Review Summary: A unique blend of emo, guitar-driven trap production, and pop punk inspired vocals. But also simultaneously maintain a brooding atmosphere.
There’s a lot to say about Lil Peep. I mean, being one of the most polarizing figures in Emo and Rap of the past decade is just the tip of the iceberg. Even looking at it from an unbiased perspective, Lil Peep managed to create a damn near inane amount of music in his short ~2 year run of making music, whether it be churning out mixtapes and EPs with his collaborators or popping up on over 100 features.
At his best, Lil Peep knew which producers and which beats to pick, as well as when he could absolutely sink right into the atmosphere of a beat and make his connection to it. With complementarily haunting lyrics in his verses, but with just as many ear-wormy hooks and standout lines that stick in your head for weeks, the highs of this record are at times structured perfectly and never overstay their welcome. At his worst, his sound would tend to drone on, with having some tracks that don’t stay around long enough to catch your attention. Plus, his affinity for using a plethora of producers made way for some hit or miss moments throughout his earlier music, as his full-length discography is an enigma, excluding his commercial studio albums.
Though Live Forever
is a another weird enigma in itself within Peep’s discography; as it has both of these elements of his at full throttle, but maintains a certain consistency of doom. Songs like the title track, “haunt u”, and “nuts (feat. lil skil)” all feature incredible beats with a brooding atmosphere that can feel like being clouded/surrounded by fog (“haunt u” is an exception though, as the song is more of a dark cry for help with an upbeat emo guitar melody than dreary). While on the other side of this double edged sword though, 3 or so songs here, especially “pick me up (feat. Yunggoth)” and “mirror, mirror” are entirely forgettable tracks in nearly every aspect. The consistency of the dark and desolate tracks here usually get the job done, but at times it feels like it could wear with repeated listens.
So while Live Forever
doesn’t necessarily live it up the best of Peep’s full lengths by any means. It doesn’t carry the quality-consistency of other mixtapes like LiL PEEP: Part One
, and California Girls
, nor does it contain a drop of the zaniness found in projects like Hellboy
(or what’s been released from Goth Angel Sinner
). But, the tape still offers some really strong highs at the end of the day, and while it doesn’t maintain a quality-consistency as much as LPP1 or Crybaby
, it still has a remarkable atmospheric consistency that only very few of his projects share. So while Live Forever
is not necessarily the best or go-to Lil Peep offering, it still is enjoyable if you’re a fan of the style, and if it intrigues you, his other mixtapes are much more worth checking out, even if there are some signature songs here.
In fact, no record can bring such vivid imagery to me as the music video for “Live Forever” does, which features Peep alone in a dark hoodie in an abandoned parking lot, completely surrounded by a desolating fog. The end of the video sees Lil Peep walking away from the camera, into the fog to disappear into the bleakness and the unknown, which I believe is what Live Forever wears on its sleeve, and represents Lil Peep’s persona, his emptiness, as well as his mindset more than any other of his records/mixtapes ever managed to during his lifetime.
”If I don’t relapse and I stay strong / I could do anything I want to / Bump Lil Peep, when I die Imma haunt you / I could live forever if i want to / I could stop time but I never want to do that again / Ain’t nothing worse than losing a friend, and the feeling you get when everybody that you love ain't around / I really got to get away from this town / I’m just waiting for a wave and I’ll drown, Satan letting me down”
— “haunt u”