"Death Race for Love" is the second studio album by American rapper Juice Wrld. It was released on March 8, 2019, through Grade A and Interscope Records.
The album features guest appearances from Brent Faiyaz, Clever, and Young Thug.
Aside from the catchy harmonies, he’s also a creative rapper, capable of freestyling for an hour straight and spitting witty bars almost on command. Yet Juice WRLD’s flat first studio album, ‘Goodbye & Good Riddance’, didn’t quite fulfil this obvious potential. Thankfully, with follow-up ‘Death Race For Love’, his songwriting becomes less weighted on sad-sack anthems, as he displays a more impressive sonic range.
It’s obvious Juice WRLD still needs time to grow further as a lyricist, with his metaphors sometimes a little ham-fisted in their delivery. For example, on ‘Maze’, he talks about taking a deposit out of “the bank of life” in a way that’s more than a little cringeworthy. His falsetto can also sometimes sound a little whiney, especially when the backing music is light and airy.
Yet Higgins impressively honours old-school rap while taking it in a thrilling new direction. Emo rappers often make a point of disconnecting from the more lyrical old-school rap legends, but Juice WRLD actively embraces them. He closes the album with ‘Make Believe’, which samples 1990s group Pharcyde’s legendary ‘Runnin’, but rather than honour the song’s sardonic lyrics, he pours his heart out about a doomed romance. The track shows how young rappers can honour tradition without losing sense of their own individuality.
This will be the moment that solidifies his status as one of rap’s most exciting new stars.
Reviewed by Thomas Hobbs for nme.com.