more than 5 years after their deaths, XXXTentacion and Lil Peep have each released a posthumous project – Purebreak

It’s Friday September 8, 2023 and American rappers are XXXTentacion And Lil Peep have each just released a project, respectively the EP “ItWasntEnough” and the joint album with ILoveMakonnen “Diamonds”. However, the first was shot and killed on June 18, 2018 at the age of 20 while the second died of an overdose when he was barely 21 years old. So why are these projects seeing the light of day now, more than five years after their disappearance?

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Different approaches depending on the artists

Before leaving far too soon, the two artists were becoming rising figures in the American rap scene, establishing themselves as ambassadors of emo-rap, with each having inherited lo-fi influences. from their beginnings on the SoundCloud platform, when it still allowed rappers to operate in complete freedom in terms of their artistic creation and to make themselves known to the public.

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Thus, they recorded numerous pieces and, after their tragic disappearances, it was their relatives who inherited the artists’ musical catalogs. And they are the ones who can make all the decisions on this subject. Families and entourages therefore decided to publish several posthumous projects with a mess of EPs, mixtapes, reissues, albums and even compilations. Everything is good to maintain the musical news of rappers, as long as there are still studio scraps to exploit. And even if the quality isn’t always there, that’s not really the issue. For comparison, Mac Miller in the United States or Nepal in France each had the right to only one posthumous album, completely finalized before their disappearance, and their discographies have remained intact since.

A juicy but questionable business

In the case of XXXTentacion and Lil Peep, the meaning of the approach begins to be questioned. And this from the beginning, as the title illustrated Falling Down at the end of 2018. It was a collaborative piece by the two artists even though… they never met during their lifetime! Not sure that the rappers would have accepted such a process before their premature deaths.

However, the initiative is a success and records numerous listenings with, at the end of the day, income generated by streaming and sales. Just like the accounts of the two artists on streaming platforms, who have become sort of post-mortem generational icons. In particular XXXTentacion who, although he was a scumbag who beat up his pregnant girlfriend, has many songs over a billion (!) plays on Spotify to date.

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And as the releases of these new records attest, it still seems profitable. Those close to us continue to exploit the smallest possible musical materials and, beyond the obvious ethical aspect, this raises many questions, including the main one: can we still talk about tributes to these rappers? Five years later, it’s starting to get a little big and the possible original interest in saluting their memories seems somewhat flouted for commercial purposes.

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