Juice WRLD documentary on HBO Max explores Chicago native's enduring influence

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Groundbreaking rap artist Juice WRLD died of an overdose two years ago this month, just after he turned 21. A new documentary on HBO Max explores Chicago native's enduring influence on rap music.

"Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss" was created from several hundred hours of footage from when the artist became a streaming superstar.

He grew up in the south suburbs as Jarad Anthony Higgins. His music powered through addiction and mental health struggles. Even before he turned 21 he was rapping and talking about death. It can be eerie.

"It is, it's probably also related to why he lived his life the way he did, where he enjoyed every day," said Tommy Oliver, director and producer. "For whatever reason, he was keenly aware of his mortality and the possibility he would not live to see old age."

The documentary gives a clear picture of how Juice WRLD's creative mind worked, and also shows him as a kind, sweet, humble person who didn't change. Oliver has some thoughts on what his legacy will be in the music world.

"Going down as the greatest freestyler of all time, and one of the best artists of all time, who was willing to be vulnerable and open in a way that will continue to help millions of people as they deal with things they're going through," he said.
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