Today’s Song: Juice WRLD Would’ve Been a Pop-Punk Prince with “Come & Go”

Juice WRLD © Nabil Elderkin
Juice WRLD © Nabil Elderkin
Juice WRLD channels the pop-punk greats that came before him on “Come & Go”.
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Stream: “Come & Go”-Juice WRLD

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Come & Go – Juice WRLD

Posthumous releases are tricky. You want to preserve an artist’s legacy, while simultaneously showing where the music could have gone, especially when an artist died as young as Juice Wrld (real name: Jarad Anthony Higgins) did. While so many songs on Legends Never Die show an artist who had found his real genre-defying self, the style fans probably could’ve expected from the rapper is best reflected in “Come & Go.”

On the Marshmello-produced song, Juice merges both atmospheric, airy emo-rap with genuine pop-punk. A lot of the songs on Legends Never Die use similar techniques (see: the twinkle daddy-inspired “Righteous” and “Wishing Well” or the blink-182 paced party anthem “Man of the Year”). The song naturally transitions between moody, spacey instrumentals and a power-chord driven riff with a chorus that’s ready for finger-pointing crowd surfers toppling over barricades, rather than codeine-fueled club nights.

Throughout Legends Never Die, Juice channels a Pete Wentz-type relationship with his audience, where he’s fully aware of how much his music means to people and plays with the existing notions regarding his fame. Juice receives sex, fame and success but still doesn’t manage to get happy. In “Fighting Demons,” he raps, “Money give me an erection/But that don’t mean it’s gon’ be everlasting.” Like Wentz before him, Juice doesn’t struggle to find the melodrama in his current situation and writing it into a digestible line that a teenager, upset about their crush can relate to. For example, the chorus to the XXXTentacion tribute track “Can’t Die:”

Sometimes it feels like I can’t die, ’cause I never was alive
Every day it feels like someone new dies, hope the news is a lie
This is my version of watching you cry, looking you in your eyes
This is my version of watching you die, took me by surprise

Unlike his emo predecessors, Juice takes on some of the responsibilities on his own. “Come and Go” is him trying to make a relationship works, after a life marred by heartbreak. It’s hard to hear the chorus of “I don’t wanna ruin this one/This type of love don’t always come and go” and not hear an echo of The Wonder Years’ “If I could manage not to fuck this up.” While the subject matter of each song is vastly different, being a young adult, it’s hard to imagine Juice hearing a lyric like that and not immediately thinking about a girl.

What’s most unfortunate about an artist like Juice Wrld dying at the age he did, a song like “Come & Go,” shows an artist who was looking to develop himself, not just on a musical level, but a personal one as well. While the track’s instrumental makes up for some amateurish lyrics like “I offer you my love/I hope you take it like some medicine,” other rhymes about his idealized image of himself make up for it, like the four that immediately follow:

Tell me ain’t nobody better than me
I think that there’s better than me
Hope you see the better in me
Always end up betterin’ me 

While Juice sometimes relies on his drug taking and romantic woes a little too much throughout Legends Never Die, his hope to better himself and develop shows tons of promise to the artist.

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Listen: “Come & Go” – Juice WRLD

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? © Nabil Elderkin

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