s not as easy as just saying ‘stop,'” Zingler said. Cherif chimed in, “We should be assisting artists and saying, ‘What do you dream of doing? That to me is more powerful than somebody telling me, ‘Hey, don’t do coke’.”
Though Rolling Loud LA is sold-out, fans can view Juice WRLD’s tribute set on the festival livestream. Watch it here.