A new genre, fighting to be legitimized amongst mainstream music consumers and critiques of its forefathers: rock, rap, emo, and trap. One of it’s most notarized pioneers? Lil Peep. The late musician who passed due to a fentanyl-xanax overdose while on tour in Arizona.
Emotionally tortured by a depression that even he had trouble explaining,
Gustav Åhr, better known as Lil Peep died December 2017. Leaving family and fans before reaching his full potential as a rockstar, pop icon, or at the very least a Soundcloud legend. And at this year’s SXSW, the public will be reintroduced to Lil Peep through the eyes of the best friend he left behind, his mother Liz Womack.
Womack, along with family friend Terrence Malick, and Sara Stemmet of Peeps management company, First Access Entertainment, acts as a executive producers on the project. The documentary, “Everybody’s Everything”, is being described as “an intimate, humanistic portrait that seeks to understand an artist who attempted to be all things to all people” as quoted by the SXSW website.
For nearly two hours fans will have the opportunity on March 10th, 12th, and 14th to get to know the underground artist that was Lil Peep. Plagued with an affinity for drugs like xanax, coke, weed, and lean, Peep’s vices enabled him to get through the woes of the music industry while he toured, pushed, and created his music to grab the next ‘like,’ ‘subscription,’ and ticket sale.
Transitioning from the GothBoiClique that he ran with when initially ascending up the ranks in music, “Everybody’s Everything” will undoubtedly touch on Peep’s need to leave the draining Los Angeles scene with his Day One collaborator Smokeasac. Where the two went seeking refuge in London. It is here that he met and bonded with one time Drake collaborator Makonnen, while immersing himself in new people that showed better intentions than the last. Armed with the change of scenery, Peep made “Sunlight on Your Skin.” A song so different from the emo work of Peep’s past that it showed the new direction and possible short lived happiness that the rapper had found before his passing.
Coincidently, “Sunlight on Your Skin” was remade into “Falling Down” with XXXTentacion, a rapper who shared the load in pushing forward the Soundcloud Rap genre, but had little to nothing else in common with Peep.
Presumably, the film will dive deep into this turmoil as all of this added up to controversy. Because of Peeps feelings towards X, his estate was not happy with the release of the “Falling Down” version of “Sunlight on Your Skin. Unfortunately, this led to a lot of protests and hurt feelings on the sides of both artists families, until two mothers of two sons came together and laid rest to all of the animosity.
Gone too soon
Regardless of his reach and engagement online Lil Peep still had a long way to go before reaching even the beginning of his music journey. Far from the radio hit he dreamed of, the 21 year old kid was on to something. With his ability to mix 808 trap drums with emo lyrics he struck a chord in something that was yet to be tapped into. His thoughts of suicide and bouts of depression through a self diagnosed chemical imbalance were relatable to his audience and that pushed him to experiment recreationally and dangerously to get the sound that needed, the look that attracted, and the content that is king.
“It’s like professional wrestling—everyone has to be a character,” says Peep. “If you’re not a fun enough character, then no one’s gonna fuck with you because you don’t have enough shit that’s different.”-Lil Peep
Unfortunately, before his passing, Peep was on the cusp on a genre that still had no footing. Leaving behind raw records of music that no one but its innovator could have the perfect vision for.
Written by: Chay Rodriguez