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A Tribute to Lil Peep

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Released by Lil Peep’s estate on Nov. 5, “Friends” is a three-track EP by Lil Peep and Yunggoth. Detailing the beginning, middle and end of their collaboration and friendship, this compilation of songs features tracks that have either been teased, released on Soundcloud or not yet formally released on streaming platforms. Delivered between his birthday on Nov. 1, and the four-year anniversary of his passing, Nov. 15, “Friends” consists of experimental sounds that focus on instrumental beats, while serving as a celebration of Peep’s life. 

Prior to Peep’s association with the music groups SCHEMAPOSSE and GothBoiClique, he was a member of the digital design group SFCB that mainly consisted of three rappers: himself, Yunggoth and ITSOKTOCRY. SFCB was heavily involved in the creation of logos and artwork for both Peep and Yunggoth, including the creation of the music video for “cocaine shawty” – the opening track on the EP. 

Peep’s mom, Liza Womack, shared with the world on his official Instagram page the importance and meaning behind the release of “cocaine shawty,” “coke” and “lick.” The post included the EP’s cover —  a hand-drawn picture of Yunggoth and Peep smoking in a pile of money surrounded by flames —  with the compilation’s title “Friends” bordered with three bats. 

“Gus [Lil Peep] lived with Yunggoth for many months — in Denver, Pasadena, Skid Row, Echo Park and London (briefly),” Womack said in the post. “Throughout that time, Gus only said positive things about him to me and our family. In fact, when Gus was home in September 2016, he bought a monogrammed stuffed unicorn, and gave directions for me to mail it so Yunggoth would receive it. Goth was an integral part of Gus’s life. It was clear Gus cared very much for him.” 

Photo provided by altpress @AltPress/Twitter

The first track, “cocaine shawty,” is an SFCB production that showcases Peep’s beginning and fresh sound, where his voice is often drowned out by the heightened hip-hop beats. Highlighted here is the theme of indulging in various illicit substances and one-night stands. The corresponding music video features Yunggoth and Peep partying alone together in what appears to be a bedroom, dancing, flexing their money and binge drinking. Filmed by Quiet Cam, the video is low budget and low quality, as most of older Peep and GothBoiClique’s videos were. This put emphasis on the actual song and the duo’s friendship, rather than focusing on a visual experience or story. 

“coke” is perhaps the most popular amongst the tracks, currently holding 10,409,327 streams on Spotify – the largest of the collection. It is a 2016 collaboration between the duo, produced by the famous underground producer SLIGHT. The lyrics, “Hellboy, Hellboy, pull up and they smell, boy” directly nod to Peep’s 2016 album “HELLBOY.” However, the track clearly didn’t make the cut for the album. It is softer than the other two, consisting of light guitar melodies, with a more calm approach in the overall vocals. Rather than focusing on a deeper meaning within the lyrics, “coke” accents its beats and instrumentals, as well as the overall flows and rhythms of the chorus. 

“lick” concludes the compilation, while serving as the more random and avant-garde-like track on the EP. Written and recorded in London, the song relies heavily on the spontaneous friendship Peep and Yunggoth shared. Evident in Peep’s verse, “Six Xans in my hand then I put ‘em in my mouth,” the track pertains to the normalcy of drug abuse and depression shared throughout his previous songs, suggesting the duo had that in common. Though the song doesn’t necessarily flow as well as the previous two, it features a more honest tone accompanied by dubstep bass thumps, fully grasping the idea that this was produced for fun by two guys wanting to create something for both of them to enjoy. 

This track was originally previewed on Yunggoth’s Instagram livestream in Sept. 2018 due to Columbia Records ownership over the piece. During the livestream, the rapper expressed his frustration over the rights of “lick,” denoting that the record label can release the song “Falling Down” in collaboration with XXXtentacion despite the fact Peep never knew him or worked with him, but they can’t release a track with someone who was actually Peep’s close friend. 

“Friends” is the third EP released this year on Spotify by Peep’s estate. They are evidently set on keeping his memory alive, allowing fans to stream both new and familiar unreleased songs. This three-track collection details his relationship with Yunggoth, while simultaneously following his evolution from the start of his career to the end. Beginning with a more experimental tone and ending with Peep’s priority of maintaining unbreakable friendships, “Friends” serves as a beautiful reminder of the duo’s bond and exemplifies Peep’s unique, inventive approach to creating music. 

McKenzie Boney is an Entertainment Staff Writer. She can be reached at mboney@uci.edu