Naturally there’s a lot to talk about with Long Island born rapper Lil Peep, whether that be his iconic hairstyles, colourful, crazy and expensive wardrobe or the notorious Daddy tattoo, the model and full time emo dropped the first part of his debut album Come Over When You’re Sober, after it was leaked last week. The Gothboiclique member drops bars about fame, heartbreak, drugs, suicide and depression over a mixture of fierce and melancholic beats.
My first thought listening to the album was the higher level of production that’s been put into the project, the sharp samples and clear beats really distinguish it from a Lil Peep mixtape, producers like Smokeasac have really stepped up their game to give Come Over When You’re Sober a professional shine, making it seem less like a soundcloud project and more of a chart topper.
The album opens up with “Benz Truck”, a single released in early June which to date holds over 5 million views on YouTube, the hollow backing vocals mixed with Peep’s unenthusiastic rapping leads to a lethargic yet fiery track, and with smooth beats and stuttering hi hats the song feels like one of Peep’s best. However lyrically it’s nothing exciting, it follows themes of handling recently found fame as he calls out the people who might be looking to take advantage of him.
We’re then greeted with “Save That S**t”, a melancholic yet fast paced track drenched in eerie, atmospheric gbc vibes reminiscent of his 2015 work, it’s here we see some of his best lyrics, check out the last few lines of the killer hook: “I can make you this, baby I can make you that, I can take you there but baby you won’t make it back, growing sick of this and I don’t wanna make you sad. Do I make you scared? Baby won’t you take me back” blend the breathless flow with Peep’s explosive vocals and you’ve got yourself one of the best tracks on the record. Even without the self deprecating themes of loneliness and desperate love we see on the last verse the track has found itself a top spot on the rapper’s discography.
Another example of high production value from Smokeasac, third track “Awful Things” explores Peep’s frustrations with love and dealing with heartbreak, opening with “Tell me awful things, you know I love it when you do that, helps me get through this without you”. Gothboiclique member Lil Tracy comes through with a mellow verse with hurt vocals and hopeless lyrics, the verse brings a theme of selflessness to the track, especially with the line “Burn me down ‘till there’s nothing left, I will scream your name with my last breath” Tracy’s dramatic poetry adds a layer to the track that I think the rest of the album lacks, the two perspectives have subtle differences that make the track unique to the record and unique even to the genre.
“U Said” is uplifting instrumentally, unlike anything Peep has put out before, but the lyrics tell a darker story much like Peep’s usual tracks, themes of drug abuse and heartbreak dominant the hard hitting tune with harsh vocals and explosive verse openers. The song is separated into two different parts that follow the same theme, one with a defensive tone while the other an aggressive, in your face attitude that’ll catch listeners off guard. The song features some smooth beats with subtle bass along with almost pleasant melodies, a strange track to put you in tears, with very experimental vibes and a paranoia driven atmosphere that explodes in the second part with a fierce, broken hearted verse with raspy vocals declaring that sometimes, life just gets fucked up. “U Said” is the perfect song for the midway point in the album.
Personal favourite “Better off (dying)” is slick with breathless vocals and fierce beats following a theme of fragile love and Peep’s commitment anxiety, with lines like “I got her little heart in my hand, and I don’t wanna break it” and “Even if I try hard I ain’t gonna make it, we ain’t gonna make it” The tune sees Peep living a drug fueled lifestyle dominated by secrets and fake love, the vocals here sound broken down and hurt, and mixed with the fast pace of the song the gloomy themes bleed into the atmosphere to give it a sense of upbeat melancholy.
Penultimate track “The Brightside” released as a single two weeks ago, and without a doubt features the best hook on the album. Peep raps on top of a bed of jittery beats and reverb heavy riffs, before progressing into a loud, anthem like melody. The track itself is an anthem for the fans and Peep alike, declaring his own depression even while living with his fame and the fact he’s almost mortified by his lack of love, the track shows us an exhausted version of our favourite rapper looking on the brightside, whether that’s his fans or gothboiclique. The themes of the song are strengthened by the music video, showing excited fans in clips from his tour and the carefree, happy lifestyle he had while touring.
The final track has us stuck in a claustrophobic trance with Peep in this mature, reflective song, starting off with Peep reflecting on his time out of the limelight, “Problems” is full of dark beats and heavy riffs, matching his heart heavy metaphor for love, “I made a deal with the Devil” compares his love to an evil that’s driving him senseless. The verse deals with a darker theme with the line “Hold on to my revolver, they ain’t looking for you” it’s not the first time we’ve heard Peep rap about guns, but the way the line is constructed gives it an eerie atmosphere that makes us think, what’s he done? The track is full of these grim lines that show a brooding side to Peep that we haven’t seen before, it’s the perfect song to end the record to, leaving fans struck with awe at the almost frightening themes of the track.
As an artist, Lil Peep has exceeded expectations, showing a clear progression with lyrics and topics alike, Come Over When You’re Sober has to be one of the hottest releases this year. Full of intricate and delicate themes explored through elaborate beats and melodies, the fantastic debut will please fans and newcomers alike. I think the album shows that Peep isn’t just a social media driven emo with no depth or thought, the album is an easy listen for new ears, but at the same time anyone who’s been actively following the artist for a while will easily see the same traits and styles we’ve seen in projects like Hellboy and Crybaby. The debut also recognises Peep taking up the throne as the king of hooks on the scene, every track, whether the best or the worst will have an undoubtedly fire hook.
Words by Sam Harris