Arts, Music, Review

Collab Album ‘WRLD on Drugs’ Fails to Sustain High

Future and Juice WRLD are cut from the same cloth: Both are self-proclaimed drug addicts enjoying the fruits of their labor while never forgetting to take a step back and look at their lives through the lens of extreme melancholia. The two rappers do vary in their rise to the top: while Future’s rise was steadier and took place over the course of a few years, Juice WRLD seemingly came out of nowhere, grabbing people’s attention with his breakout song “Lucid Dreams” before dropping his album Goodbye & Good Riddance on May 23. Future & Juice WRLD Present… WRLD on Drugs is a fitting project for the two rappers, a collaboration of both style and status.

Future and Juice get right into things with the first track on the album, “Jet Lag.” They start their album about drugs with an anthem for drug dealers everywhere who are dedicated to grinding every day to put money on the table. While the type of work they’re preaching about might not be relatable to all of their listeners, the message behind it is universal: Young Scooter hops on with a verse solely dedicated to the hard work he’s put in to get where he is today, while Future and Juice deliver with fun ad-libs and classic rhymes about drugs and flexing.

Future and Juice continue the drug-induced raps, comparing themselves to space travelers on the next song, “Astronauts,” before switching it up with an ode to their girls on the song “Fine China,” which was released before the album. It’s a simple song, but it does have some radio potential, although Juice’s line threatening death to any girl who leaves him—“So if she leaves, I’ma kill her, oh, she’ll die”—is concerning, and should’ve been left out of the album.

On the next track, “Red Bentley,” the duo gets right back to the drug talk. With a menacing yet simple beat, Future and Juice WRLD continue their ode to drugs. Young Thug hops in with a verse that really makes you appreciate the chemistry he has with Future. Juice holds his own, showing that he’s a student of both Young Thug and Future.

The next run of songs on the album is nothing special, both behind the boards and in the booth, as Future and Juice talk about how far they’ve come from being xanned out in math class and dropping stacks on any given day on “Make it Back,” to their love affair with Oxycodone on the aptly-titled “Oxy,” to waking up on “7am Freestyle” and dragging themselves into the studio in the early morning hours to talk about how rich and drugged out they are.

The duo delivers a guideline for those trying to follow in their footsteps on “Shorty,” in which they talk over wildly repetitive lines—almost every line ends with the word shorty—about the troubles that money can bring while paying homage to their hometowns and the struggles they had to endure. The next track, “Realer n Realer,” is a standout track as Future and Juice WRLD embrace the notion of carpe diem, describing how they blow their cash without concern. Future’s crippling addiction to opioids sound so sad yet so fun over explosive beats that make his fans go crazy, making the tragic attractive.

The title track “WLRD on Drugs,” is really nothing more than a list of drugs with little notes on how awesome they are and how much the duo loves to indulge in them, which really is the whole point of the album. On “Afterlife,” a solo track, Future takes a step back to look at how rich he’s become, how drugged out he always claims to be, and how the younger generation of rappers owes him a lot—all true contentions. Gunna, who’s had arguably the best year in rap besides Travis Scott, comes in on the next track, “Ain’t Living Right,” to provide a cozy flow in which he lists his many vices. The rappers acknowledge their lifestyle is unsustainable, but too fun to give up.

Nicki Minaj assists Future on the next track, “Transformer,” another drug ode. Minaj takes another shot at Cardi B, referencing their recent scrap at New York Fashion Week. On the final track, “Hard Work Pays Off,” Future and Juice deliver another standout track. The duo showcases their chemistry well here. On the track, both rappers look back and appreciate how far they’ve come from being broke to being able to do what they love: make music for the sake of fun and nothing else. Juice’s singing provides the inspiring nostalgia that is necessary to complete the album.

Future and Juice WLRD put this album together in a week, similarly to how Drake and Future’s album What a Time to be Alive was made. Unlike that album, WRLD on Drugs makes it a lot clearer that there wasn’t much care put into it. It could have done with another round of cuts, and maybe a diversification of both the rhymes and the beats—but that would defeat the point. It’s clear that they went into the studio with the intention of having fun and dropping something enjoyable for their fans. There are clear standouts with a lot of replay value, and that’s all  fans of Future and Juice WRLD can ask for sometimes.

Featured Image by Freebandz

October 25, 2018