Lil Peep was barely 21 years old and already an international star when he died from an overdose of Xanax and fentanyl on his tour bus in Tucson in 2017. Peep was divisive in his lifetime; a gangly outcast from Long Island with a “Crybaby” face tat and hair the color of Fruity Pebbles milk, he sang lucid and dark lullabies about death, misery, rampant drug use, and groupie sex. In the critical establishment, reflexive skepticism towards his flamboyant appearance and unsubtle blend of alt-rock, pop-punk, and trap inevitably turned into curiosity, and even made him something of a darling.
Now, Peep’s family, collaborators, and label are working to consolidate his legacy; on the two-year anniversary of his death, they released his second posthumous album Everybody’s Everything along with a documentary of the same name. The album features an hour of material and 19 tracks that can essentially be split into two sides. Eight previously unreleased songs give way to an 11-song curation of old SoundCloud one-offs, selections from past mixtapes, and three songs from last month’s Goth Angel Sinner EP. The album’s music videos underscore the velocity with which Peep blew up; the transatlantic flights and performances depicted in the “Belgium” video are a far cry from “Keep My Coo,” which sources footage of a teenage Peep pissing in his own backyard and smoking dabs in a dining room furnished primarily by Bombay Sapphire bottles. Everybody’s Everything charts and extrapolates the trajectory of Peep’s rise; rather than raise questions about what new musical directions he might have explored, it makes you wonder how enormously popular he would have become.
While the second half of Everybody’s Everything features an assortment of older, sludgier material, the first half showcases Peep’s undeniable talent as a hook artist. On album opener “Liar,” which oscillates between murky “Come as You Are”-indebted bass and plaintive, Blink-182-style guitar flutters, Peep simply floats, self-consciously transcending the confines of genre: “Call it rap, call it pop, boy/ Call it what you want, boy.” On the next song, “Aquafina,” he adopts Future’s narcotized, lava lamp delivery and sounds so sedated it makes you wonder which depressants he’s used to spike his molly water. if he evokes rock here, it’s in his sinister background harmonies, which use the same interval as a power chord. Later, on “Text Me,” he channels the aching pleas of an ex pouring her heart out at an open mic. If there’s one takeaway from Everybody’s Everything, it’s that Lil Peep had anthems.
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According to producer Fish Narc, the new songs on Everybody’s Everything were deliberately left unfinished rather than built out in a speculative manner. “We basically mastered the original demos and put them out as is,” he told Rolling Stone. While the rough draft nature of these tracks underscores Peep’s pop acumen, it also makes for an uneven listening experience. Peep is frequently relegated to chorus duty, and several songs nosedive the moment he hands off the mic to his collaborators, like Rich the Kid and Gab3, who splits the difference between Patrick Stump and Ty Dolla $ign, to a nauseating effect. Peep’s plain-spoken songwriting style remains a two-edged sword; for every dull moment it produces—like “Ratchets,” which he opens by chanting “Ratchet, bitches, cocaina” for a full 45 seconds—there’s a cutting line that stays with you, like on the chorus of “Moving On,” when he moans, “I’m kissing styrofoam/Who know what I be on.” Peep remains an enigma, even in death. Everybody’s Everything doesn’t offer a clearer picture of his emotional burden, but rather exists as a lasting reminder of the massive star he might have been.