One of the spookiest things about Jarad Higgins' gut-wrenching brand of emo-rap was how trapped this young man seemed to feel: More than a year before he died this past December, he had rapped the lines: "What's the 27 Club? We ain't making it past 21."
Considering his song "All Girls Are the Same," Higgins' on-record frustrations were that of someone who still had a lot of life left to experience. So it's no surprise that Juice WRLD's first posthumous album is his best. An exceptional melodist who embraced a generous helping of Sting's "Shape of My Heart" on "Lucid Dreams," his greatest hit, he was granted access to experts as varied as Rick Rubin, Skrillex, and the unsettling Dr. Luke when he suddenly passed, and was maturing into a songwriter who understood his gifts.
"Legends Never Die" has no scores to settle with women, and the bluesy "Stay High" and "Can't Die" set up "Man of the Year" with a big, what-could've-been pop-punk finish. Legends debuted at the top spot on Billboard's 200 albums; here's hoping it helps its many, many fans keep going.