Every week, a slew of new music videos hits the web. Watching them at your desk is not time theft because you deserve it; think of it as a nice reward for surviving another work week. But what if you don’t have time to watch every video — maybe you have a deadline, a hungry pet, or other grown-up concerns. In consideration of your schedule, Lizzie and Kaitlyn bring you a series called One Video. Each week we’ll tell you “one video” you need to watch, why, and for how long.
This Week’s Video: “Awful Things” by Lil Peep
Kaitlyn: Let’s see, what do you have going for you this morning? A rainy Friday, the end of summer, whatever personal nightmares you are dealing with. Oh no.
But you also have a song and video that goes with all of that! Lil Peep’s “Awful Things” is about the inadvisable decision to pop a ton of unidentifiable pills and take all of your stuffed animals to school with you, then light yourself on fire. Was there any competition in the One Video contest this week? No, none at all.
Lizzie: Seriously none! Thank Gosh for Lil Peep, who also dropped his debut album Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1 this week, when it wasn’t even supposed to come out until September. The fans have no patience and he knows it.
Who is Lil Peep?
Kaitlyn: Lil Peep is a 20-year-old Katy Perry fan from Long Island who tattooed his girlfriend’s name on his body the day after they met, plays the trombone, and has 600,000 Instagram followers.
He is what happens when you cross early 2000s pop-punk with mumble rap, or Jared Leto with one of those teddy bears that gets tied to the front of a Mack truck. In this video, he writes “MEET ME IN THE BATHROOM” on a chalkboard 40 times, presumably a reference to a Strokes song from 2003. He has bleach-blonde hair, which he explained to Pitchfork as a reference to My Chemical Romance circa 2006. He is like something designed in a lab to appeal to every nostalgic or nihilistic impulse of cry babies our age. And he has “cry baby” tattooed on his face.
Lizzie: Lil Peep is appealing because he takes the sounds of Brand New and Avenged Sevenfold (literally, he samples them) that were once so appealing to misunderstood teens, but he’s a little bit weirder and cooler than those bands — if you ignore his My Chemical Romance style inspo.
He’s a “rapper” in the same way like, Evanescence are rappers? He’s not, really, but he does say he was inspired by SoundCloud rap and he puts his songs on SoundCloud, so I feel like that’s partially how he got the rap label. He told Pitchfork his music is “a whole new thing.” Nice.
What’s special about “Awful Things” by Lil Peep:
Kaitlyn: The chorus of the song is “Bother me / tell me awful things,” which is lovely and a twisted little joy to say out loud. That’s pretty special. Are there usually hot dog men on fire in your place of education or work? That’s “special,” if not entirely pleasant. Also, teen angst is special, and feels good to slip into. At first, watching this video, I thought, “Did I leave a Spotify window open? Is it haunted? Is Tyson Ritter back in my life after all these years and all those stints on network television?” That was special.
Lizzie: In a statement about the video, Lil Peep’s creative lead Sus Boy said, “High school is hell, but that feels like heaven to Peep.” Lil Peep dropped out of high school, and this surreal, Heathers-y version of it is better than the real thing. There are hot dogs on their uniforms.
How long everyone should watch “Awful Things” by Lil Peep:
Kaitlyn: Watch until the rainbow. It is at the end, obviously. I’m not trying to hand you a stupid metaphor for your rainy Friday, but it’s out of my control.
And no, you can’t just skip ahead to the rainbow part, and yes, I’m leaning into the stupid metaphor now!
Lizzie: Lil Peep and I have the same initials. Watch the whole thing!