Juice WRLD, Who Rapped About Drug Abuse, Died of Accidental Overdose, Autopsy Shows

Juice WRLD, Who Rapped About Drug Abuse, Died of Accidental Overdose, Autopsy Shows

Juice WRLD, who rapped about his struggles with substance abuse and achieving meteoric success, died of an accidental drug overdose during a December drug raid at Midway Airport in Chicago, a medical examiner ruled on Wednesday.

The rapper, whose real name was Jarad A. Higgins, died on Dec. 8 as a result of oxycodone and codeine toxicity, the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office said. He was 21.

The autopsy findings corroborate law enforcement accounts that Mr. Higgins had gone into convulsions while officers searched a private jet that had been carrying the hip-hop star for drugs and guns.

Federal agents gave Mr. Higgins Narcan, a drug used to revive people thought to be overdosing on opioids, but he died within a couple of hours at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, Ill., the authorities said.

The raid turned up 70 pounds of marijuana in 41 vacuum-sealed bags and six bottles of liquid prescription codeine cough syrup that were hidden in unmarked luggage, according to the authorities, who said they were tipped off about the drugs.

“The narcotics investigation is still open as we await forensic processing of the luggage to ascertain who the potential owners may be,” Anthony Guglielmi, a Chicago Police Department spokesman, said in an email on Wednesday.

Officers also said they had found three firearms, including two 9 millimeter pistols and a .40-caliber pistol, along with metal-piercing bullets and a high-capacity ammunition magazine when they searched the Gulfstream jet on which Mr. Higgins had arrived from Van Nuys, Calif.

Two men identified as security guards for Mr. Higgins were charged with illegally possessing guns and ammunition.

Mr. Higgins vaulted to stardom on SoundCloud, a popular music streaming service. He first started posting songs online that he had recorded directly onto his cellphone while in high school in 2015.

By 19, Interscope Records signed him and his profile rose with “Lucid Dreams,” an interpolation of Sting’s 1993 hit “Shape of My Heart.”

Drug use was a common thread in Mr. Higgins’s music, including in the song “Hurt Me.”

“Turned to a whole different person, drive my whip/Crash my whip off the drugs I’m swervin’,” he sang. “Sticks and stones may break my bones. But the drugs won’t hurt me, the drugs won’t hurt me.”

The rapper’s lyrics proved darkly prophetic. In 2018, Mr. Higgins released the song “Legends” after the deaths of two of his musical contemporaries, XXXTentacion and Lil Peep.

“They tell me I’ma be a legend/I don’t want that title now/’Cause all the legends seem to die out,” he sang.

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