By Charlie Malcolm-McKay
The much-anticipated release of Lil Peep’s second posthumous album ‘Everybody’s Everything’ arrived earlier this month alongside his intimate biographical documentary of the same name, dubbed a ‘heartbreaking’ tale. His latest and likely-to-be final album consists of both classic and unreleased songs that reignite Peep’s unsurpassed fusion of punk rock, emo rap and cloud trap that offers fans one last reminder of his phenomenal talent that was snatched away just as it began to truly blossom.
Any album released posthumously always raises cause for scepticism as we may question, what are the true intentions behind its production: homage or exploitation? And with Columbia Record’s acquisition of Peep’s music in 2018, ‘Everybody’s Everything’ was no exception to an unavoidable sense of uncertainty. However, seeing the array of Gothboiclique members, such as Fish Narc, Smokeasac, Gab3 and former member Lil Tracy involved in the project, affirms that this was a genuine attempt at respecting Lil Peep’s legacy.
The fact that this album is a little rough around the edges, with most tracks being left incomplete by Peep who possibly only recorded songs such as ‘PRINCESS’ as demos to be worked on at a later date, is an alluring quality that conveys a sense of rawness and spontaneity typical of his early Soundcloud days. With that said tracks such as ‘Moving on’, ‘When I Lie’ and ‘Belgium’ commend Fish Narc’s production abilities as they follow a more conscientious structure of Peep’s vigorous hooks and verses, melancholic acoustic guitar riffs and recognisable trap-infused beats.
The trio of songs were released as singles prior to the album under the title ‘Goth Angel Sinner’, an EP (pictured above) recorded after Peep’s first solo tour in LA and poignantly released on October 31st in commemoration of Peep’s favourite holiday: Halloween.
Perhaps one of the biggest and most welcome surprises on ‘Everybody’s Everything’ is ‘I’ve been waiting’ with ILOVEMAKONNEN. The song was first released back in January as a well-polished, over-produced pop-punk track featuring Fall Out Boy and its obvious chart appeal conveyed a sense of inauthenticity, as it appeared Peep’s increasingly admired vocals were being appropriated by mainstream artists looking to attract more listeners. But by adding the original version to this album fans are given some indication as to what Peep actually wanted to achieve with this song. The beat is far less emphasised and takes a secondary, background role compared to its commanding and at times almost overbearing use in the pop-punk version. This allows for more lyrical overlap between Peep and ILOVEMAKONNEN, creating a unique blend of vocals that both compliment and compete with each other.
The rerelease of tracks such as ‘Cobain’, ‘White tee’, ‘Witchblades’ and the acoustic version of ‘Walk away as the door slams’ make some of the most popular collaborations between Lil Peep and Lil Tracy available on all streaming platforms. The purpose of this is of course to make some of Peep’s most liked songs more commercially available, but whether he would have wanted this is another question. It would seem more sincere to leave such songs in their ritual Soundcloud home where only his longest and most loyal fans would know where to find them.
But nevertheless their inclusion is a touching reminder of the powerful, brotherly relationship Lil Tracy shared with Lil Peep (pictured above), who stated, “ never in my life have I connected with someone like that,” when asked about their friendship in an interview with Fadar magazine. ‘Ratchets’ is the only piece of new material we get featuring Tracy and Peep together and despite it never being released before an overwhelming sense of nostalgia will overcome any listener, as although it lacks lyrical depth Tracy’s brief verse intervention of Peep’s classical chorus hook is reminiscent of their former Gothboiclique days.
Overall, there were clearly some controversial decisions made during the production of this album and in many cases it was a risk that paid off, with fans widely accepting the posthumous release. And although it is evident that this compilation doesn’t necessarily exhibit Peep’s finest lyricism, where it does prevail is the insight it offers into Peep’s musical mind and the avenues he would have potentially explored had he not tragically passed away two years prior to the album’s release.