“I’m a real-life gothboi”—Lil Peep, “Liar”
Posthumous releases often raise suspicion. How does one access the space above cash-grab, and between fan service and dutiful restoration? By moving from the heart and bringing to life the artist’s vision. Thankfully, in the case of Lil Peep, each one of his posthumous albums has been treated with care and respect to his vision and life’s work.
“This is the album that Gus would have wanted,” Peep’s mother, Liza Womack, said of Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2, released in 2018 as a sequel to Peep’s monumental Pt. 1. Pt. 2 expertly followed in the footsteps of Peep’s 2017 debut album. With its eerie gloss and wrenching lyrics, the record was an essential touchstone in Lil Peep’s legacy.
“It’s been good. Dealing with Liza made it much easier. I think that normally labels, after the death of a rapper, they don’t consider his friends and the fans. But they did that really well.”—Producer Bighead, “Producer Bighead Speaks On Finding Sobriety & Lil Peep’s Posthumous Album Everybody’s Everything”
Capturing Lil Peep’s wishes continues on his latest release, Everybody’s Everything, which features classic Lil Peep cuts making their way to streaming (“cobain,” “witchblades”) and fresh gothboi anthems (“Liar,” “Fangirl”). The middle of the record also features the fabled GOTH ANGEL SINNER EP, which serves as a transition between the newly released songs and originally released material. Meaning, the structure of Everybody’s Everything is something of a time warp. At once, we get where Lil Peep was going, as well as where he had been. We see influence moving unto influence across the tracklist.
The bounce of “Keep My Coo,” initially released in 2014 on SoundCloud, speaks to when Peep was more focused on developing his rapper persona. There’s a rigid quality to the cut, reminding us that Peep was always in process, and the rapper who broke out in the 2010s still had so much more to give, be it the spitting or the sweet melodies. The accompanying video of a much younger Peep drives home the dual points of Peep’s tragic loss and his burgeoning talent. There’s something precious to the video, which extends to all of Everybody’s Everything.
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Lil Peep was, indeed, Everybody’s Everything. For fans, he was a light; for myself, he was a mirror; for his friends, he was an artistic visionary. And in his death, too, he was urging his friends to be better every day. The magic of Lil Peep’s music was vast and went beyond his hits. Such is the success of Everybody’s Everything as an album and compilation of Lil Peep’s strengths. The record distills everything exciting about Peep, captures all the facets, definitively, which made Peep special. From the straightforward tracks (“Text Me,” “Rockstarz”) to the trappier and broodier cuts (“AQUAFINA,” “LA to London”), Everybody’s Everything hits on the breadth of Lil Peep’s artistry.
Opening with “Liar” is brilliant. The battle cry—“I’m a real-life gothboi!”—of the record is nothing short of satisfying to belt out in chorus. “Liar” has the well-expected guitar riffs and booming bass, rallying as a classic-in-the-making Lil Peep song. Moreover, listening to the song, it’s impossible not to feel pride. Pride in Peep. Pride in being a fan of Peep. Opening the album with an allusion to his collective, his fans, and his status in hip-hop culture makes Everybody’s Everything feel tangible and nicely in-the-moment.
Remember the stilt of “Keep My Coo”? None of that is present on the pattering raps of “Liar.” Everybody’s Everything is just as much about bringing to life Peep’s most beloved songs as it is a blueprint to his growth. Too, the poppiness on “Fangirl” showcases Peep’s range, and feels like an excellent precursor to both “PRINCESS” and “I’ve Been Waiting” with ILOVEMAKONNEN. There’s a tenderness to the construction of Everybody’s Everything, how the album feels like a nod to every type of Lil Peep fan.
Whether you went to Peep to hash out your rage, or you turned to his tunes for some solace, Everybody’s Everything has a song for you. “Moving On,” Peep’s second-best track behind “Star Shopping,” is blustery and effacing. Peep’s carnal yells feed our need to endless catharsis. The trap beat, contrasted by the at-times punkish delivery, serves as a reminder to his forever-orbit around multiple cultures. Lil Peep was a member of so many worlds; it’s easy to suggest he created his universe with his work. Once a necessity of genre-hopping, in the wake of his death, this observation feels like a testament to Peep’s sly depth.
“I loved his singing and his natural ability to write amazing lyrics,” writes producer Smokesac in his memorial to Peep. A few graphs later, he adds: “Gus loved life more than anyone could imagine. He lived life to the fullest and cherished every moment of every day. He had the biggest goals and dreams you could imagine. He worked his ass off to get to where he was. He had so much drive and ambition.”
This drive and zeal fuels Everybody’s Everything. Take the pop-punk thrill of “Rockstarz.” The track is another breezy and hip-hop-adjacent entry in Peep’s canon. “Drugs and guitars, I’m a real rockstar,” Peep sings through a signature vocal filter. So simple in concept, “Rockstarz” feels like the moment Lil Peep came into consciousness he was making it, whatever it was. And he sounded so great, too. Peep’s pursuit of harmonies and his vocal chops evidence themselves on “Text Me,” too. Similar to “Rockstarz,” there’s bounding energy to “Text Me” and an attractive simplicity to the work. As wrought as his emotions were, Lil Peep, in an attempt to convey emotion, never overburdened his writing. He simply felt through each song.
The climax of Everybody’s Everything, then, comes on the final track. An acoustic rendition of Hellboy standout “walk away as the door slams,” this version trades the crushing reverb for a ballad-like atmosphere. We get Peep’s voice in all its bare and barely baritone glory. It feels like a tearful send-off to the future as he sings, “I can’t leave here anytime soon, I got something to do, yeah.” Suddenly, the song transforms. Instead of foreshadowing Peep’s demise, the song feels like a promise from Peep to the fans. He had so much more to give.
Everybody’s Everything attempts to add a fluid dynamicism to Lil Peep’s legacy. The album centers all Peep had—and has—to offer. It also normalizes Lil Peep, in a way. I no longer have to traverse several different platforms to access his basest hits. There’s an added sense of life to Everybody’s Everything; I feel as if Peep is still here when I press play on the record. Perhaps, in some ways, he is. Either way, it’s Lil Peep forever.