Fast rising Chicago rapper Juice Wrld clearly has a lot of emo influences, so it’s only right he taps genre fixtures Panic! At The Disco for a wild collaboration. Their intriguing team-up is called “Roses” and also features synth-pop producer Benny Blanco, capturing an eerie vibe that works for each artists’ opposing, but complementary style.
While a passive observer might be surprised to see those names conjoined on a track, none of them seems to be totally outside their respective comfort zones, and they fall into an easy chemistry that makes use of their mopey writing styles and maudlin crooning. On the song’s bridge, Brendon Urie and Juice play off each other in two-part harmony, showing that “emo-rap” can actually work just as well when artists from both genres come together as when an emo-rapper like Juice leans into it himself. Thankfully, Urie doesn’t try his hand at rapping though. The world might not be ready for that just yet.
Meanwhile, the song is a prime example of why more and more rappers like Juice are rejecting the “rapper” label — or at least, rejecting being labeled as only a rapper. Being able to branch out and try off-the-wall collaborations like this one as well as more conventional combinations like his Wrld On Drugs mixtape with Future are plenty of motivation to try and embrace a more well-rounded “artist” tag. Hip-hop is already pop, it might as well try to be everything else too.