A posthumous collaboration between Lil Peep and XXXTentacion has been released, albeit not without some controversy. Stream "Falling Down" above.
The fairly straightforward track primarily focuses on a repetitive chorus by both rappers and a spoken word interlude by XXXTentacion about the death of Lil Peep. The composition follows in the footsteps of their prior work, continuing the "emo-rap" formula both artists helped bring to the mainstream consciousness — a hip-hop beat over guitars reminiscent of '90s emo. It comes following both of their untimely deaths, Peep dying at age 21 from a drug overdose and XXXTentacion at age 20 from gunshots.
Initially created as a collaboration titled "Sunlight On Your Skin" between Lil Peep and Atlanta rapper iLoveMakonnen, XXXTentacion appears on the track as a result of his interest in the project before his death. In an XXL interview, Makonnen explained:
It came together from me and Lil Peep’s session in London when we were working on our album there… [XXXTentacion] had heard the snippet on YouTube and he wanted to be a part of it and he recorded some parts to it. [XXXTentacion] 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 [XXXTentacion] 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.
However, Peep's friends/collaborators Fish Narc and Lil Tracy have expressed doubt about whether he would approve of an association with XXXTentacion, who had consistently faced backlash and legal trouble throughout his career for a number of incidents including assault and domestic abuse.
“Peep never heard the Triple X feature, cause it didn’t get made until after he was gone,” Fish Narc stated on a story posted to his Instagram. “He explicitly rejected Triple X for his abuse of women. He spent time and money getting Triple X’s songs removed from his Spotify playlist and wouldn’t have co-signed that song." Lil Tracy concurred in a promptly-deleted tweet, stating "they was never even friends didn't even like each other" [sic].
In the same XXL interview, Makonnen shared that the mothers of the two artists helped to get the track finished and released.
I definitely think it was like the mothers' wish... I think it's something both the mothers have in common. Both losing children who were both influential in music. One wanted to big up the other one before he passed. The mothers have the final say because these are their children at the end of the day. I think they're doing it bigger for more of the fans as well than just for themselves. I think it's gonna bring some closure to everybody with some healing. I think that's definitely what the mothers need.
Two of the breakthrough stars of 2017 are gone, but their music will live on.