The greatest rap collaboration of the summer, outside of the past month of Ye, may have just dropped. Equally viral sensations Juice WRLD and Lil Uzi Vert team up in their latest Grand Theft Auto referencing track. “Wasted” comes after a series of single releases by Juice WRLD, including “Rich and Blind” and the Lil Peep and XXXTENTACION-dedicated “Legends.”
The track, premiered by Zane Lowe, showcases the two artists at their best, as Juice WRLD crafts the perfect vibe and Lil Uzi Vert compliments it with an explosive rapid-fire set of bars. In typical, and expected fashion give the track’s name, “Wasted” deals with drug use but not in the celebratory manner hip-hop has previously been known for. As Juice WRLD chants, “Wasted / Get her off my mind when I’m wasted / I waste all my time when I’m wasted,” it’s less a theme of rapture than it is one of escape.
Much like the video game the song references, “Wasted” is yet another chapter in intentional escapism, although through narcotics as opposed to virtual worlds, which the song also makes another nod to in a clever referential line to The Matrix. The genre that Juice WRLD inhabits has been a recent champion of this thematic approach to hip-hop. For the most part, it seems that long gone are the days of hip-hop professing their love for self-indulgence. Instead, as “Wasted” so brilliantly documents, this new generations of rappers are pointedly depicting the reasons why so many young people turn to inebriation as a form of escape. And whatever your opinion may be of rap’s latest iteration, it’s hard to say that “Wasted” doesn’t slap.
Listen to “Wasted” below: