There’s a reason Lil Peep was lauded as the “future of emo” by multiple publications. From the early days of his career, his songs featured a diverse array of scene-bred samples mixed with trap beats and loaded with lyrics that solidified him as a genre-melding force. Before getting the itch to ditch sampling to create original guitar parts in his music, Peep’s tracks gave a nod to some of the artists who inspired him to wear his heart on his neon fur sleeves. Below are eight of them.
“Move On, Be Strong” – Avenged Sevenfold
This track took one of Avenged Sevenfold’s most iconic guitar riffs—the opening notes of “Unholy Confessions” from their 2003 sophomore LP, Waking The Fallen—and put it on a loop. His track begins just like A7X’s with the mind-melting riff before launching into an electro-tinged beat. Typically one to deliver emotional yet steady vocals, Peep amped this one up with the addition of screaming “I’m not comin’ back/Move on/Be strong/Be strong/I’m not comin’ back.”
“The Song They Played (When I Crashed Into The Wall)” (feat. Lil Tracy) – blink-182
Having performed covers of “Dammit” and “I Miss You” as part of his live sets, it’s honestly no surprise that Peep worked a blink-182 track into one of his own songs. If you’re still questioning just how much he truly embraced the genre, look no further than this obscure (even for the biggest of blink fans) sample choice. The band appeared on MTV’s Album Launch for a behind-the-scenes look at their 2003 album, Untitled. In the episode, Tom DeLonge strums an acoustic demo of “The Fallen Interlude,” which was worked into his own song 13 years later.
“Yesterday” – Oasis
If you hear the opening chords of “Wonderwall” and don’t immediately break out into “Today is gonna be the day that they’re gonna throw it back to you,” then are you even human? Peep proved this to be quite true as he sampled the tune. While the iconic instrumental is essentially interwoven throughout the whole song, he took a moment in the first verse to give his own take on the legendary lyrics (“Today is gonna be the day that I’m gonna come back to you/I know, I did a little blow and I never wrote back to you”).
“Driveway” – Real Friends
Peep’s sample of Real Friends’ “I’ve Given Up On You” is rather simple as they mirror from the start. Real Friends expertly relay everything we’re thinking when we want to tell someone we’ve lost faith in them. Peep choosing this track makes total sense as he delivers essentially the same message. With the sample underlying lines such as “Leave it in the driveway, bitch, I’m done” and “Did you learn your lesson?,” it’s crystal clear just how over it he really is.
“Love Letter” – Saosin
Peep strips it down yet again by plucking Saosin’s acoustic demo of “I Can Tell There Was An Accident Here Earlier.” As the powerful, driving strumming kicks off both, it’s clear each track has a similar overarching theme. As Saosin touch on the concept of home (“The Avalon is always beside me/And I’m following it home/Where is my home”), Peep sings about “catch[ing] a flight back” to the one he loves. In turn, both prove that there truly is no place like home.
“The Last Thing I Wanna Do” – The Story So Far
The Story So Far offer up a healthy mix of mosh-ready songs and the perfect soundtrack to crying your heart out alone in your room. In this case, Peep chose the latter, landing on “Navy Blue” from the band’s acoustic Songs Of EP. Peep continues the contrast of slow acoustic jams with electronic beats while borrowing some of the same themes as our favorite bands. While Parker Cannon sings “If it’s something serious/Then hit me up/But until then, the door is shut,” Peep echoes with “I know it’s cold outside/But the last thing I wanna do is let you in.”
“Hellboy” – Underoath
Bands weren’t the only thing Peep mixed into his music. This track starts with a quote (“How strange/So far from his path that I barely see the promise of glory/Can this be him, this Hellboy?”) from Hellboy Animated: Blood And Iron, a character who presumably influenced both this track’s name and the mixtape it came from. Once the epic quote concludes, a sample of Underoath’s “Too Bright To See, Too Loud To Hear” is mixed in. The slow beat contrasts with Peep’s sharp-witted explanation of exactly what he’s been through.
“Skyscrapers (Love Now, Cry Later)” – Death Cab For Cutie
Death Cab For Cutie are quintessential indie, and Peep chose their “Brothers On A Hotel Bed” to sell the sadness in “Skyscrapers.” Ben Gibbard sings of love lost (“’Cause now we say goodnight from our own separate sides/Like brothers on a hotel bed”), which is the same vibe Peep sells as he explains, “She fell in love with the devil, the worst/Love now, cry later, it hurts.” The bridge also makes mention of the girl’s “other plans.” It’s either a common word choice or a sly reference to the sample choice taken from DCFC’s 2005 LP, Plans—you decide.
This piece first appeared in issue 364 and was curated by Rachel Campbell.