Almost a year after his death, Lil Peep’s second studio album “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2” was released on Nov. 9.
Lil Peep, born Gustav Åhr, was a pioneer in the “emo-trap” movement that has gained popularity in the past few years. Key elements of the genre are pop-punk guitar riffs, trap beats and angsty, emo lyrics.
After gaining a cult following with multiple singles and four mixtapes posted on Soundcloud, Peep released his first studio album “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1” in Aug. 2017 which is known for the song “Awful Things.”
The album received critical acclaim, with Pitchfork rating the album 7.9/10. This album made the world take him, and the genre he helped create, more seriously.
Peep’s mental illness and struggles with drug abuse were always prevalent themes in his music. These struggles led to a fentanyl-xanax overdose which caused his death in Nov. 2017 at 21-years old.
Following the death of the rapper, Peep’s family found recordings of this second album and decided to go forward with releasing the project with the help of his long-time producer, Smokeasac.
Some of the sessions were completed and some were not but Smokeasac said he did everything he could to make sure this new album still felt like Peep.
“I really feel like Gus was guiding me the entire way through,” he said in an interview with The New York Times. “I talked to him all the time.”
Peep’s producer did a great job maintaining his essence. The slowed down trap beats mixed with the haunting vocals Peep was known for were prevalent on the album.
His standard nursery-rhyme-like choruses are also seen throughout the album on songs like “Run Away,” the lead single of the album.
On past projects the tone was dark in all aspects, with emotional sing-screaming over songs and loud, heavy production which reflected the turmoil he was feeling at the time due to relationships, depression and drug abuse.
On this album, the dark tones that lie in his lyrics don’t leak into the production, which is upbeat and energetic. They aren’t apparent in his delivery, which is almost bored and numb rather than emotional.
This shows Peep was sadly predicting and accepting where his struggles with mental illness would potentially lead him.
This is further shown on the song “Life Is Beautiful” where Peep goes back and forth on the good and bad aspects of life, but in the end sticks with the negatives of life and predicts himself dying.
“There comes a time when everybody meets the same fate / I think I’ma die alone inside my room,” he said.
He also predicts where his depression and drug abuse will lead him on the song “Leanin.”
“Woke up surprised/ Am I really alive?/ I was trying to die last night, survived suicide last night,” he said
The song “Sunlight On Your Skin” is also a great example of Peep’s pessimistic-optimism that caused great controversy when it was announced that XXXTENTACION, another known pioneer in emo-trap who died recently, would appear on a remake of the song.
Weeks before XXXTENTACION’s death in June 2018, he recorded a remake of the song after hearing a snippet of it. The two versions merged together on the song, “Falling Down.”
However, fans questioned the move because Lil Peep was openly bisexual and XXXtentacion made homophobic comments in the past as well as acted violently towards a gay man while in juvenile detention.
Some saw the decision as a way to connect the two young stars that were brimming with talent and died too soon, while others saw the move as disrespectful to the openly bisexual Lil Peep.
In reaction to the backlash, Ron Perry, the chairman and chief executive of Peep’s label, Columbia Records, said in an interview with the New York Times that he felt putting the two on a song just seemed like the right thing to do.
“We thought the song was so good and the message was so powerful,” he said. “What do you do — just sit on it?”
Despite the controversy, “Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2” is a tragically beautiful swansong from an innovative, impactful, talented innovator of the hip-hop genre.
Gladi Suero is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.