Future and Juice Wrld: A surprising duo

The two rappers join forces for a new album, “Wrld on Drugs.”


(The Come Up Show/Wikipedia Commons)

The king of Atlanta trap himself is back in action — Future, that is. This time, the veteran teamed up with one of emo rap’s hottest artists, Juice Wrld.

As one of the game’s most well-established talents, Future has been at the top of the game since the release of his infectious project “DS2” back in 2015. Future gave life to a new breed of hip-hop that would define trap music as we know it today.

At one end of the trap music spectrum is Juice Wrld. Hailing from Chicago, Juice Wrld burst onto the scene in 2018 with a multitude popular singles, like “Lucid Dreams.” Since the release of his debut project, “Goodbye & Good Riddance,” Juice Wrld has grown into one of emo rap’s hottest talents, joining the ranks beside artists like Lil Uzi Vert and Trippie Redd.

In “Wrld on Drugs,” we arrive at one of the most unlikely pairings in hip-hop. If you asked me a few months ago whether I thought these two would make an album — let alone one song — I would have thought you were crazy. But here we are.

Before I listened to the album, I wasn’t sure how the two would work together. Future’s raspy, gritty delivery coupled with Juice Wrld’s melodic and emotional vocals is something new — I wasn’t sure how it would sound.

Upon listening, I discovered that Future and Juice Wrld created a loose project that almost feels like brain candy. The hooks are infectious, the beats are bright and bouncy, and the lyrics… well, they’re about what you’d expect.

On the first two tracks, “Jet Lag” with Young Scooter and “Astronauts,” the unlikely duo come out swinging. They bring lots of energy right from the start.

“Jet Lag” starts with watery guitar plucks to drive the melody and rattling hi-hats to fit the groove. Juice Wrld kicks off his hook with bars mostly about money and lifestyle. Future raps about much of the same but with more energy than Juice Wrld.

The next track, “Astronauts,” is one of the record’s highlights. It amplifies both artists’ strengths over a high-strung piano melody. Once again, designer clothing, jewelry and drugs are major subjects. But what’s impressive here is the rappers’ chemistry. The two trade bars over the majority of the track while testing their vocal range. Overall, “Astronauts” is a great example of how the two cooperate on this record.

Heading into the middle of the project, “Wrld on Drugs” begins to sound a bit saturated as melodies begin to sound very similar. The filtered plucks and keys of the first few tracks carry into songs like “Oxy” with Lil Wayne and “Red Bentley” with Young Thug.

The duo doesn’t really try to switch anything up in terms of style either. Future tries an outrageous high-pitched voice on “Oxy,” but it does nothing for the song. Juice Wrld delivers much of the same sound throughout the rest of the songs. Melodic verses and hooks about women and designer clothing loads the front half of this project. It’s not the strongest start, but there are a few highlights here and there, especially the two features from Lil Wayne and Thugger.

The second half of the album is much more impressive. The sound changes around  “Different,” featuring Yung Bans. It starts with an eerie, ambient key melody, then releases into a hard track with gritty 808s. Juice Wrld’s flow on this track sounds great. Future doesn’t have much to deliver, but Yung Bans is particularly impressive.

Light, vibrant keys drive the melody on “Shorty,” a track that almost sounds like something off of Playboi Carti’s “Die Lit.” The two use melodic vocals throughout the track with lines about women, life struggles and addiction.

The following track, “Realer N Realer,” is an alley-oop for Future. The beat has the right tempo and bounce to be a classic Future track. But, he falls short. Instead of being upbeat and intense, the artists opt for a melodic delivery that dampens the potential of the track. In what was mostly a great second half of the project, this is one of the low points. It is also a prime example of what this album lacks — energy.

In terms of substance and delivery, Juice Wrld does not have the same lyrical prowess as Future. And in this album, Future sometimes stoops to Juice Wrld’s level.

The album closes out with a couple of bangers. “No Issue,” “Afterlife” and “Transformer” with Nicki Minaj build on the album’s strengths and capitalize on the artists’ energy. The final track, “Hard Work Pays Off,” may actually be the best track. It serves as an appropriate ending. A spacey, upbeat and string-led melody bounces well on top of poppy drums. The two artists reflect on their work, the lifestyles they live and what’s left in store as the album comes to an end.


Ultimately, both Future and Juice Wrld fans will find something to like on “Wrld on Drugs.” It’s fun and very upbeat, but the artists stick to familiar ground when it comes to lyricism and delivery. When Future tries too hard to cater to Juice Wrld’s style, it doesn’t sound quite right. Juice Wrld tries different flows, but much of his melodic vocals sound familiar and sometimes bland.

“Wrld on Drugs” is a collection of rap bangers from an unlikely duo. But you know what? It just might work.

Email Trevor at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @TrevorWilsonOG.

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