It’s been two years since the music industry lost award-winning rapper Juice WRLD to an overdose. The late rapper’s mother, Carmela Wallace, went on Tamron Hall on Tuesday to discuss her son’s struggles with addiction and substance abuse, her concerns with his inner circle at the time of his death, and how she hopes his death will not be in vain.
Wallace said that she had been concerned about her son (real name Jarad Anthony Higgins) in the months leading up to his death, sharing that she believed he was ready to go to rehab the September before his death, saying “I could tell there was a difference in him and that he wasn’t doing the lean. I think he was still doing pills, but he told me he was ready to get help. It was just a special moment. We just had that moment where I just knew he was going to overcome it.”
She also stated that she believed that some of his inner circle were enabling his lifestyle choices. “I just felt like his best interest wasn’t being looked out for. I think people had their own agendas. I think they liked the lifestyle. And they were young too, so I have to give them that. They’re young so they don’t see things the way we would see it but I just think that he just didn’t have the people in place to just tell him to stop or to know [what was really wrong]. He just didn’t have that support system in place.”
She noted that the artist had struggled with mental health issues for years before his overdose, which was one of the things the prompted her to start the Live Free 999 organization, a nonprofit dedicated to providing support programs that provide preventative measures and positive avenues to address mental health challenges and substance dependency, specifically for people who might not otherwise have access to such services.
The Juice WRLD documentary, Into the Abyss, is currently available on HBO.