Meaning Behind Juice WRLD’s “Robbery”

Currently, the music video for Juice WRLD‘s February 2019 single “Robbery” stands at 470 million views on YouTube, the second most of any in his catalog behind his breakout hit “Lucid Dreams.” Additionally, the song has racked up more than 1.1 billion streams on Spotify, the third most in his catalog.

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Although much of the late Chicago rapper’s music consisted of topics revolving around heartbreak, drug use, and depression, the popularity of “Robbery” is thanks to a combination of a few unique factors. Along with it being the lead single for his eventual follow-up LP to his career-altering debut album, the song’s Valentine’s Day release made its message all the more powerful.

The Build-Up to “Robbery”

“Robbery,” which came out on Feb. 13, 2019, with its visuals releasing the following day, was Juice’s first output of that year, as he was coming off an epic 2018. His stellar first album Goodbye & Good Riddance dropped in May 2018, eventually reaching No. 4 on the Billboard 200 and containing songs like “All Girls Are the Same,” “Lucid Dreams,” and “Lean wit Me,” which all landed on the Hot 100.

Thanks to this, Juice was able to connect with Lil Uzi Vert in July for their first joint single “Wasted,” which peaked at No. 29 on the Hot 100 and has since been certified 3x RIAA platinum. Additionally, October 2018 was perhaps the most busy and fruitful month of Juice’s life. On top of putting out a solo single titled “Armed and Dangerous,” which is currently 5x platinum, he also collided with his hip-hop idol Future for their collaborative mixtape WRLD on Drugs, including hits like “Fine China” and “Ain’t Livin Right” with Gunna.

All of this newfound acclaim found Juice ready to take the next step to superstardom in 2019. That started with “Robbery.” The song saw his third visual collaboration with music video director Cole Bennett of Lyrical Lemonade, as well as Juice using another beat from his frequent collaborator Nick Mira, who produced “All Girls Are the Same,” “Lucid Dreams,” and “Lean wit Me.”

Over the somber piano-laced beat, Juice WRLD delivers some of the most passionate crooning in his career up to that point. Essentially conveying that a specific relationship ruined his ability to love healthily ever again, Juice’s She told me put my heart in the bag hook is equally as catchy as it is bone-chilling.

In an interview with the German YouTube channel 16BARS in the summer of 2018, Juice explained that his upcoming music was inspired by 2000s rock and metal bands, which a love interest in grade school introduced him to. This translated into the It’s a gift and a curse / But I cannot reverse it portion of “Robbery”‘s chorus, which is taken from the 2006 song “Reverse This Curse” by emo rock band Escape The Fate.

“This is the influence on the music I make now,” Juice said to 16BARS while playing “Reverse This Curse” during their conversation.

Ultimately, “Robbery” would go on to become an undeniable classic in the late-2010s hip-hop landscape. The song was the perfect marriage of the underground “emo rap” scene in hip-hop at the time and the thirst for new mainstream voices in the genre. Now sitting at 5x platinum, “Robbery” helped introduce the world to Juice’s March sophomore album Death Race for Love, which would be his last full-length release before his December 2019 death.

Photo by Arik Mazur/WireImage

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