On December 8, six days after his 21st birthday, rapper and singer Juice WRLD suffered an unknown medical emergency shortly after landing at Chicago’s Midway International Airport, and was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Born Jarad Anthony Higgins, the Chicago rapper was known for his hit “Lucid Dreams,” which peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and became one of the biggest streaming hits of 2018. He collaborated with Travis Scott on Astroworld, contributed to the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse soundtrack, and collaborated with BTS’s RM and Suga. Juice WRLD wasn’t just rising, he was skyrocketing. His untimely death has shaken music fans everywhere, but the details that have been revealed since are even more baffling. After federal agents revealed they were searching his plane for contraband, sources are suggesting Juice WRLD took “several” Percocet pills to hide them from authorities, leading to his emergency. Here’s what we actually know about Juice WRLD’s sudden death.
When did Juice WRLD die?
Juice WRLD was pronounced dead at around 3:15 a.m. on December 8 at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Illinois. He had been transferred from Chicago Midway International Airport after suffering from a “medical emergency” upon landing in Chicago from California.
How did Juice WRLD die?
On January 22, over a month after his death, Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined that Juice WRLD’s death was caused by an accidental overdose of oxycodone and codeine. His official cause of death was not initially determined, as additional toxicology, cardiac pathology, and neuropathology tests were required following an initial autopsy on the Monday after his death.
His “medical emergency” was initially described as a seizure and a heart attack. According to the Chicago police, Juice WRLD went into convulsions as federal agents searched the private jet he arrived in. A federal agent administered the opioid antidote Narcan. Juice WRLD woke up incoherent briefly and TMZ reported that paramedics spent 40 minutes treating the rapper, attempting to steady his heartbeat.
Did Juice WRLD overdose?
TMZ’s law-enforcement sources allege that Juice WRLD swallowed multiple Percocet pills in order to hide them from federal agents. One of the rapper’s associates told local law enforcement that Juice WRLD took “several unknown pills” before his medical emergency, adding that the 21-year-old had allegedly recently become addicted to Percocet. Juice WRLD has been open with his struggles with drug addiction. In July, he tweeted that he would stop abusing codeine for his girlfriend’s sake. His official cause of death was a result of oxycodone and codeine toxicity.
Why were the Feds searching Juice WRLD?
Federal agents and officers were waiting for Juice WRLD’s private plane to arrive at the Chicago airport “because they suspected” that they would find contraband material. According to TMZ, the pilot had alerted authorities because members of Juice WRLD’s entourage had guns on them. Over 70 pounds of vacuum-sealed marijuana, “six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, two 9 mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, a high-capacity ammunition magazine and metal-piercing bullet” were found on the plane. TMZ also reported that Juice WRLD was initially searched by federal agents while leaving the country for Australia from Los Angeles on November 18. It’s unclear if anything was found, but Juice WRLD and his entourage were allowed to make the journey.
Did the police arrest Juice WRLD’s entourage?
Two of his bodyguards were arrested for gun possession, but one was released without bail and the other posted bond. The Chicago PD has taken over the marijuana investigation and no charges have been filed as of press time. TMZ reported that it’s unlikely the drug bust will result in any charges. No one on the plane is admitting to owning the 70 pounds of marijuana and there are no identifying features.
Does this have anything to do with Juice WRLD’s 2018 arrest at La Guardia Airport?
Friends and supporters have suggested that Juice WRLD’s death was part of a larger pattern of racial profiling at airports. They cited his 2018 arrest at La Guardia Airport in New York City. TMZ’s law-enforcement sources maintain that it was a standard procedure. Juice WRLD’s checked luggage went through the X-ray scanner and set off alarms for organic material that could be used to make a bomb. Instead, they allegedly found codeine and over two ounces of marijuana. Police confirmed the contents and arrested Juice WRLD, who was already aboard his flight, after he admitted the items were his. The rapper was charged with misdemeanor possession, but eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser, noncriminal charge.
What has Juice WRLD’s family said about his death?
In a statement to TMZ, Juice WRLD’s mother, Carmella Wallace, expressed her grief and acknowledged his battle with drug dependency. “We loved Jarad with all of our hearts and cannot believe our time with him has been cut short,” she said. “As he often addressed in his music and to his fans, Jarad battled with prescription drug dependency.”
“Addiction knows no boundaries and its impact goes way beyond the person fighting it. Jarad was a son, brother, grandson, friend and so much more to so many people who wanted more than anything to see him defeat addiction,” she continued. “We hope the conversations he started in his music and his legacy will help others win their battles as that is what he wanted more than anything.”
On January 22, after Juice WRLD’s official cause of death was released to the public, his family shared a statement on Instagram, thanking fans for their support and announcing that posthumous music is on the way. “We plan to honor Juice’s talents, his spirit, and the love he felt for his fans by sharing unreleased music and other projects that he was passionately in the process of developing,” they wrote. “There will be a public tribute in Chicago, details will be shared soon.”
How did The Kid Laroi address Juice WRLD’s death?
The Kid Laroi, a friend and collaborator of Juice WRLD’s who was on the rapper’s jet during his seizure and death, opened up about the event for the first time in the HBO Max documentary Into the Abyss, released on December 16, 2021. The Tommy Oliver documentary, constructed from behind-the-scenes footage filmed throughout Juice WRLD’s rise, grimly showed the rapper’s consumption of pills and lean in detail. “He was so ill,” Laroi said of Juice WRLD hours before his death. “I was just sitting there panicking. I was like, ‘What the fuck?’” The musician, now 18, continued, “Then the police came over to us and handcuffed us all. They handcuffed us in a line and they were was like, ‘Get the fuck away from him!’”
This post is being updated as new details emerge.