The Next Next Level: A Story Of Rap, Friendship, And Almost Giving Up
The Next Next Level: A Story of Rap, Friendship, and Almost Giving Up
In the tradition of Carl Wilson’s Let’s Talk About Love, an unforgettable account of fame, fandom, and the problem of making art in the twenty-first century
In his multi-hyphenate ambitions, the musician who calls himself Juiceboxxx couldn’t be more modern—you might call him a punk rock-rapper-DJ-record executive-energy drink-magnate. Journalist Leon Neyfakh has been something more than a fan of Juiceboxxx’s since he was a teenager, when he booked a show for the artist in a church basement in his hometown of Oak Park, Illinois.
Juiceboxxx went on to the tireless, lonely, possibly hopeless pursuit of success on his own terms—no club was too dank, no futon too grubby, if it helped him get to the next, next level. And, for years, Neyfakh remained haunted from afar: was art really worth all the sacrifices? If it was, how did you know you’d made it? And what was the difference, anyway, between a person like Juiceboxxx—who devoted his life to being an artist—and a person like Neyfakh, who elected instead to pursue a stable career and a comfortable, middle-class existence?
Much more than a brilliant portrait of a charismatic...