GRAMMY-winning R&B star The Weeknd and the late rapper Juice WRLD have joined artistic forces on the brand new track “Smile,” released today via Grade A and Interscope records. A potential collaboration between the two artists was gaining much anticipation this past week when The Weeknd teased the release on his Instagram account with a photo of the rapper with the caption, “XO + 999 Thursday Night.”
The new track brings hopeful and warm bars from Juice WRLD with the rapper admitting, “I would do anything to see you smile. I just want you to prosper and become proper, even if that means I ain’t by your side.” The Weeknd balances out the second half of the track with long, powering vocals over the track’s subtle beats and drum claps.
The collaboration was clearly an exciting venture for the rapper, who also mentioned potentially working with The Weeknd prior to his death on his Twitter account, saying the two would “make a diamond record …”
According to a press release, back in April, “Juice’s mother Carmela Wallace announced the establishment of the Live Free 999 Foundation, which will receive additional support via Grade A and Interscope Records. The Live Free 999 Fund will honor the legacy of her son by supporting young people in their battles and to do so with love, joy, and emotional honesty.”
The rapper had a meteoric rise to fame in 2018 with his hit song “Lucid Dreams,” which has been streamed over one billion times on Spotify. His debut album of that year, Goodbye & Good Riddance went on to be certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His follow-up album Death Race for Love, was released promptly in 2019 and reached number one on the Billboard 200.
UPDATE (8/12): The Weeknd and Juice WRLD have shared a video for their collaborative song “Smile.” The animated video features avatars of the two R&B stars in a computer-generated city.
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat