Though rock and metal doesn’t often get a fair shake in the mainstream music world, it’s always great to see when influence is recognized, especially by younger acts with a platform to share the brilliance of iconic rock and metal giants. Case in point — the late rapper Juice WRLD appeared to be a fan of Black Sabbath.
As posted to XXL’s Instagram page, this video finds the rock and metal-inspired musician working up a dance to the Sabbath classic, “Paranoid,” even incorporating some moves to mirror the lyrics. Have a look below.
Sabbath’s “Paranoid” was the title track of Black Sabbath’s second album. It hit No. 4 on the U.K. singles chart and reached No. 61 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song and album were both released in 1970. In fact, a special 50th anniversary box set is in the works for this October. Juice WRLD was born on Dec. 2, 1998, so he definitely dug back into the past to find some great music for this fun moment.
Juice WRLD enjoyed a brief but meteoric rise in the rap world, frequently sharing his admiration for rock artists along the way. He was reportedly a fan of Escape the Fate and Black Veil Brides, and he also had worked with Panic! At the Disco’s Brendon Urie and Benny Blanco on the song “Roses.”
In an interview with The Guardian, Juice Wrld stated that his hybrid sound began “with a crush I had in fifth grade,” a girl who blogged about peacocking goth-metal band Black Veil Brides. “I was like: ‘I gotta know everything about them so I can impress this girl.’ So I did my research.” Did it work? “Ha! No. I wrote her a note: ‘Do you like me? Yes or no?’ She circled ‘no’. But I kept listening to the music. Remember those iPod Classics that look like a brick now? I had one filled with Escape the Fate, Panic At the Disco, Killswitch Engage.”
The rapper scored one of his biggest hits with “Lucid Dreams,” but the song had Juice WRLD entangled in a lawsuit with Yellowcard who claimed that he had lifted “melodic elements” from their song “Holly Wood Died.” In late July, Yellowcard dropped the lawsuit after it was discovered that Juice WRLD’s mother had been appointed the representative for the late rapper’s estate.
Sadly, Juice WRLD died in December, just a week after he had turned 21. The musician had a seizure after deplaning at Chicago’s Midway Airport. It was later determined that the seizure was induced by cute oxycodone and codeine intoxication. The rapper released two albums prior to his death, with his third record, Legends Never Die, arriving just last month.
Black Sabbath, “Paranoid”
Black Sabbath Songs Ranked (Ozzy Osbourne Era)