In September 2015, Lil Peep’s first mixtape appeared online. By the time he released his official debut, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1, roughly two years later, he was writing tracks with more heft and urgency. The ingredients hadn’t changed — a guitar and bottom-heavy rhythmic programming still took center stage. But while early favorites like “Star Shopping” had an appealing one-loop, first-take quality, the Come Over track “Benz Truck” is more considered: Wordless backing vocals double Lil Peep’s lead, a more complicated drum pattern switches tempos to add a headlong, hurtling feel, and a bass dips and slides next to the guitar.
Lil Peep died months after the release of Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1. But his first posthumous album, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2, out today, aims to continue the singer’s move towards classic pop structures.
Nowhere is this more evident than the track “Hate Me.” The lyrics mix the confessional (“I’m just going through some shit right now / And I don’t wanna let you down”) and the boastful (“Now you calling me crazy, girl I know/ When you tell me you hate me, I know that you don’t”) as Lil Peep often did in his songs. But the arrangement is a radio-ready marvel.
Everything here is constructed to grab you by the throat. First comes a short 20-second intro that establishes the track’s primary melody. Then the producers — Smokeasac, IIVI and Lars Stalfors — drop in a jaunty, juicy bass line packed full of swagger and car-stereo-primed bounce. After two lines from Lil Peep, they add precise, pulverizing drums, and the result is a pleasingly mixed musical message: The lyrics suggest agitation and ambivalence, but every time the opening bass part and the percussion programming lock together, “Hate Me” feels carefree, nearly exuberant.
And though Lil Peep often didn’t care for bridges in his songs — they have gone out of fashion in large swathes of modern pop anyway — you’ll find a short digression in between the second and third choruses of “Hate Me.” It’s beat-less, which throws the focus back on Peep’s aggrieved lyrics: “I just wanna leave this town / Sometimes I feel like everyone hates me.” Then the hook returns, but the producers refuse to bring in the full beat. That lack of final resolution is not an accident — it makes you want to play the song again.
“Hate Me” was not released as a single before Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2, and it wasn’t picked for inclusion on Spotify’s marquee playlists like Today’s Top Hits and New Music Friday. But it might be the song that best demonstrates where Lil Peep’s music was going.