A new documentary aims to reveal a lot about the dreams and demons that drove Juice WRLD, the rapper who died of an accidental drug overdose two years ago in Chicago. Tommy Oliver directed Juice WRLD: Into the Abyss, which premieres tonight on HBO Max, and he tells ABC Audio that viewers will learn that Juice was more than just a rapper.
“He was somebody who cared about mental health,” Oliver explains. “He was somebody who used his platform to try to move that conversation forward in trying to destigmatize it. He was somebody who could hang with the hardest rappers or somebody who could bang out with people who don’t like rap, but they love rock and all of it.”
Additionally, Oliver, who admits he was just a casual fan when he started the project, adds that he learned a lot about the late artist, born Jarad Anthony Higgins, and even ranks him among the greatest.
“I learned so much of just how sweet of a person he was and that he is the GOAT freestyler bar none, and that he’s one of the best artists of all time,” Oliver says.
Given that the documentary film is based on Juice WRLD’s life, audiences will see a lot of drug use on camera, which Oliver explains was pretty much unavoidable in an effort to accurately tell the rapper’s story.
“I genuinely don’t know how I could have told his story, especially in this version without the drugs, because the drugs were omnipresent,” he says.
“I was never going to glamorize them or the usage of them, was never going to sensationalize it,” Oliver adds. “It was about offering context for the situations, for him, but there was no telling his story without it.”