Future and Juice WRLD: WRLD ON DRUGS Album Review

Story posted October 25, 2018 in Arts & Entertainment, CommRadio by David Arroyo

Since 2014, Future has been on a run unlike any seen in the modern history of music. Future released mixtape after mixtape and album after album, slowly re-establishing himself as a force in the hip hop community. A big boost for his continued rise was his collaborative album with Drake, What A Time To Be Alive, an album more focused on the glitz of the stars coming together than the actual execution of the product.

Future, for his credit, has gone to the well multiple times since Drake to try and make a great collaborative album, working with super-producer Zaytoven on BEASTMODE 2 and the charismatic Young Thug on SUPER SLIMEY. Although those last two efforts were received with mixed reviews, Future is again attempting to capitalize on a collaborative album, this time with the rising Juice WRLD. On the back of his debut album Goodbye & Good Riddance, Juice WRLD has shown himself to be another interesting player in the emo rap scene. As the two artists come together on WRLD ON DRUGS, there’s a lot to like for fans of the artists, but there is not enough to justify the albums 49-minute runtime.

To their credit, it appears that Future and Juice WRLD actually were in the studio together working on this and build a strong chemistry in that time. On songs like “Astronauts,” the pair trade verses and seamlessly transition between each other. They actually sound like two people who wanted to work together for the music they could make and not just the cash grab of the names coming together.

Some of this chemistry could come from their similar styles, which ultimately also puts a dent into this album. Future and Juice WRLD only have so much to talk about, repeatedly providing bars about their jewelry, drug use, the women they use and the usual topics that these two artists frequent. After the first 10 tracks, it just feels like the two run out of ideas or, at the very least, the listener knows what these artists have to say about their usual topics. Not to mention, there are some fairly disturbing and disrespectful lyrics toward woman, specifically from Juice WRLD on “Fine China,” that are absolutely inexcusable. Juice WRLD has had bars like the ones on WRLD ON DRUGS before, but it is something that he needs to be more conscious about and held accountable for.

Even those bars though cannot take away from how energetic and charismatic these two can be when paired with the right production. The punchy bass on the opening track “Jet Lag” helps to create a banger from start to finish and Future and Juice WRLD match the energy perfectly. Future brings back his yelpy delivery at points on this track and Juice WRLD keeps pace with catchy verses, with Young Scooter providing a much-needed change from the two artists. Other songs, such as the aforementioned “Fine China,” follow a similar formula to success. “Oxy” is another standout on the album with Future commanding the track from the start and Lil Wayne delivering a classic Lil Wayne verse.
The most telling and interesting track on the album though is “Realer N Realer.” Both artists talk about some of their demons, while simultaneously talking about the money that has helped them to this point. Juice WRLD documents almost being shot, losing friends to gun violence and how he is trying to use his new found wealth to better himself and others. Future talks about how he can “OD any day,” a poignant observation from someone who has done the number of drugs that he has, and how his diamonds chains make him feel like a slave. Both artists still find their time to flex on the track, but they appear to open up more about their insecurities and, for Future, he continues to open up to his fans about his life and his daily struggles.

There are other clear problems on this album such as Future and Juice WRLD not being philosophical enough to comprehend some of the deeper issues they try to speak on such as addiction, whether that be to money, drugs or something else, something Future specifically addressed as a theme of the album on his Instagram. Even with these issues, this is still an interesting installment for both artist into their catalogues. Juice WRLD shows a wider range than he did on his debut, and Future continues to attempt to devolve into his mental state. Both artists may never work together in such a large capacity again, but this is more to hold fans over than it is to supplement full, individual releases from Future and Juice WRLD.

Rating: 6/10

 

David Arroyo is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email arroyodavid01@gmail.com.

About the Contributors

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David Arroyo

Senior / Broadcast Journalism

David Arroyo currently serves as one of two General Managers for CommRadio. David is a former arts & entertainment director, social media director and editor for the station. He has produced for multiple Penn State sports while in CommRadio, has done play by play for Penn State sporting events such as football, basketball and volleyball and co-hosted and produced his own talk show. During the fall of 2017, David was an anchor, producer and reporter for the Centre County Report. David most recently interned at WPVI-TV, 6abc in Philadelphia during the summer of 2018. While at 6abc he was a programing intern and helped in the production of their weekly show “FYI Philly.” David has interned at B94.5 (State College) and Center City Film and Video (Philadelphia). Follow him on Twitter (@_arroyodavid) or email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).