Some people will like the vibe of WRLD On Drugs, but it remains a surprisingly bland project from Future & Juice Wrld. Both artists can do much better.
Now, here’s a project no-one saw coming. Chicago rapper/singer Juice Wrld has become a big name in hip-hop in less than a year, with huge single ‘Lucid Dreams’ supporting his debut album Goodbye & Good Riddance back in May, whilst Future, of course, needs no introduction. It’s impressive, then, that newcomer Juice has managed to secure a full-length project with him such a short while after blowing up. And so, the duo have brought us their surprise collaborative project WRLD On Drugs, which sort of acts as the antithesis to J. Cole’s KOD; whereas that album dealt with the harm caused by addiction, WRLD On Drugs sees Future and Juice reveling in the fact that they both do a lot of drugs indeed.
Unfortunately, WRLD On Drugs is a somewhat bland project. Whilst I’m not really a fan of Juice Wrld anyway (I just don’t like his nasal voice, or how he over-pronounces words), the man can undoubtedly rap, as has been proven by some of his insane freestyles in the last year (including one for an hour on Tim Westwood’s radio show.) Here, though, Juice sticks to a fairly slow and boring trap style, without any especially notable verses, although he does deliver some catchy hooks on tracks like ‘Ain’t Living Right’ and ‘Realer N Realer’. Worse are his cringe-y bars which appear throughout, with lead single ‘Fine China’ being made near-unlistenable by his painful line on the hook, ‘And her last man was a pussy – had a vagina’ (add that one to the ‘worst lines of 2018’ list.) It’s Future, however, who is the most disappointing part of this project. Perhaps his style is just becoming dull, but he really doesn’t sound that interesting here, and, given his underwhelming output in the last year, the question does rise of whether the Atlanta rapper is falling/has fallen off. But let’s not jump the gun: Future solo track ‘Afterlife’ is great, with a more melancholic sound which could have been pulled straight from his 2017 album of deeper cuts, HNDRXX.
The other songs worth your time are mostly courtesy of the features: Young Thug delivers a fun verse with a rapid-fire delivery on ‘Red Bentley’, whilst Lil Wayne continues his string of great features over the darker beat of ‘Oxy’ (despite Future doing his best to ruin the track with a ridiculously high-pitched voice, last seen on Kendrick Lamar’s ‘Kings Dead’ – there, at least, it was unexpectedly hilarious, but here it just sounds painful.) And, speaking of annoying voices, Nicki Minaj appears on ‘Transformer’ to make flexes like “This a different tax bracket, upper echelon/I’m still the bad guy, I am a Decepticon” over one of the tape’s best beats. I’ve never said this, but Nicki’s verse is actually one of the high points of the rapping here. So, credit where it’s due: I liked the verse. Just don’t tell Cardi B.
WRLD On Drugs was supposedly recorded in less than a week, and you can tell: it’s a somewhat low-effort project that, whilst not awful, is ultimately unlikely to satisfy fans of either artist. But, then, who was actually asking for a Future & Juice Wrld collaboration? It’s like someone said “hey, you both do a lot of drugs – why not make a mixtape together?” The two don’t have a terrible chemistry, but there’s just not much of a point to the whole thing, with none of the verses from either artist particularly standing out. Indeed, the lack of one or two distinctive songs really harms the project – there’s nothing that makes you suddenly sit up and take notice. As a result, WRLD On Drugs has got a nice mix of upbeat and mellow vibes that some will enjoy, but is likely to be quickly forgotten about by most. If doing a tape with Future was supposed to convert me to becoming a Juice Wrld fan, then he’ll have to do better.
WRLD On Drugs is out now via Interscope/Epic Records/Freebandz