Lil Bibby Explains Why Juice Wrld Wasn’t a 2019 XXL Freshman
It's no secret fans of Juice Wrld wanted to see the chart-topping rapper be part of the 2019 XXL Freshman Class. When the Freshman list dropped in June, plenty of people across social media wondered why the Chicago rapper was absent. Despite declining the offer to be part of this year's class alongside the likes of DaBaby, YBN Cordae and Megan Thee Stallion, among others, Juice was able to shine on the cover of the Fall 2019 issue of XXL magazine, for which he freestyled, went paintballing and discussed what's to come on his forthcoming third album.
In an interview with XXL, Lil Bibby, Grade A Productions CEO, the label to which Juice Wrld is signed in partnership with Interscope Records, explained that there were many different factors that led to the decision for Juice to pass on the Freshman opportunity.
"We all talked about it," Bibby shares. "But then it's like, it's my company, my partners, Interscope. We talked about it and it didn't end up happening... We were really considering it and I know Juice would probably rap for a whole hour on the freestyle."
For Juice, when he was asked in his cover story interview about why he didn't want to become a 2019 XXL Freshman, the Death Race for Love artist revealed that he was undecided about participating even though he his respect for previous Freshman alumni who have graced past covers.
"It was kind of like, yeah and no," Juice says. "Just due to certain things, it was a yeah and no situation. I love XXL, though. I watched the freestyles; I remember when Future was on XXL. When Lil B and Kendrick Lamar, Joey Bada$$ and Action Bronson [were on the cover]. So, I fuck with XXL heavy. It was just one of them situations. It just felt like the best choice for me, you know what I'm saying, it was just to hold out."
For Juice Wrld and his fans, it was well worth the wait.
Bibby and his brother, G Money, are responsible for ushering Juice Wrld into the music spotlight. G Money discovered Juice’s “Lucid Dreams” on SoundCloud in 2017, which prompted his signing to Grade A. Since Bibby came up in the game himself, garnering a loyal following as a rapper and even being inducted into the 2014 XXL Freshman Class, Juice is mindful of Bibby's words of wisdom. “To always tell the truth in my music,” Juice discloses of Bibby’s advice. “I decided to sign with Lil Bibby and G Money at Grade A because as far as just where we from and them letting me know like, they made it clear exactly what was gonna happen, the chances of something happening, the chances of something not happening. They kept it a hunnid. That's one of the best choices I probably ever made.”
Ultimately, Juice and the Grade A team chose to sign to a major label last March after Interscope Records offered a $3 million deal. “It felt the best,” Juice conveys. “That's who I wanted to be with. Ever since I was like in eighth grade, I wanted to get signed by Interscope.” Dreams do come true.
Watch Lil Bibby speak on the decision for Juice Wrld to pass on being part of the 2019 XXL Freshman Class, his freestyling talents and star power in the video below.