There are a very select few people who truly make a lasting impression with their music, and I think it’s safe to say that almost none of these artists or musicians made a mark at such a young age that was even remotely as massive as Lil Peep. He legitimately changed the way the new age approached music and he paved the way for artists to be themselves no matter what people might think of them. While uncertainties and insecurities are abundant throughout his music, this helped connect with fans on a more personal level unlike most people are able to do with their music, and it’s part of the reason why Peep is so dearly missed after his extremely untimely passing.
HELLBOY is possibly my favorite all-time project from the artist and I don’t think that’s an unpopular opinion amongst fans, so when I saw that his estate worked hard to get the project on all streaming services just in time for its fourth anniversary, I’ve been revisiting it daily ever since. Not only does it take me back and help me realize just how incredible of a mixtape it was, but it also breathes new life into the project that is going to help Peep’s legacy continue to last for decades to come, but honestly, probably even longer than that. After less than a week after this tape was rejuvenated on streaming platforms, his team also decided to drop off a brand-new music video for the project’s titular song “Hellboy”.
Teaming up with Director Paul John, we are given some actual footage from a video shoot that Peep intentionally shot for this track, and that makes it more special than anything I could have ever expected. Knowing that there can’t be too much more footage that Peep actually recorded specifically for music videos, seeing him actually recite the words to the song makes you feel as if he’s still here with us, and that makes it immensely more powerful than anything I was expecting considering many posthumous visuals use a majority of on-stage and behind the scene clips to occupy the time.
In the statement that Paul John released along with the video, he described how the shoot came together, going into detail about how Gus flew all the way from Russia to Chicago to get right into shooting this miniature movie, sleeping in the studio, and eventually going straight to his show the following night. As the video opens, Peep has his hands on his head, looking out the barred window into the distance from a dimly lit room. You can tell how old this footage was because of his characteristic pink and black long hair that he had eventually shaved later on in his career.
As the song starts up, Doves are perched on top of a light fixture before flying around the small room at times, coupling with his Crybaby tattoo and the theme of his prior mixtape perfectly. When he begins to recite his words, natural, blue light from outside comes through the window and clashes with yellow, artificial lights that exude from a light behind the camera. While this is pretty much the only setting used, different camera angles, lights, smoke, and slow-motion effects create a perfect display of the remarkable record. Despite all of these things, Peep’s individualistic aesthetic and persona shines through more than anything else, which is the most important thing, in my opinion.
As with every single other Peep fan, I can’t help but get depressed thinking about all the potential he had at such a young age. The music he left behind for us is still some of the most passionate, emotional, and inventive music I’ve personally ever heard, and it has helped me get through so much, as it has done for millions of other fans as well. Although Peep might not be here physically anymore, his influence and legacy continue to inspire artists of all kinds, and without his influence, the music industry in general just simply wouldn’t be the same. I’m beyond ecstatic that HELLBOY is on all streaming services now because it’s long overdue and I’ve enjoyed going back and revisiting every single song since this happened, so whether you’ve been doing the same or not, you’re not going to want to miss out on the remarkable new visual for the mixtape’s opening song “Hellboy”.
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