“Lean wit Me” by Juice WRLD
First off it should be noted that the word “lean” in the title of this song is somewhat of a double entendre. On one hand it can be interpreted as the singer inviting the addressee to get high with him. And on another it is actually a straight-up reference to lean, a mixture of drugs and cough syrup so potent that it has taken people’s lives. And this is just one of a number of references to drugs that Juice WRLD drops on this track.
Indeed its overarching theme is based on the artist coming to grips with the fact that he is an addict. Thus even though he is cognizant of some of the negative effects of his actions, such as having a messed “up liver with some bad kidneys”, he still can’t stop engaging in them. Moreover the addressee is his girlfriend. And whereas she ‘hates it when he’s too high’, he feels that the drugs are an indispensable part of his way of life.
And yes, some of the lyrics do read as if WRLD is advocating hard drugs and mocking the idea of getting cleaned up. But overall this song is meant to espouse the notion of a drug-free lifestyle. Or looked at from a different angle, Juice is presenting his own woes as a junkie as a warning to others who may be experimenting with drugs. But this idea is perhaps made more evident in the track’s music video, where he depicts himself going through a 12-step drug-recovery program. Moreover the clip climaxes by displaying the actual phone number for the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Hotline as well as an anti-addiction message.
But at the end of the day given that Juice WRLD’s overall image – as well the nature of the music industry during the time this track was released – it is understandable how this song can be misinterpreted as actually promoting a high lifestyle. After all the title does suggest that the artist is inviting the addressing to such actions.
Facts about “Lean wit Me”
Grade A Productions and Interscope Records released this track on 22 May 2018 as the third single from Juice WRLD’s debut studio album, “Goodbye & Good Riddance”. It should be noted that WRLD’s biggest hit “Lucid Dreams” also appears on “Goodbye & Good Riddance”.
“Lean wit Me” was been certified Platinum in both Canada and the United States, the two countries in which it charted.
Juice WRLD did ultimately pass away, on 8 December 2019 at the age of 21, from heart-related problems. And whereas an official autopsy has yet to be performed, general speculation is that his passing was in fact drug-related, i.e. an overdose.
The aforementioned music video to this song was filmed in Los Angeles and had Sherif Alabede as its director. And the phone number for the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Hotline, as displayed in the clip, is 1-800-662-HELP. Moreover it features a message that now seems foretelling, with Juice acknowledging the “many young legends that left us early”, i.e. artists like Lil Peep (1996-2017) who had already died from drug abuse.