Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is frequently referred to as Japan’s Andy Warhol, sought out for his eccentricity and colorful work by numerous celebs and high-rollers from all walks of life, especially hip-hop stars. As a matter of fact, Murakami has been the mind behind many very popular projects, including Kanye West’s reimagined College Dropout bear for his 5x platinum album Graduation and, more recently, Drake’s OVO “Flower Owl” collections. But there was one anticipated collabo that slipped through his fingers before it was able to be completed in time.
“I was a big fan of Juice WRLD. He came to my studio, he looked so happy with his girlfriend,” Murakami said in an interview with GENIUS News. “He wanted to make some animation project, kind of a demon and angel battle.”
In late 2019 Juice Wrld paid a visit to Murakami’s studios in Japan to talk about working together on an anime series. Unfortunately, though, Juice WRLD lost the battle with his own demons, dying a few weeks later at the age of 21 from an accidental overdose of codeine and oxycodone, and the series has since been indefinitely shelved.
(Video via Genius)
His sudden death greatly upset Murakami. “I found [out] he had passed away, so I was so shocked… My reaction was ‘Wow!’… I listen everyday to Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams.” So this is my heavy rotation music. Still now, still now, almost everyday, routine.”
Although we may never get to see the finished product those two talents had in store, Takashi did end up sharing one very surprising dream client he’d love to work with. “In December, so I heard Taylor Swift. The music was beautiful. If one day, I have a collaboration with her, this is great.”