CHICAGO — As fans energetically lined the seats of the United Center Thursday night (Dec. 9), Juice WRLD’s energy was present everywhere you looked. It truly felt like a Chicago Bulls game with the arena packed to the brim, with concertgoers cheering, shouting and enjoying the many sights — and sounds — Juice WRLD Day had to offer.
From his mother Carmela Wallace taking center-stage, heartfelt stories from his peers, commemorative paintings and special performances, Juice’s legacy was forever enshrined by those closest to him. Amid the show’s uplifting undertones and celebration of Jarad Higgins’ life, one common theme rose from the ashes of Fighting Demons’ underlying message — “you’re not alone.”
One of those closest to Juice was Lyrical Lemonade founder Cole Bennett, who spoke to OGM on his feelings heading into Juice WRLD Day — further expressing the mark he made on his friends, family and fans alike.
“A lot of emotions [going into this],” he said. “First and foremost, I think it’s super exciting to see this many people gather for one human’s legacy. It shows his impact and everything he was able to do with the short time he was here.”
Bennett’s imprint on Juice’s career was integral to his and LL’s early success — collaborating on a handful of his most popular visuals in “All Girls Are The Same,” “Bad Boy,” “Robbery,” “Armed & Dangerous,” “Nuketown” and more. Touching on the extraordinary life Juice lived and the impact he made while he was here, he explained how special Juice WRLD Day was for not only himself, but for Jarad.
“The most exciting thing for me — and for Juice — is that this was at the United Center. Growing up a Bulls fan in Chicago, you come to games and see Michael Jordan’s banner — it’s legendary. All in all, I think today is just one of those moments where you soak it all in and you celebrate a beautiful, special life.”Cole Bennett — Lyrical Lemonade
While Bennett may be one of the few people who could’ve heard the album beforehand, that simply wasn’t the case, revealing to OGM that he doesn’t listen to any Juice music until it releases.
“Anything Juice related, I don’t listen to until it comes out,” he said. “I like feeling that he’s still here — and it really feels like he’s still here. I see something about him everyday and if I don’t, I feel him with me.”
Similarly, Juice’s presence was felt all throughout Fighting Demons’ launch event, as his longtime DJ Mike P relentlessly wafted through the crowd asking fans “what did Juice’s music mean to you” and “how did Juice WRLD impact your life.” With touching stories from DJ Scheme and Ski Mask the Slump God of riding — and falling off — dirt bikes for the first time together, Juice was celebrated in every capacity, with all those in attendance immersing themselves in his everlasting legacy.
Juice WRLD Day kicked off with a grand orchestra playing Juice’s greatest hits in “Lucid Dreams,” “Lean Wit Me,” “Black and White” and others, as Mike P sounded off to fans saying “let Juice hear you” in the opening cuts of the show. Snippets of his upcoming documentary Into The Abyss played overhead on the Jumbotron — showcasing Juice living to the fullest and encapsulating his lively, carefree spirit through and through.
Among the event’s guest performances, Lucki, 24KGoldn, Trippie Redd, Ski Mask, DJ Scheme and more came out to perform tracks in “NEPTUNE VS THE INDUSTRY,” “Valentino,” “Miss The Rage” and a slew of others. With all eyes on Lil Bibby and Peter Jideonwo (Juice WRLD’s manager), the pair took the stage during one of the show’s intermissions, thanking fans for their turnout in a sole comment from Bibby: “Thank y’all for coming.”
After Trippie’s performance — where he emptied a bottle of lean on stage in Juice’s memory — the show jolted to an all-time high, as Fighting Demons was unveiled by its lead track “Burn” — a somber, twinkling escapade of Juice’s thoughts, feelings and fears.
Throughout the entirety of the album, fans sat at the edge of their seats, enjoyed a fresh batch of Juice WRLD songs and honored the legendary late-artist with open hearts late into the night.
Long live the voice of our generation.
Listen to ‘Fighting Demons’ below!