Lil Peep's Collaborators Talk 'Everybody's Everything' Creation - Rolling Stone
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Lil Peep’s Producers Had One Goal for New Posthumous Album: Don’t Change Anything

The rapper’s longtime producers and collaborators explain why they preserved the feel of his original demos on Everybody’s Everything

NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 12:  Lil Peep attends the "No Ends" A$AP Ferg And Friends Listening Party on August 12, 2017 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.  (Photo by Johnny Nunez/WireImage)

Lil Peep's longtime producers and collaborators explain why they preserved the feel of his original demos on new album 'Everybody's Everything.'

Johnny Nunez/WireImage

Lil Peep was not pleased when he first received the final mixes of his Goth Angel Sinner EP. “I keep reflecting on this moment on the tour bus when Peep heard the studio edits that I had done with the [British production trio] Invisible Men in London, and he absolutely hated them,” recalls Ben Friars-Funkhouser, Peep’s co-producer and close collaborator, who records and produces under the name Fish Narc. “He had a tantrum, and was about to leak the songs. He was like, ‘I’m not waiting for them to fuck my songs up. I’m gonna drop them.’” 

Fish Narc and Yawns, Peep’s DJ, eventually talked Peep out of leaking the original tracks. But now, two years later, Goth Angel Sinner has finally been released in its original, unaltered form. The three-song EP forms a small part of Everybody’s Everything, an exhaustive, 19-song compilation album and the second full-length record to be released since the artist’s death in November 2017.

For several of Peep’s former collaborators, the release is a welcome turn from the polished posthumous releases — most notably Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2 — that were released in the wake of the rapper’s death. “Finally, I can say that something actually happened in a way that I think was exactly according to how he would’ve wanted it,” Fish Narc says.

Everybody’s Everything compiles assorted tracks from the artist’s short career, including early mixtape recordings that have never seen an official release. The album includes early SoundCloud favorites like “Ghost Boy” and collaborations with ILoveMakonnen and Lil Tracy, including catalog rarities like the acoustic album closer, “Walk Away as the Door Slams.” 

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The new stuff coming out, it hasn’t been changed,” says BETTEROFFDEAD, who engineered half of the new compilation album and produced several tracks. It’s a departure from Peep’s other posthumous releases; previously, his original recordings were largely treated as demos, and underwent extensive production work. “Songs like ‘Live Forever,’ those were all early songs that were just Peep. And these are the same thing; these are just purely Peep,” BETTEROFFDEAD says. “It’s how these songs were before he left.”

Yawns and others had worked on and off on unobtrusive mixes of Peep recordings, including Goth Angel Sinner, over the past two years. It was at the urging of Liza Womack, Peep’s mother, that the tracks have all been released in what is essentially their original form.

“It’s really been about everyone coming to the consensus that we could call the demos something that was finished,” says Fish Narc. “We basically mastered the original demos and put them out as is.”

Also included on the album are Peep’s peppy collaborations with the Los Angeles artist Gab3. According to BETTEROFFDEAD, Lil Peep had envisioned those songs (“Fangirl,” “LA to London,” “Rockstarz”) as a discrete “summer EP,” and had intended, at one point, to release the EP before Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 1. “It’s definitely a turn from his regular stuff,” he says of the Gab3 tracks. “They were more upbeat and pop-punky than the usual emo, sad stuff.”

One day in late July 2017, Fish Narc was messing around on guitar in his L.A. apartment when he got a message from Lil Peep. “He said, ‘I’m in a studio on Sunset. I need some beats. I wanna make a song. Can you come over?’”

When Fish Narc arrived at the studio 30 minutes later, Peep and Gab3, who were tripping on mushrooms, asked him to play some of the guitar lines he had just recorded that day. “I pulled out the first set of guitar stems and he was like, ‘Whoa, beautiful,” Fish Narc remembers. “I started making the beat, and they’re peaking on shrooms, really emotional, and they start crying.’”

Over the next few days, Peep and Fish Narc completed the Goth Angel Sinner recordings and several other tracks, including “Black Jeep” (featuring Mackned and Coldheart) at a series of L.A. studios. The sonic inspiration for the sessions, according to Fish Narc, ranged from the guitar sound on Sonic Youth’s “Shadow of  Doubt” and Blonde Redhead’s “Astro Boy” to the kick-snare sounds and high-hit patterns on Yung Gleesh’s “Who Ridin’.” It took Peep only one take to record tracks like “When I Lie” and “Belgium,” which were much less layered than earlier Peep material like Hellboy

“We were like, ‘This feels different. It was so spontaneous,” Fish Narc says. “It started as, like, ‘Pull up, we’re having fun, make some beats. We wanna listen.’ And then it turned into something serious as hell.”

“We performed Goth Angel Sinner literally all over the world,” says Yawns, Peep’s DJ on his fall 2017 tour, who says that he thinks Peep was considering plans to eventually expand Goth Angel Sinner into a larger project. “Those were his favorite songs that he had made; it was one of the best parts of the live set for him.” 

The summer of 2017 marked a near unprecedented period of creativity for Lil Peep, who was splitting his time between L.A. and London, and enjoying the perks of having around-the-clock access to a number of studios. “I only knew him for a year, but it felt like it was a lot longer,” says BETTEROFFDEAD. “It felt like we knew each other for a long-ass time, especially because he went through so many phases. There was so much music that was made.”

Lil Peep took an unusually active interest in the producing, mixing, and engineering of his records. “Every part of the song, he wanted to be a part of it,” says BETTEROFFDEAD. “Every time we did a song, he’d get out of the booth and come sit next to me and be like, ‘We should try a drop here, we should try doing this, put vocals here.’ He was probably my favorite person to work with for that reason.”

Fish Narc remembers one moment when Lil Peep decided to put in a perfectly-placed ringtone sound at the beginning of “Fangirl.” 

“Peep was the master of the perfectly on-beat, off-beat beat cuts,” says Fish Narc. “You can hear that in his early mixes: Hellboy was all these really dramatic stops. So with the ringtone sound, it ended right when the hook dropped. It was so smart. It was one of those Peep strokes of genius.”

With the release of Everybody’s Everything, several of Peep’s collaborators say they’re unsure if there’s much more unreleased music in Peep’s vault. Based on their estimates, there are only a few leftover Peep songs at most. “If anything, it’s going to be catalog re-releases,” says Yawns of any future posthumous releases.

“In a weird way, as long as we were working on it, and as long as it wasn’t it, my work with him was still kind of in this beautiful limbo where it wasn’t really done,” says Fish Narc, when asked about releasing the final tracks he worked on with Peep. “It’s a little sad for it to be done, because for a big chapter of my life, the biggest loose end is being tied up. I’m very happy about it, but it’s pretty emotional.”

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