In the Northern Hemisphere, this past week marked the start of Autumn, the beginning of letting go. In the Southern Hemisphere, it marked the start of Spring, a time of rebirth. And during this week, “Falling Down” by Lil Peep and XXXTentacion was released posthumously.
During a week of such significant meaning, it only seems fitting that we are gifted with an incredibly poignant piece by these fallen musicians. Through their musical talents spanning many genres and styles, both of these musicians left an undeniable mark on music, and an even larger mark on the more difficult questions in life.
Almost a year ago, Lil Peep overdosed and passed away.
Just a few months ago, XXXTentacion was shot and killed.
Before their deaths, these men both bestowed a unique contribution upon the music world. For Lil Peep, this was the revival of emo rap. For XXXTentacion, it was the melding of punk and rap. And for both, it was the awareness they brought to mental health through their music.
With these posthumous releases, we’re reminded of the incredible musical talent they both had, and the lasting impact they continue to have.
A perfect representation of both of their musical styles, “Falling Down” by XXXTentacion and Lil Peep was created as a sort of testament to Lil Peep by XXXTentacion. Aside from the music itself, the song features a recording of XXXTentacion discussing Lil Peep and his death, ruminating on how “It’s unfortunate because it’s like, yo, when people die, that’s when we like ’em, you know? ‘Cause your remorse kinda makes you check ’em out.”
Though originally recorded as a response to Lil Peep’s death, XXXTentacion’s words seem almost prophetic, seemingly predicting the response to his own death as well. Following each of their deaths, Lil Peep and XXXTentacion experienced an exponential rise in popularity– both of their music climbing the charts in an absolutely unprecedented manner.
And while the lives they lived were certainly different, this song reminds us of the commonalities in life, and even more so in death. Through Lil Peep’s struggles with addiction and XXXTentacion’s history of violence, the one constant they both had was their music. And so, in death, that is what we remember Lil Peep and XXXTentacion by– the music.
Through these two incredible musicians, we see the demons that often take hold in life, and though we may never understand these demons, they show us how music can give us just a little more clarity about it all. These songs serve as poignant reminders of not only the transience of life, but the everlasting power of music.
Though we let go of their earthly bodies, we experience their rebirth through the music that lives on.