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It’s always hard to talk about posthumous works. When new material is released after an artist’s passing, inevitably there will be speculation on if the material was ever meant to be released and how much of the given material was completed under the dead artist’s oversight. The new material could wind up bearing no resemblance to the artist’s original intent, and discussing the new material will always be clouded by the fact that it could have been improved or changed drastically had the artist still been alive.
This is the case with the new compilation from fallen emo-rap superstar, Lil Peep. His legacy is incredibly fragile, as he only officially released a limited amount of content while he was alive (one album and a handful of SoundCloud mixtapes). However, what he did release had a monumental impact on the genre, combining reverb-heavy rock samples with heavy trap percussion and emotionally charged lyrics and delivery. Like it or not, his music changed the field of emo-rap forever, paving the way for artists like the Trippie Redd and the late XXXTENTACION and Juice Wrld.
Because of Peep’s legacy and high-profile passing, there was obviously going to be interest in the material he never got to release during his life. This began with 2018’s “Come Over When You’re Sober, Part 2,” which I believe is the best album recorded in the current wave of emo-trap. Peep’s boyish vocals perfectly complemented the heavenly production from longtime collaborator Smokeasac, and his lyrics felt more biting and personal than ever before. Songs like “16 Lines” and “Life Is Beautiful” are immensely tragic in their content, detailing the declining physical and mental state of someone who was so in touch with his own mortality.
“EVERYBODY’S EVERYTHING,” the new compilation from Peep, is no different. In fact, it might actually be better in some ways than the “Come Over When You’re Sober” series. This compilation exemplifies exactly what made Peep so great, giving listeners a career-spanning look into the artist’s mind.
Lil Peep understood how to create powerful emo anthems, just like his predecessors in the genre did in the emo golden age of the 2000s. Songs like “Moving On” and the gorgeous acoustic version of classic “Hellboy” track “walk away as the door slams” feature Peep’s signature drug-slurred delivery with depressing one-liners and mesmerizing sad-boy instrumentals. These tracks are accompanied by some genuine hip-hop bangers (“Keep My Coo”, “When I Lie” and “RATCHETS”) and catchy pop cuts (“Fangirl” and “Liar”), showing off Peep’s incredible versatility.
New cuts like “LA to London” are mixed in beautifully with older hits like “witchblades,” contextualizing just how far Peep came as an artist in his short career. The older cuts are especially powerful, as many contain ominous lyrics that forecast Peep’s fate (“when I die, bury me with all my ice on”). It’s this aspect that makes “EVERYBODY’S EVERYTHING” such a tragic listen; you’re literally listening to someone predict his own untimely death. The rampant drug abuse and suicidal ideation makes the entire listening experience supremely effective, with each track giving more context to Peep’s passing and confused mental state.
“EVERYBODY’S EVERYTHING” is all I could have asked for from a Lil Peep compilation. The album shows exactly why I adored him so much, from his lyrics that sound like premonitions, to his beautiful singing voice, to the inventive instrumentals. It’s another terrific posthumous release for Peep and works to preserve Peep as the megastar that he unfortunately never got the chance to be.
Fave Tracks: “RATCHETS,” “Moving On,” “walk away as the door slams (acoustic version)”
Least Fave Tracks: “AQUAFINA”