Lil Peep’s viral success came as a surprise to me. His look was inherently “SoundCloud” as Peep came equipped with face tattoos, bleached hair, piercings, and outlandish apparel, but his arrival on the scene marked a distinct departure from common sonic tropes of the drug-induced, hype-rap that we all know too well. Peep could infuse his influences from alternative, punk and emo music with synths and 808s in an accessible and comfortable way. This crossbreed between mid-2000s instrumentation alternative and hip-hop production elements feels familiar, yet we’ve never really seen anything like it.
Lil Peep’s posthumous album, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2, features a series of tracks written right before his Fentanyl and Xanax overdose in November of 2017. His producer, Smokeasac, worked tirelessly to package the music as a complete project. Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 2 feels much like Peep’s debut album, Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt.1, but it is difficult to appreciate this project as a direct reflection of Lil Peep’s artistry, as there are so many tireless and unspoken components in crafting an album that Peep simply wasn’t present for. From the liner notes to the order of the songs, there are so many minute details that any artist spends time overthinking and reworking to guarantee that the project communicates the artist’s intent as best as possible. Lil Peep was present for none of the intricacies and details that truly make and album, well, an album, so I can’t help but see this record as more of a posthumous compilation of songs, and I’ll assess it as such.
Thematically, Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2 doesn’t reveal any stark diversions from Peep’s previous releases. His heartbreak, depression and rampant drug use are present in nearly every song. On the second track, “Runaway,” Peep’s vocals blare over deep sub-bass and overdriven guitars. He sings “I run away from my problems / I do the drugs when I wanna / I ran away from my mama / don’t bother me with no drama.” Sure, the lyrics aren’t complex, but there is something compelling about Peep’s reverb-drenched voice and existentially somber timbre. He owns the simplicity and sadness in a way that isn’t pretentious or cringe-worthy.
Despite the fatalism in Peep’s lyrics and dissonant, guitar-driven production, there is an immutable pop-sensibility to Peep’s work. Especially on the bonus-track, “Sunlight On Your Skin” there is a doo-wop-esque melancholia embellished by Peep’s signature sad-boy voice that pleads “Girl lets watch the rain as its falling down, sunlight on your skin when I’m not around, shit don’t feel the same when you’re not in town.” These lyrical admissions communicate the necessity of immediacies (and vices) throughout Peep’s short-lived existence. He died when he was only 21, but his tireless work-ethic and desire to express his millennial sadness that resonated with millions leaves a catalogue of music that far surpasses his years on this earth. Peep was unafraid to venture into his own darkness. Come Over When You’re Sober, Part 2 shows how special of an artist he was. We should be thankful not only to Smokeasac for compiling the album, but to the Peep estate for continuing to help Peep’s music be appreciated.
Noah Thomas is a junior in the college of Arts and Sciences. He can be reached at [email protected]