Los Angeles resident, Gustav Åhr, popularly known as Lil Peep, released his latest solo tape, ‘HELLBOY’ back on Soundcloud nearly half a year ago. Before then, he dropped two other tapes, ‘Crybaby’ and ‘Castles’. Since then, he’s gathered a dedicated cult following, not unheard of in today’s Hip-Hop, over a million views on YouTube and is still an unsigned artist.
Today, I’ll be listening and reviewing his ‘HELLBOY’ tape and see where the hype is at for the twenty-year old songwriter/performer.
At 16 tracks long, the tape is ambitious for a said ‘Soundcloud Rapper’. A lot of artists struggle today releasing an album with more than 12-14 tracks and receiving claim to their product. However, throughout the tape, Peep doesn’t sound like the length of the project or songs affect the length. In perspective, it’s more of an original Playstation game where the graphics (music in this case) isn’t particularly outstanding, but you’re hyped by the game. In this case, Peep is that game you never knew would be that good till you tried it.
His instrumentals are all still Hip-Hop, however, there’s an infusion of other genres as well. “OMFG”, is a loud, guitar heavy, hi-hat addicts dream. Peep talks about suicide, where in an interview with Pitchfork he admits to suffering from depression, but uses music, like a lot of people, to forget about the bullshit in the world. Peep also sounds like the child of all different musical DNA. From Gucci Mane (one of his influences), Terror, Trash Talk, 2011-2013 Odd Future and Tech N9ne as he uses multiple genres to express his emotions of depression as well as his rags to riches story.
The seventh track, “Gucci Mane” doesn’t particularly live up to its hype that the name amounts to. However, the Hip-Pop, drugged up guitar sampled song, expressing Peep’s addiction to drugs like pharmaceuticals and cocaine, does have the tinge of Gucci-esque. “Interlude” follows up with the aesthetic of the rest of the tracks. Cloudy instrumental, disorganised, over mixed vocals for “Interlude”. The content of the track explores materialism in today’s music scene, how his songs and persona may depict the typical artist in Hip-Hop/Trap. However, he’s opening up to his listeners, showing that he’s deeper and…dare I say…conscious.
Although the albums heavy with drug references, depression, physical desires and desire to be appreciated in a picky genre of music, Lil Peeps latest offering is pretty fucking rad. It doesn’t sound that different, vocally, to a lot of rappers or musicians biting the Trap/Houston wave, however, Peep’s lyrical content is interesting. It’s a lot more honest and listenable than some other artists.