According to a statement released by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office on Wednesday, Juice WRLD’s December 8th death was caused by a drug overdose. The autopsy determined that the 21-year-old rapper “died as a result of oxycodone and codeine toxicity.”
The autopsy also confirms that Higgins’ death was an accident.
According to the Chicago Tribune, authorities were searching Juice WRLD’s luggage for contraband when the rapper began to convulse and seize back in December. The search uncovered 41 bags of marijuana, six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, two 9 mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, a high-capacity ammunition magazine and metal-piercing bullets.
Juice WRLD was open about his drug use, particularly lean, in interviews and his music. Upon the release of his collaborative project with Future, 2018’s WRLD on Drugs, Juice told Hot 107.9 that it was Future who inspired to try lean for the first time. “Hearing that music at such a young age, nigga I was trying to sip lean in sixth grade listening to Dirty Sprite, one and true story,” he said.
In a later interview with Rolling Stone, Future seemed regretful about this particular influence, while Juice WRLD compared the conversation the two had about it to a younger brother who wants to emulate an older brother who’s selling drugs. “A lot of people have their own vices and addictions and they know what’s up with it, so they don’t want other people to fall down that slippery slope,” Juice WRLD said.
In just a few years, Juice WRLD became one of the most promising talents in music, particularly for the way he fused a variety of styles, most notably rap with pop-punk and emo. His rise began in 2017 with a pair of SoundCloud singles — “All Girls Are the Same” and his breakout smash “Lucid Dreams” — which set off a label bidding war that ended with him inking a deal with Interscope worth a reported $3 million.
Juice WRLD released a string of EPs throughout 2017 before dropping his debut album, Goodbye & Good Riddance and 2018, then following it up with his Future collaboration, WRLD on Drugs. In March, he released his second LP, Death Race for Love, which landed at Number 40 on Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of 2019 list.