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"FALLING DOWN" SPEAKS TO A LEGACY LOST

The posthumous new collaboration “Falling Down” (Columbia) is a highly compelling, truly heartbreaking release on so many levels; beginning with its inadvertent status as an instant, stark reminder of some of the most stringent challenges facing young people today—the most prevailing issues being the perils of drug addiction and gun violence. Causes of death, respectively, of Lil Peep and XXXTentacion, born Gustav Ahr and Jahseh Onfroy.

But this recording also succeeds in highlighting the magnitude of loss artistically, and judging by the immediate response from fans, that acute sadness still surrounding these stunted legacies. “Falling Down” shot to #2 at iTunes within hours of its release. (Check this clip of audio from the session as well.)

During their short lifetimes, both Peep and X were on the leading edges of a whole generation of talent unceremoniously lumped together as one burgeoning new movement dubbed “SoundCloud Rap”—a descriptor affixed to them simply due to the fact that it was one of the platforms they used to reach an audience independently. (Instagram was the other.)

But both were deeply driven to be genre-defying artists in their own right and hovered way above a majority of that pack sonically, in their own respective ways, inhabiting a unique blend that was rooted more in the emo melodies of old-school alt rock and punk than being particularly tethered to the more traditional constructs of rap. Both artists delivered fiercely experimental, demo-rough, lo-fi fusions that were courageously conceived. That may ultimately be their greatest musical contribution as a new generation is clinging to—and rediscovering anew—their brief discographies. 

“Falling Down” co-writer ILoveMakonnen, who was central to this song’s creation back when the first iteration was entitled “Sunlight on Your Skin,” told XXL of the collaboration, “It came together from me and Lil Peep’s session in London when we were working on our album there… X had heard the snippet on YouTube and he wanted to be a part of it…he recorded some parts to it. [X] ended up passing away, and his mom and his family were reaching out to Peep’s management and everybody saying the song was something that [X] was very passionate about before he passed and he would really like to be a part of this and [asked] if we could make this happen. So I was like, ‘Sure.’ That’s what me and Peep were making music for, to bring people together.”

With an undetermined amount of unreleased music sitting in the vaults by both artists, are these two uniquely poised to influence a whole new wave, posthumously?

“We’re all on the same mission of just wanting to make good music. That’s hopefully what we did with this record,” ILoveMakonnen explains.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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