Lil Peep
Lil Peep Part One


5.0
classic

Review

by ian b USER (11 Reviews)
October 28th, 2019 | 35 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Chapter 0: The emotional precursor that not only set the stage for what Lil Peep would become as a figure and icon, but also unfortunately what would become of him later on.

Whenever I hear the first clean guitar chord and background piano that sets the stage for opening track “Praying to the Sky,” I feel myself sink back into my seat in discomfort. It’s not that the song is bad by any means. In fact, the track is so hauntingly foreboding that it’s unlike any other song in the vein of emo-rap, or rap as a whole. But, it’s this exact brutal honesty in the lyrics that cement it as being the perfect introductory piece to who and what Gustav Åhr was, who we soon came to know as Lil Peep.

“Bitch, I'm tatted out my shirt, so I can't work, I make it flip
 // Pour my 40 in the dirt, then light my dutch and take a sip // 
I hear voices in my head, they tellin' me to call it quits
 // I found some Xanax in my bed, I took that ***, went back to sleep
 // They gon' miss me when I'm dead, I lay my head and rest in peace // 
I'm prayin' to the sky, I don't even know why,”

This stanza is what winds up being the central lyric of the opening track; setting the emotional yet mentally clouded ambiguity that Lil Peep is known for, along with disguising the real emotional trauma behind hooks and over-caricatured lyrics. The following track, “The Way I See Things,” portrays Peep as a lonely schizoaffective junkie walking home alone in the rain while extremely high, pondering his mortality. While this isn’t the first, nor best example of Peep brutally hammering on his inevitable impending doom; it’s by far the most confrontational of these lines that get close to with being more honest than any other rap/r&b songs of this decade, among with many other tracks on here. “Veins” is allegedly the oldest song that he has ever made that’s still a part of his “canon,” but the song depicts Gus in a period of a crippling mental state, along with the thought of what’s affecting him as possibly being “...something in the bud, man I need a new plug // I can feel it in my veins.” that aren’t directly correlative to his death, but projects a feeling of vulnerability that is, of at least relatively unprecedented in today’s world of trap-ridden hip hop. While Lil Peep didn’t necessarily invent the whole “Emo Rap” sound, he definitely cemented himself as the one true rockstar and outlier in the whole movement.

In fact, while he later collaborated on tracks with emo rap’s founding fathers on crybaby, HELLBOY, and many singles in the middle of it, like the Pitchfork’s “Best New Music” labeled “Kiss”, and the Clams Casino produced hypnotism with the posthumously released “4 Gold Chains” ― LiL PEEP: Part One cements Gus himself as a masterclass of what he’s delivering. Two of the best tracks, both opener and closer respectively, “Praying to the Sky” and “Star Shopping,” seat the singer-songwriter in two drastically different tones and themes, yet still suffering from the same sickness and hedonism that would make every rapper from Danny Brown to Playboi Carti uncomfortable. Everything here, like (most) songs off the aforementioned Danny Brown’s magnum opus, XXX, present a sense of subliminal pain and honesty within their lyrics. From “five degrees” to “ghost boy,” every song features this sense of depressively drug-addled repetition that reminds me of Daniel Johnston or Kurt Cobain (who’s unnervingly sampled in perfection on “another song”) made music 30 years afterwards, and this element, inspired by the vastly different likes of WICCA PHASE SPRINGS ETERNAL, Gucci Mane, seshhollowaterboyz, Phil Elverum, Taking Back Sunday, and samples everything from Bones, flyleaf, Lil B, and Thirty Seconds to Mars on this project alone — it is apparent Lil Peep was very selective with the music surrounding his presence as he wanted his producers to be creative and stick to a very particular sound.

It’s not a sound that you would typically come to love at first, as the tone is so offsetting that it almost tries to push you away from it on initial listens: this is the ultimate culmination of a man, Gustav Åhr — not to be associated with Lil Peep — who would become an extreme-living and spastically manic depressive caricature of Gustav, on its own with the more experimental, yet equally pop-lenient Come Over When You’re Sober: Part 1 and other projects released from late 2017 onward, but this era of his music still holds strong as being some of the most innovative and experimental of its territory. Unlike every other artist that’s ever been helmed under the horridly surface-level term of “SoundCloud Rap,” Gus manifested himself as an outlier from day one, and had (and still posthumously continues to) push the boundaries of not only modern rap, but DIY punk/indie rock/emo, as well as the pop landscape as a whole since his quick ascension to stardom followed by his subsequent death in November of 2017. While Lil Peep’s legacy lives on in many other artists, like Lil Uzi Vert and his song “XO TOUR Lif3,” as well as Juicy J, The 1975, the controversial and late XXXTENTACION, as well as Fall Out Boy and ILoveMakonnen among hundreds, maybe even thousands, of other musicians around the world. While Peep’s kitsch for melodic emo-inspired R&B songs wasn’t nearly as much on display besides select tracks, like they were on the near equally perfect crybaby, the California Girls EP , his collaborations with Lil Tracy in castles and CASTLES II, and the transitional breakthrough that was his fourth and final mixtape, HELLBOY, which blew open doors for so many modern artists and singer/songwriters that were too hesitant to even knock in the first place. Plus, while this may be Gus’ first full-length, which had been project produced on a $200 microphone and Garageband, it set the stage for what was to come nearly as perfect as any debut project this decade. With the lingering fear of failure, that I can only parallel this project even slightly with the aforementioned XXX by Danny Brown or Mac Miller’s undeservedly overlooked magnum opus that is his 2014 mixtape Faces; it’s almost like if those two projects melded together, listened to a lot of Phil Elverum, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, seshollowaterboyz, Future, Adolescents, Minor Threat, and Aphex Twin, as it almost stands as its own proclamation of failure and mortality, both lyrically and musically. It’s clear, whether people want to admit it or not, that Gustav Åhr was a creative genius when it came to how selectively he wanted his production to sound, along with his efficacy for hooks and freestyled melodies that can stick into your head for weeks.

