“Awful Things” by Lil Peep

Discussing this artist’s output has become something of a minefield, at least among those who have a decent respect for the dead, due to his tragically young death a couple of years ago. And while, as a critic, I have to be honest and say I don’t think this track is completely successful or even really a “good song” in the conventional sense of the word, I do think it showed an enormous amount of potential that would be tragically snuffed out by this Rapper’s early passing.

After all, what this song reminds me of more than anything else is the singles from Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory album. And while those singles (particularly “Crawling”) haven’t really aged all that well, they did feature genuinely interesting sonic textures and a sincerity to their melodrama that made them hard to dismiss, and the very same qualities are apparent in this song.

And remember, Linkin Park would go on to make multiple masterpiece-level albums later in their career, and I could totally have seen Lil Peep undergoing the same kind of artistic progress had he lived. The music he made while he was alive may have been deeply flawed, but it had all the earmarks of the early-career teething errors of a future musical genius, and it’s heartbreaking that we’ll never know what this young man could have achieved in a better world.

Verdict: Not entirely successful, but legitimately interesting, and hinting at a potential that will now sadly always be one of popular music’s great unanswered questions.

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