The Guardian - G2 - - Classical - Rachel Aroesti

Artist Lil Peep Al­bum Come Over When You’re Sober Pt 2 La­bel Columbia

When Lil Peep died of an ac­ci­den­tal drug over­dose last Novem­ber, he was al­ready a cult hero. Beloved by many for his dingy syn­the­sis of emo and con­tem­po­rary rap, the 21-year-old New Yorker – born Gus­tav Åhr – was at the van­guard of a new move­ment in­tent on tram­pling down di­vi­sions be­tween hip-hop and rock. This wasn’t the first time the gen­res had melded – Peep’s work harked back to 90s nu-me­tal bands such as Korn and Linkin Park – but by re­plac­ing me­chan­i­cal fury with opi­ated ni­hilism, flut­ter­ing hi-hats and a post-ironic nostal­gia for poprock past, he pro­duced some­thing fiercely con­tem­po­rary. With his wacky dress sense and pretty-boy face, Peep was a star ma­chine­tooled for the so­cial me­dia age.

Come Over When You’re Sober Pt 2, Peep’s post­hu­mous sec­ond al­bum, is com­piled from ma­te­rial dis­cov­ered on his lap­top af­ter he died. It doesn’t ap­pear to be a cyn­i­cal record la­bel cash-in, hav­ing been steered by Peep’s mother and his long-time pro­ducer Smokeasac, but that’s not to say it doesn’t seem ex­tremely ghoul­ish: Peep’s songs are pep­pered with ref­er­ences to his death, de­liv­ered in a slurred whine. The my­opic fo­cus on such a theme might have seemed eerily prophetic if the mu­si­cian hadn’t flaunted his pre­scrip­tion drug abuse on­line – in­stead, it serves to make his pass­ing seem a dis­mal in­evitabil­ity.

When he was alive, Peep was a by­word for the zeit­geist in a way that sug­gested op­por­tunism rather than artistry. Yet while he was clearly not a poet (de­spite gaz­ing end­lessly into the void, his lyrics are oned­i­men­sion­ally bleak rather than deep), Peep was a hugely tal­ented song­writer. What’s par­tic­u­larly no­table about COWYSP2 is that it ex­cels in a pop con­text – songs like Hate Me and Run­away feel at once fresh and fa­mil­iar, swarm­ing with hooks and in­fec­tious cho­ruses that pierce the fuggy in­stru­men­ta­tion, while man­ag­ing to cover new sonic ground in an ac­ces­si­ble way. How long his sta­tus as a sub­cul­tural icon will en­dure is any­one’s guess, but this al­bum sug­gests main­stream suc­cess was – and per­haps still is – well within Lil Peep’s grasp.

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