Four months after Juice Wrld's tragic death of an accidental drug overdose, Future opens up about the late rapper.
"Still to this day, I’m heartbroke," Future shares in the cover story for the Spring 2020 edition of XXL Magazine, the cover for which was revealed on Monday (April 6). "Rest in peace to Juice Wrld. He’s a great artist. He had so much more to do."
Future is in unique place to reflect on the passing of Juice Wrld, who died of an accidental overdose on oxycodone and codeine last December. Juice, who released a joint album titled Wrld on Drugs with Future in 2018, admitted in the past that it was Hendrix who inspired him to drink lean when he was in sixth grade. "That’s the first thing I told [Future]," Juice said in a 2018 Vulture interview about being introduced to lean through the Atlanta rapper. "He just was like, 'Wow.' He kind of apologized."
When speaking with XXL on if he feels a certain way about being influential to Juice with the drug references in his music, Future reflects on the tradition of artists infusing drug references within their music.
"It was so many people that came before me that talked about drugs from rock ’n’ roll stars to pop stars to people aware of other artists going to rehabs and aware of other artists’ overdose and there is so many other people that was a part of this world way before me," he tells XXL's Editor-in-Chief Vanessa Satten.
Future admits that his delivery and charisma might have made those drug references more digestible to fans, but he says helping steer people toward the path of addiction was never his plan.
"Me having an influence on that, I just feel like…that is not my intentions," he offers. "My intention was just to be me. I’m just being me and what you get from it is what you get from it, but at the same time, I wouldn’t want no one to go through anything to harm theyself or to bring death to theyself and Juice Wrld is a touchy situation. I’m heartbroken by the whole thing. My heart goes out to his family, his mom."
The death of Juice Wrld continued a tragic series of early demises in hip-hop. Between June 2018 and this past January, artists like XXXTentacion, Mac Miller, Nipsey Hussle and Juice Wrld all passed away as a result of either drug overdoses or gunshot wounds. Unfortunately, in February, Pop Smoke was also shot and killed in Los Angeles.
Even with that stream of rappers dying far before their time, Future doesn't feel as though it's a particularly dangerous era to be a rapper.
"It’s regular people that go to jail, I mean regular people that live their life and they go to work and if somebody walk in their job and just shoot them and they never thought they'd die from a gunshot," he says. "And it’s just randomly they happen to die from a gunshot."
"My heart goes out to them but at the same time, it’s like, everyone dies from a different reason," he adds. "It just so happen to be a rapper or something and they just die from this way and they shed light on it and it’s just, Oh, this rapper doing this, is it an epidemic with rappers overdosing and getting murdered? It’s the streets. It's the new streets. It’s a new wave. It’s like the new theme."
In the new streets, Future isn't sure rappers have been given all they need to survive.
"It’s like, a lot more rappers than back 10 years ago," he offers. "So, now a lot of things more are going to occur. It’s a lot of young rappers that's growing up super fast, that’s getting money super quick and don’t have classes on success. They don’t have a guideline on what you do when you get success or what you do when you get money. How much sleep you’re supposed to get. How much water you supposed to drink. How many drugs you don’t suppose to take. It’s like, it’s not a class, [there's no] guideline on that."
For Future, the survival of a young artist is usually left up to them, and they don't have too much of a choice.
"You really got to maneuver on your own and become your own person or just gotta be like, your own boss, so, everything that happens, it comes from you," he discloses. "You got to know when to give and you got to know when to let up sometimes and detox. You got to know when enough is enough because you in control of your own destiny and you don’t want to self-destruct."
Read more of Future's thoughts on Juice Wrld's passing and being a leader in the game in the Spring 2020 issue of XXL Magazine.
See Exclusive Photos of Future on a Yacht for XXL Magazine's Spring 2020 Cover Story