Juice WRLD Takes Over the Riverside
Images via Daniel Ojeda
Last night, Chicago-born rap star Juice WRLD (pronounced “Juice World”, real name Jared Higgins), stopped at The Riverside in Milwaukee on “The World Domination Tour”. With hits steadily climbing the charts, an ever-growing loyal fanbase, and collaborations with major artists in the Hip Hop game (including Lil Uzi Vert and Travis Scott), the tour’s namesake is hardly an exaggeration.
The tour’s stacked lineup included several other young artists of the genre: BLAKE, YBN Cordae, and Lil Mosey- all three of which had no trouble riling up the near sold out crowd. The room was filled with fans of all ages, ranging from the looks of about six years old to middle-aged couples excited for the night to begin. The anticipation began to build even further as DJ Mike EP conducted a fan-poll of which song Juice WRLD should open his set with (the choices being smash hit “Lucid Dreams” or “I’m Still”, the 6th track from his debut album Goodbye and Good Riddance). In the end, “Lucid Dreams” pulled ahead and Higgins took to the stage with a confident stride, beginning the emo-rap hit without missing a beat.
Images via Daniel Ojeda
Despite only being a brief 45 minutes, Juice’s set was nothing short of explosive and downright mesmerizing. Flanked by 2 large LED screens flashing various red and black visuals (a repeating pattern being his signature ‘999’ design), Higgins strutted, stomped, and jumped around the stage while performing to the packed audience. He even paused to recognize the pride and love he has for his crew, as well as his hometown of Chicago Illinois, proving that regardless of his skyrocketing fame, he’s still humble. Another highlight of the set was a brief tribute to XXXTENTACION, followed by an emotionally raw rendition of “Legends”, a song touching on the painful fate of rap artists (such as X himself) dying young.
It’s safe to say that one of the most important and defining characteristics of Juice WRLD’s music is the unapologetic exploration of dark topics that plague today’s youth. As previously mentioned, “Legends” reflecting on the pain of young rappers’ lives taken by dangerous lifestyles, whereas other fan favorites like “Rich and Blind” and “Wasted” (featuring Lil Uzi Vert) discuss the romanticization of drugs, fame, and alcohol.
The eager crowd was even given a glimpse into new music from Higgins, as he introduced a new track titled “Game” (which the entire rom went absolutely insane for).
After 12 songs and 2 covers (“Take a Step Back” by Ski Mask the Slump God and “Faneto” by Chief Keef), the night began similar to how it started with another rendition of “Lucid Dreams”, which proved to be the perfect combination of upbeat and impassioned that ended the set with a bang.
At just 19 years old, Juice WRLD went from a rising star to a young legend with a fanbase of millions. The raw energy and passion he puts into his performances and music is downright contagious, and there’s no doubt that both his career and fame will continue to skyrocket. No matter what happens next, its obvious that the breathless crowd will be ready to welcome him back to Milwaukee with open arms.
You can stream “Goodbye & Good Riddance” and give Juice WRLD a listen for yourself here via his Spotify page.