Gustav Åhr may appear as a two-dimensional character on initial listens, but once you read between the lines, it becomes a manifestation of brutal honesty and disparity with who Gus was and who Peep is ─ creating an almost bipolar rollercoaster of a project that pays off with a hopelessly realistic take on young adolescent life whenever clouded by lethal/toxic friendships/relationships. This life wound up having Gus slowly, and eventually killed in the end, with his management company actually supplying him with drugs to make sure he didn’t bail on tour (since he openly stated hating being on such a brutal schedule). The night before he died, his manager pushed him to overdose on Xanax/Alprazolam or prescription drugs of some sort so that his health insurance would cover the missed dates of his tour from being too sick to perform, but he was still forced to perform anyways until he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, surrounded by the wrong people (including his clouded-self). Lil Peep could’ve changed music for decades to come. Yet, what matters is that he was here in the first place, and released enough to influence the next 10-20 years of music at the least. Gustav Åhr knew he wasn’t going to go out without a sound, but he knew he was also prophesying his own demise, and thus left behind his boastful yet vulnerable impact on what his music would influence, not only before, but especially after his death. While LiL PEEP: Part One might not be the best (or most quintessential) project that Gus ever made, it’s still certainly one of the best introductory experiences from a musician and artist this decade. And that’s exactly what he intended it to be, with its full-blown cries for help, and juxtaposingly boastful lyrics, he immediately managed to create a mind-bending sound of his own within a scene of hundreds of other artists trying to do what Gus, and Lil Peep could only do, all from the start with his debut project, LiL PEEP: Part One.

I’ve gotta feeling that I’m not gonna be here, for next year // So let’s laugh a little before I’m gone.”
— “The Way I See Things”

// “....
once I got it comin', I love her, she love me // 
I know that I'm nothing like someone her family want me to be // 
If I find a way, would you walk it with me?
 // Look at my face while you talkin' to me // 
'Cause we only have one conversation a week
 // Can I get one conversation at least? // 
Shout out to everyone makin' my beats, you helpin' me preach
 // This music's the only thing keepin' the peace when I'm fallin' to pieces….” — “Star Shopping”

Verdict: 5/5

Stream: https://youtu.be/AVJZRRgF6Xk



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user ratings (69)
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
ian b
October 28th 2019


2175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

hi sorry for the review absence, i kinda have been stuck on this one for a few months, but it's one i'm really proud of and happy with, even if Bloon said it's too long, because it definitely is (thanks for proofreading btw bloon luv u), i just thought fuck it because this is probably gonna be my last Peep review for a lil bit. i wanna start reviewing new albums/projects again ¯_(ツ)_/¯ anyways constructive criticism is always appreciated, thank u all that read everything, it really means a lot ♡ pce

ian b
October 28th 2019


2175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

yeah i normally wouldn’t include it but i have on all the Peep reviews i've done so far so i just wanted to establish that i think this is a full blown 5/5 classic, like not a 4.8 or something

StarlessCore
October 28th 2019


7750 Comments


For an actual listenable version of this guy try global dan

ian b
October 28th 2019


2175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

sincerely can't tell if you're trolling or not starless lol

Conmaniac
October 28th 2019


27669 Comments


Not enough love for these pieces Ian, amazing work glad ur still doing this series

ian b
October 28th 2019


2175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

thank you con, that legitimately might be the most validating comment that anyone has left on any of my reviews on this account lmfao

oltnabrick
October 29th 2019


40610 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thumb

StarlessCore
October 29th 2019


7750 Comments


Not trolling dude sucked but rip

oltnabrick
October 29th 2019


40610 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks for your honesty

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
October 29th 2019


9752 Comments


Wait didnt you have more reviews?

Nice to see you still writing mate

Conmaniac
October 29th 2019


27669 Comments


Love u Ian

ian b
October 29th 2019


2175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

@ben/asleep: yes i actually did! i just lost my old account, and instead of having a different username, the based mods just changed my username to Ian B on this one. plus, it separates from my previous writing styles and my newer ones so i just stuck with it.



also thank you oltna :')



and starless, i respect your opinion wholeheartedly, but i do have to ask, do you have any hearing damage, or partial hearing loss? not related at all just legitimately curious dawg

ian b
October 29th 2019


2175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

love u too con, thanks for holding me over in the meantime so i didnt lose motivation to review completely haha

StarlessCore
October 29th 2019


7750 Comments


Actually yes, I used to go to a lot of metal shows so my hearing ain't perfect

However peep was garbage and off white is better than every song he ever did so

ian b
October 29th 2019


2175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

oh shit, unfortunate to hear about your total hearing loss then my friend

StarlessCore
October 29th 2019


7750 Comments


Dude wrote a lil peep 5/5 review telling me about hearing loss lmfao

ian b
October 29th 2019


2175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

u said it, not me, goofy mf

MELONADE13
October 30th 2019


829 Comments


global dan is 1. nothing like lil peep lmao, 2. is shit, and 3. has never made a song better than peep has

off white is fucking terrible and if you like it, you get your music taste from 15 year old suburbs kids

Conmaniac
October 30th 2019


27669 Comments


Lmao damn

ian b
October 30th 2019


2175 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

melon droppin facts



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