By DONNA BALANCIA
LiL Peep documentary “Everybody’s Everything” takes viewers into the personal and sweet story behind the rise of a revered and revolutionary alt-poet musician. It is a heartbreaking look at the short life of LiL Peep, a multifaceted artist who didn’t have it in his heart to say “no” to friends. And in the end, that may have been his undoing.
That is what a slew of executive producers, including Peep’s mother in particular, wants to world to know. Mom Liza Womack joined forces with heavy hitters including the renowned Terrence Malick and Sarah Sennett of First Access Entertainment to bring this film to the screen and which is running on Netflix.
It’s a good mark for the online content purveyor as the quality of this film exceeds expectations in many ways, in particular, there is a vast amount of home-movie clips from Peep’s childhood that makes for emotional reflection.
The Long Beach, Long Island born-and-bread Gus Åhr considered himself an outcast at his school, as is common in many narratives for stories about great musicians. The social isolation is a double-edged sword in these days of living on the Internet, as technology played a major role in what would turn out to be an extremely creative and notable career for Peep. His shooting videos out of boredom with his high school girlfriend was one of the first big moves into a career that was launched online.
The film capitalizes on the natural good-naturedness of Peep, whose truthful brown eyes belie a range of emotional issues and inner conflict with insecurities. In the film it is clear that his father’s absence played a role in Peep’s issues, but there is a sense that something more sinister than merely his dad’s cheating on the mom is ever present.
But LiL Peep has the undying devotion of his progressive grandfather, Jack, who narrates the film and expresses his concerns to Peep throughout the film, rendering sage advice in letters he writes as his grandson grows personally and professionally. Grandpa Jack is John Womack, a Marxist historian. And despite Grandpa’s letters, Peep’s issues persist.
“If you meet me in real life, I am not very confident and I have insecurities,” Peep says in the film.
Peep died on November 15, 2017.
His manager, Chase Ortega, says he knew of the personal challenges Peep was trying to overcome, but he puts it very plainly that his client was too giving to his friends, both genuine and fake.
“There were times when he’d be like ‘I don’t want people in my place,’ but he didn’t ask them to leave,” Ortega says.
Girlfriends, friends and those close were worried for him with some saying that he often seemed uncomfortable in his own house. While friends say he was always joking and making a joke out of everything and was on the surface a lighthearted guy, others were worried.
Peep was a creative and beautiful spirit who caught the attention of Sennett, co founder and CEO at First Access Entertainment, who brought a sense of stability and maturity into the star’s life. She is clearly one of the few who knew of Peep’s struggles.
“You have to get out of LA,” she told him, and welcomed and promoted him when he came to London and went to work in the world of fashion.
“I wanted him to roll into fashion week,” Sennett said — and roll they did. In the film, there is compelling B-roll of fashion shows in which Peep participates and it’s clear there was indeed another side to this beloved musician. It’s almost as if there are two different people in the same body as “Gus” appears to emerge on the runways of Europe, and Peep, with mic in hand and shirtless sings to the crowd at venues like LA’s own Echo.
The inevitable ending to this shining star comes all too soon for his fans and for viewers of the film.
Gunpowder and Sky presents in Association w First Access Entertainment and Liza Womack
Directed by Sebastian Jones and Ramez Silyan