I found out about Juiceboxxx a lot later in my life than I would've liked, only first hearing his 2012 epic I Don't Wanna Go Into the Darkness in 2015. Those are years I won't get back, and they're years Juice, a rap-rocker in the "Sabotage" mold, won't get back either. Missed opportunities, devotion to lost causes, blocking out your problems by grinding—that's the basic gist of his music, and a classically American basic gist at that. You struggle for your art and keep going. The fact that his "Nu Americana" sound is so not-on-trend makes Juiceboxxx's uphill battle steeper, and, for me, his commitment to climbing a mountain entirely of his own making all the more endearing.
HEARTLAND 99, his new album, comes out June 9th on Thunder Zone (his own label and energy drink distributor) and Vinyl International. Today we're debuting video for its opening track, "Walking in Milwaukee," directed by Jack Packard."This song is about being a kid wasted in the Heartland," Juice told The FADER over email. "Walking everywhere, frantically booking DIY greyhound bus tours at a computer lab, going to basement shows and feeling fucked up. Also: extreme panic attacks and self-hate. Walking in Milwaukee! I wish I could say that part of my life is over, but it's never really over and there's never really any escape from your roots. But you gotta keep fighting."