It’s been three years since the untimely demise of Lil Peep and it still doesn’t feel quite real. It was difficult to know Lil Peep. You could say he was sad or depressed, he had a lot of tattoos, he sang and rapped about drugs — but ultimately, he died tragically young. Initially released by Peep on SoundCloud, Hellboy is the mixtape that propelled the late rapper to mainstream popularity. Serving as a milestone in the genre of emo rap, Peep incorporated post-hardcore and indie rock elements on the mixtape and self-released it for free. Today, fans are gifted with the re-release of the mixtape on its fourth anniversary.
Uploaded in September 2016, Hellboy is the masterpiece of Lil Peep’s lifetime. The mixtape is filled with suicidal declarations, heavy drug use, and moments of delight and impulse. All the while, Peep hid the reasons for his behavior from the listener. “I ain’t gonna lie, Imma keep it real, I don’t wanna tell you how I feel,” he sang on “Fucked Up,” at once revealing and concealing the truth.
Hellboy paints the portrait of a young person who is bursting open with emotion, trying to share his experiences as vividly as he can while covering all the formative scars that still ache. It is heartless and bold— the sound of someone testing out the entire spectrum of feeling for the very first time. It is a memorable artifact that brings you as close as possible to Lil Peep.
Apart from Lil Peep, who served as one of the producers on the mixtape, Hellboy has been produced by some of the best up and coming modern Hip Hop producers namely Brobak, Charlie Shuffler, Cian P, Dirty Vans, Horse Head, NEDARB, Smokeasac and Yung Cortex.
While there are still questions that may remain unanswered about this piece of art, this is still one of Peep’s best. Rest in peace!