The notorious artist reflects on his life through a new sound
Everyone is told from a young age to follow their dreams. Some try, but ultimately end up choosing something that is guaranteed some money and a good lifestyle, while others reach for it. The 14-year-old, Juiceboxxx, was the latter. From having his parents bringing him to gigs in his home state of Wisconsin to touring in Canada with Public Enemy, the punk rap artist is notorious for his live news performance. Despite the blogs and even comedians coming out with criticism, it didn’t stop him from continuing to create music. He still managed to continue making music, tour and label, Thunder Zone. His latest album, It’s Easy to Feel Like a Nobody When You’re Living in The City, explores a newer sound and the side effects of living your dream.
From the moment the first song starts and Juiceboxxx’s voice is heard, listeners can tell that this album is different. While he was touring, he was punk rap-centered and on his tour bus had a two-piece band. This time around, the element of hip-hop is almost completely gone, but the similar guitar-drenched sound is kept. The album’s opener, “Coinstar Song,” instantly brings that head-nod energy people would find in a basement concert. The vocals stay on a consistent pitch, the balance between the guitar and drum blends well against them. The next track, “In The Basement,” is by far the catchiest on the album. The production kicks it up a notch and seems to only get more pumped up as the song progresses. Here is where the concept of the album is introduced as Juiceboxxx repeats, “Have I wasted all my life in the basement?” and “Takin’ on my stupid life/ in the basement/ never gonna get it right.” Here, people watch him look back at all he has done and accomplished but still doubt if it was worth it all or even exactly what he wanted.
“Running So Deep” brings out a cowbell directly to the forefront. Against a rugged guitar melody that would be a great Guitar Hero song to play, and a steady vocal with the shifts in the adlibs, it really feels like an authentic pop-punk track. “Drive Around” delivers that same energy as Juiceboxxx talks about the normal life he wants to live which consists of driving around his hometown listening to Wu-Tang. Even though he fantasizes about this normal life, on “Kids Are Looking” he lets people know that no matter how bleak and unsure the past seems, the future is unknown so just make the most of what is happening now. The album ends with the title track. The synth-heavy beat boasts reverbed vocals about uncertainty and trying to navigate oneself and their life in a big world.
It’s Easy to Feel Like a Nobody When You’re Living in The City definitely gives people an underground pop-punk vibe. If it was placed in the UK TV Series, Skins, it would be a perfect fit. While it may be slightly off from what he originally debuted as, Juiceboxxx continues to grow and maintain the underground punk aesthetic he entered in. This new take on music seems like it will be able to help him evolve into the star his 14-year-old self dreamed of.