Juice WRLD’s Mother Launches Organization To Help Kids Struggling With Mental Health In Honor Of Her Late Son
The Live Free 999 Fund was started by the rapper's mother to help normalize conversations surrounding depression and anxiety.
April 29, 2020 at 4:03 pm
The mother of late rapper Juice WRLD is launching an organization to help kids battling mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and addiction, which the rapper struggled with.
Carmela Wallace founded the Live Free 999 Fund after losing her son to an accidental drug overdose, reports Variety. The rapper, born Jarad Higgins, died at 21 years old after suffering a seizure at Midway Airport in Chicago on December 8, 2019, as Blavity previously reported.
Wallace said she and her son had discussed the challenges he faced with addiction and depression and that she wanted to help others after his death.
“Young people around the world were truly touched by Jarad’s music because he spoke to issues and situations in his music that resonated with them so deeply,” she said in a statement. “It is my desire to help those who are hurting by providing access to education, prevention and treatment for opioid and other forms of drug addiction.”
She said she hopes to touch others’ lives just as her son did through his music.
“I made the decision upon his death that I was going to share his struggles with the world with the objective of helping others,” the statement read.
Among the organization's objectives is normalizing the conversation surrounding mental health “especially in underserved communities” as well as supporting programs to help those facing challenges find a positive outlet “to process their mental health challenges just like Jarad did with his music.”
The organization will be receiving support from Grade A, the music label the “Lucid Dreams” rapper was signed to, as well as their parent company Interscope Records.
The Chicago native was open about his alcohol and drug use prior to his overdose.
"Yeah, for sure, that's like a horrible habit, man," he told Billboard of his consumption of promethazine cough syrup, also known as lean. "I look at that stuff like cigarettes, bro. People could probably see it. You just got to face it and get rid of it."
Many of his songs also included lyrics chronicling his usage of drugs.
"F**k one dose, I need two pills, two pills. I’m lookin’ for trouble so I know I’m gonna find it. Ring, ring, plug hit my phone, perfect timin’. I know I’m not right. But I’m not wrong, no, I’m not wrong. Girl, you hate it when I’m too high/ But that’s where I belong, where I belong," he raps in his song “Lean Wit Me.”
After his death, his family decided to release some more of his music. “Righteous,” the rapper's first posthumous single, was released on April 24. According to a social media post made by his family, the song was recorded at his home in Los Angeles.