Over the past few years, we have started to see this rise of “emo rap”, a more emotional lyrical style over a trap sounding beat. Lil Peep and XXXTentacion both played into this genre with much of their work but the most recent rapper to blow up with this version of rap is the 19-year-old out of Chicago, Juice WRLD. With this being his rookie debut album, Goodbye & Good Riddance is doing pretty well with it hitting #6 on the Billboard 200 on its third week following the release.
He often gets the term “sad boy” associated with him and I feel that that is extremely accurate. Unlike many rappers, who talk about girls like they are something to conquer, Juice has a more different focus, rapping and singing about love and heartbreak. That sad sound plays out heavily in nearly every song. Yet, the lyrics at times feel whiny and melodramatic. The chorus of the hit song “Lucid Dreams” is the perfect example:
“Can’t take back the love that I gave you
It’s to the point where I love and I hate you
And I cannot change you so I must replace you (oh)”
You just kinda shrug your shoulders and say “eh”. Juice’s voice is very unique though in the aspect that it is very melodic and smooth. While this does help with the vibe of the album, much of the project sounds the same. He doesn’t show too much variety in his vocal talents. At times his flow on certain verses also feels almost sloppy, especially on the track “Used To”.
For the most part, the beats on the album are fairly solid. It isn’t too often you see a Sting guitar sample on a trap beat like on “Lucid Dreams”. Pretty unique if you ask me. “Scared To Love” brings this funky dancehall style beat with samples from Ghost Loft. The beats on the project fit the sound Juice brings with his voice, however, nothing blew me away or wowed me. They were average but that is about it. Solid and average.
Surprisingly enough, this was my favorite aspect of the album. Juice WRLD and his team hit that emo tone on the nose. At times it feels almost darker than much of the emo rap scene. The use of skits is also very cool and it makes you wonder…did Juice WRLD maybe pull some inspiration from another famous rapper’s debut album? (of which I just found out was pulled off of Apple Music…f@%k!) While a few songs felt like they were mixed incorrectly and came out sounding scratchy and washed out, the majority of the album is mixed well and the transitions are pretty fluid. The songs he worked on with Enviyon Recording Studios (“Lucid Dreams” and “Hurt Me”) just sound appealing to the ears.
“All Girls Are The Same”, “Lucid Dreams”, Lean Wit Me”, and “Hurt Me”
If you are an emo rap fan, I know you will disagree with the rating, but hey, I am trying to be as unbiased as possible here. The hits aren’t bad. The deep tracks aren’t skips per say but just aren’t stuff I would listen to much again. Goodbye & Good Riddance is a slightly above average album and gets a:
While I was a bit disappointed in his debut album, I am definitely excited to see where he goes in the future. Especially after the versatility and skill he showed off with this hour-long freestyle.