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The First Time: Juice WRLD

Rapper talks keeping his music from his mom, learning to freestyle and working with Future

At the start of his career, Juice WRLD worked hard to keep his music from his mom, knowing she probably wouldn’t be too happy with some of his songs. But as he recalls in the latest installment of Rolling Stone’s “The First Time,” it was his mom’s meddling co-worker who eventually pulled the rug out from underneath him.

“He asked my mom what my rap name was, or something, and my mom knew my rap my name, but she’d never heard none of my music before — this is before I had any type of Soundcloud following, any of that,” Juice WRLD says. “The next day, he walked back up to her and was like, ‘You might want to listen to this.’ … And then she listened to it and texted me and was like, ‘Yeah I just heard all y’all music.’ Obviously, she wasn’t rocking with it, but she ain’t got no choice but to rock with it now.”

Elsewhere in the video, Juice WRLD talks about learning to rap and freestyle when he couldn’t remember the lyrics to other songs, writing his first track in fifth grade during study hall (“I couldn’t just sit there and do my work, so I did something else”) and how a Twitter conversation with Future led to their 2018 collaboration Wrld on Drugs.

Juice WRLD also looks back at his first adolescent heartbreak with a bit of humor — “I look back now and I’m like, ‘Wow that was not a serious situation, bro’” — and discusses music as a form of therapy. “Just listening to it was therapy, an escape from everything,” he says. “I always used to get lost in music. For some people, music just comes natural to them to do it, they love to listen to it — I’m one of those people. It’s just the way I’m set up, I guess.”

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