Carmela Wallace, mother of late rapper Juice WRLD, announced on Wednesday that she has created the Live Free 999 Fund, a charitable organization which aims to help young people struggling with their mental health.
In honor of Juice WLRD, whose real name was Jarad Higgins, Live Free 999 will focus on normalizing the conversation around addiction, anxiety and depression in underserved communities. The organization will support programs that compassionately address these topics and help young people find positive ways to process them, like Higgins did with his music.
Higgins died in December 2019 at age 21 after suffering a seizure at Midway Airport in Chicago, Ill. The cause of death was later revealed to be an accidental overdose. In a statement, Wallace confirmed that she was aware of his battle with addiction and mental health, and has chosen to share his story with the world in order to help those who may be in a similar situation.
“Young people around the world were truly touched by Jarad’s music because he spoke to issues and situations in his music that resonated with them so deeply,” said Wallace. “I made the decision upon his death that I was going to share his struggles with the world with the objective of helping others. It is my desire to help those who are hurting by providing access to education, prevention and treatment for opioid and other forms of drug addiction. It is my hope that Live Free 999 will help people just as Jarad’s music has and will continue to touch lives for years to come.”
The Live Free 999 Fund established by Carmela Wallace will receive additional support via Grade A and Interscope Records. Live Free 999 is a fund of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, visit www.LiveFree999.org.