Lil Peep’s HELLBOY was released on Soundcloud five years ago, blessing our ears. Although September 25 marks its fifth year anniversary, it also celebrates one year of HELLBOY being officially available on streaming services.
The late Gustav Åhr – otherwise known as Lil Peep, owned his corner of the emo rap world, only for it to swell posthumous. Creating music touching on subjects of addiction, heartbreak, mental health and the general rollercoaster of life, Peep connected with those who were just as vulnerable as him.
It was obvious that Peep viewed his musical limitation as nonexistent, with nodes of modern rap flooded with the same energy that alternative punk-rock would typically have – I mean, is there anything this kid couldn’t do?
HELLBOY did not fall short when delivering this cocktail of mixed genres, painting a colourful and multidimensional portrait Lil Peep. “You don’t even know what I’ve been through“, is the mixtape’s opening line, strapping us in for the rollercoaster that is HELLBOY
Understanding Lil Peep through some of HELLBOY’s tracks
Track 14 The Last Thing I Wanna Do, expresses how the hurt from repeated heartbreak was taking its toll on Peep. In a 2020 GQ interview, producer Smokeasac said that, “everyone at the time who was producing for him was like, Bass, bass, bass… I wanted it to be different, so I turned the bass down. That’s actually one of my favourite songs I ever did with Gus.”
“I know it’s cold outside, but the last thing I wanna do is let you in” – (The Last Thing I Wanna Do)
Track eight Interlude, touches on temporary satisfaction of substance use and buying expensive shoes. Peep once said, “now I know that clothes don’t make you happy, friends make you happy. I don’t need all that stuff”.
“Two racks on my new shoes, why the fuck I do that? Tell me, why the fuck do I do that?… Gimme a break from all this bullshit” – (interlude)
After going back and forth between a combination of trap and punk rock, HELLBOY ends by doing a complete 180° with Move On, Be Strong, introducing a metalcore scream-a-thon.
Collaborator Yung Cortex recalls when the track was being recorded, “Gus was getting sick and had like literally no voice (because of all the screaming).” via GQ interview
Yelling things like “I’m not comin’ back move on, be strong”, one would think that a newfound sense of confidence and ‘angry hope’ has taken over Peep’s debilitated sense of mind.
It’s no doubt that Lil Peep was a unique artist, encapsulating the rawest of emotion in a variety of music genres. HELLBOY’s release marks an important milestone for the musician, as it’s what took him to the next level of recognition.
Whether you’re a fan of emo rap all the way to alternative punk rock, HELLBOY is a timeless mixtape that allows Lil Peep’s work to live on and be treasured.