Juice WRLD‘s mother has spoken out over the circumstances of the rapper’s death for the first time.
The Chicago-born rapper died in December 2019 from an accidental overdose at the age of 21.
- READ MORE: Juice WRLD, 1998-2019 – the NME obituary
Speaking to ABC Chicago, Carmela Wallace called her son’s death “devastating,” adding: “One thing I decided early on was that I was not going to hide the fact that he died from a drug overdose. I did not want to keep that a secret because there are a lot of people who deal with that every day.”
Revealing that she often spoke to her son about his addiction, Wallace added: “I said, ‘if you have anxiety, then you need to get medicated properly for it instead of medicating yourself.'”
“I talked to him about it. I told him my biggest fear was him overdosing on the stuff. That’s why I made the decision I have to talk about it with other people. I can’t keep that as a secret.”
Since Juice WRLD’s death, Wallace has set up the Live Free 999 Fund, a new charitable fund set up back in April to help young people facing mental health challenges.
To mark World Mental Health Day earlier this month, Wallace launched a new website for the fund and shared an emotional open letter about her late son.
Wallace wrote: “Jarad and I often had frank discussions about his struggles with addiction, anxiety and depression. I think he felt comfortable being honest with me because I never judged him.
“I recognized that what Jarad was dealing with was a disease and I know he truly wanted to be free from the demons that tormented him. As a parent, I believed early on and supported Jarad having access to counseling. I encouraged him to always share his feelings.”
It was revealed this month that a new posthumous Juice WRLD album is in the works. The new album will follow a posthumous release called ‘Legends Never Die’, which came out back in July and hit Number One in the UK album charts.