With December 8, 2021 marking the second anniversary of Juice WRLD’s tragic death, there has been much celebration of the young rapper’s life in the form of the first annual Juice WRLD day in Chicago, as well as his second posthumous album, Fighting Demons.
Following up 2020’s Legends Never Die, Fighting Demons is another journey into the mind of one of the most prolific spitters of his generation. Navigating the ups and downs of hip hop superstardom, love and the addictions that ultimately claimed his life, the brand-new record is a further exploration into the themes that made Juice WRLD the global icon he was, and remains today.
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With features from Polo G, Trippie Redd, Justin Bieber and Suga from BTS, and an interlude from Eminem, Fighting Demons showcases Juice’s real-life friendships, as well as his relationships with some of the biggest names in modern music.
However, in a recent interview with Complex, Grade A Productions founder Lil Bibby broke down how the album came together, and revealed one major player he could not secure for the record.
Explaining to Complex that Fighting Demons took 8-12 months to put together and that artists like Polo G and Trippie Redd were no-brainers when it came to who would be featured on the project, Lil Bibby said he tried to include a poignant interview clip from Lil Wayne, but was unable to clear the sample.
The reported clip, which features Wayne speaking with Emmanuel Acho about his mental health and telling the story of how he shot himself at just 10-years-old, was perfect for Fighting Demons, Bibby said, but came with too much red tape.
“It’s always tough clearing everything,” Bibby told Complex. “I had got this footage from this Lil Wayne interview, and it was really meaningful, really powerful. It was Lil Wayne talking about how he had mental health, and he shot himself. The cops saved him. So I felt like that was really meaningful. And up until yesterday, we were even trying to clear it, and we couldn’t clear it.”
Adding that Wayne was not responsible for the sample clearance, Juice WRLD’s manager Jideonwo explained exactly who stopped the interview clip from appearing on the album.
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“We got denied—not by Wayne, not the interviewer, but the actual studio that owns the content,” he said. “And something like that puts a hole in the album… trying to get different clearances for all different things and getting people involved, and cleaning up different types of businesses… When working on something grand, you’re going to face multiple, multiple, multiple challenges, and from every angle that you may or may not expect.”
Check out Fighting Demons here, and let us know what you think about Bibby not being able to clear a Lil Wayne interview for the album down in the comments.