The Next Next Level
In the tradition of Chuck Klosterman and Carl Wilson, 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. Acclaimed journalist Leon Neyfakh has been something more than a fan of the 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 normal career and lead a normal existence?
Much more than a brilliant portrait of a charismatic musician always on the verge of something big, The Next Next Level is a wholly contemporary story of art, obsession, fame, ambition, and friendship—as well as viral videos, rap-rock, and the particulars of life on the margins of culture.