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Movie Review: Lil Peep’s passion lives on

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Jocelyn Arceo
Arts Editor

Lil Peep was a star from the start, and everyone who gravitated toward him knew the potential he held before his unfortunate death in 2017. 

“Everybody’s Everything,” a documentary journey through Lil Peep’s life, music and struggles directed by Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan opened Tuesday in select theaters.

The film begins with a voiceover from his grandfather, John Womack, reading letters he had wrote to Peep when he was a young boy, told over various family photographs and home films displaying his youth.

Throughout the film you hear his grandfather read from several different letters, all of which held wisdom and advice for a young Peep as he grew older.

Through these letters, the tenderness in his grandfather’s voice and the compassion in his words, it became quite clear who inspired Peep to be such a kind, gentle, loving and giving soul. 

In a chronological fashion, viewers are shown the way in which Peep rose to frame from the ground up in a very short amount of time.

Commentary from important figures in his life such as Lil Tracy, Bexey, Smokeasac, JGRXXN, GHOSTEMANE, ILoveMakonnen, Nedarb, past ex-girlfriends Emma Harris and Layla Shapiro and others gave personal accounts of who Lil Peep was and what it was like to witness his quick rise to fame. 

With each interview, his ability to persevere, inspire and create no matter the circumstance truly shines through.

His mother Liza Womack details Peep’s difficulty in finding his path throughout high school, claiming he would come home crying about the way his friends’ parents would not allow them around him due to his lifestyle choices.

Eventually Peep found his way, and she explains how every night she could hear him singing in his bedroom making music all night long. 

Harris explained in the film that the only way she could get him outside of the house when they were younger was by promising to help him make his own music videos.

He had a passion for the music he was creating, and that passion is conveyed in this film as it shows his dedication to his art.

He merged emo music with trap music, alternative music with rap.

He bridged a gap between genres that no one had done before, creating something new that is going to live forever. 

Footage portrayed his determination for making music whenever he got the chance as viewers got to see first hand the way Peep would record on whatever microphone he and his crew could get their hands on as they were drifting through California living off of each other’s combined efforts.

With his talent, Peep went from sleeping on the floors of overcrowded Airbnbs to selling out tours overseas and walking runways during fashion week, something his management team expressed in the film that they knew he was capable of doing from the start. 

Although Peep inspired a whole generation of kids to be who they wanted to be even if that meant being an outcast, he still suffered from his own personal issues. 

Throughout the film viewers are shown intense moments in which Peep was clearly suffering from substance abuse and clear isolation.

Footage portraying his inability to barely mumble a word into the mic while on stage after heavy drug usage and moments showing Peep off to the side with his head down in a crowded room full of his closest “friends” clearly showed his suffering. 

However, several of those interviewed for the film said he never discussed his struggles with them when they were around. 

His struggles with depression, anxiety and mental illness in general were explicitly apparent through his lyrics.

His lyrics plunged deeper than the surface, and several of those interviewed in the film said it was exactly this vulnerability and honesty that drew so many people to his music. 

However, with his rise in popularity came detrimental effects.

Peep drew individuals in with his pure heart and intentions, however, it was these same people who were constantly providing him with substances to numb out his pain while simultaneously using him for his fame. 

JGRXXN from SCHEMAPOSSE, a group of artists and collaborators that Peep was part of before he joined GOTHBOICLIQUE, says in the film that he is sure at least half of the film’s other interview subjects were the same people cynically using Peep for clout the entire time.

Whether or not that is true, it puts into perspective the fact that when Peep overdosed two years ago it took the tour crew four hours to notice anything was wrong.

It is hard to tell the difference from the outside looking in as to who had a genuine love for Peep and who wanted to use him for his innate stardom, but one thing remains true: Peep was loved, talented and destined for fame. 

This film portrays Peep in a way that should inspire all of us to be who we want to be to the fullest extent. 

He had a love for everyone around him, his positivity radiated even when going through his own personal struggles, and this can be seen throughout the entire 116-minute runtime of the film. 

He gave so much of himself to everyone around him, and no matter how many people would take from him he still offered his whole self regardless. 

The stories told throughout “Everybody’s Everything” provide such an intense look into Peep, I left the theater with tear streaks down my face and a heaviness in my heart that still has not gone away. 

Whether you were a fan or not, his story is one that needs to be heard. 

Jocelyn Arceo can be reached at jocelyn.arceo@laverne.edu.

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