It should have been Tracy
No figure is perhaps more infamous in the SoundCloud universe then Lil Tracy. While many know him as the collaborator of Lil Peep and member of Thraxxhouse and GothBoiClique, Lil Tracy’s personal life outside of music is still largely a mystery.
Some incorrectly assumed Tracy was born to a host of aliens from another world but his government documents report him as the offspring of two incredibly talented musicians. His father, Ishmael Butler, was apart of the hip-hop group Digital Planets and his mother, Cheryl Clemens, was a well known RnB singer in the 1990’s. A look deeper into his father’s discography reveals his father is quite similar to his son, both are known as innovators and experimenters with a flair for style and ethereal flows. Both men have also spoken publicly about the impact of spiritually intense situations upon their lives which caused them to evolve as people and musicians.
While growing up in Virginia with his mother, Tracy began creating music under the aliases Souljawitch and Yung Bruh. He would have continued under the moniker of Yung Bruh but there was already an artist published as Yung Bruh whom owned the rights to the name. However, in a strike of fate, he then received a Tracy McGrady jersey from a member in GothBoiClique and quickly adopted the name “Tracy”.
Now living in LA, Tracy then met up with Horsehead, Nedarb, and ColdHart and began to be instantly recognized in the underground scene for his perfectly cut mustache and Hello-Kitty attire. It was in LA, Tracy also met Peep for the first time and created White Tee which launched both of their careers into the limelight. “White Tee” would go on to become the first of many songs Peep and Tracy would create together. However, despite their lengthily discography, the song which would eventually put Peep and Tracy on the BillBoard charts, Awful Things, almost never happened.
Soon after Lil Peep released Hellboy and CryBaby, Tracy began to distance himself from both Peep and GBC, ultimately deciding to longer collaborate with Peep. The breakup fundamentally shook the underground. Many have speculated why the split occurred: some posit it’s because Tracy felt Peep had ran off with his sound without properly crediting him, others say the rift between them was due to Tracy just being off one and moody.
However, when Peep told him it would be the last song they made together, Tracy relented. That song ended up being Awful Things, which in my opinion isn’t their greatest song but is certainly their most commercially popular one. If Tracy had not touched the song, it would never have become Peep’s only BillBoard appearance. The two were iconic collaborators but despite Tracy’s contributions and collaborations with Peep, he is still routinely overlooked as simply “the guy next to Peep”.
Today, a lot has changed for Tracy. During August of 2018 Tracy experienced a minor heart attack after mistakenly drinking fake lean which sent him into the hospital. Since then, he has been focused on his new SINNER EP in his Brooklyn apartment and is beginning to overcome his health problems as well as Peep’s recent death. His recent songs such as Heart and 10Racks, which may or may not be loosies off the EP, are modern day love songs but he also claps back at his haters, letting everyone who “wants the old Tracy” know he is never coming back. Typically love had been his crutch, his escape from worldly and drug-induced problems but on his recent singles he sings about how both women and drugs have become sources of anxiety.
On the song “10Racks!” Tracy can be seen rocking pink hair and eating a frozen Spongebob popsicle. Despite Tracy’s eccentricities, this new look may actually be an ode to Peep whom Tracy commonly referred to his “twin”. The pink hair is similar to the iconic image of Lil Peep on the cover of HellBoy.
Yet despite Peep and Tracy’s close and sometimes rocky relationship, Tracy continues to be overlooked. It should be Tracy on Peep’s new song, “Falling down”, not XXXTENTACION. Anyone even slightly familiar with the underground would have instantly known that Peep’s audience were dying to hear another Peep and Tracy song. No-one asked for this fabricated and obvious money grab with X - someone Peep probably didn’t truly appreciate due to his homophobia. If Peep was still around I know for a fact he would have wanted Tracy on the song instead.
Regardless, Tracy is certainly evolving and certainly close to reaching his final form which cannot be overpowered or held back. We are in midst of watching his former selves coalesce into an undeniably impressive fusion of witchcraft, love, and drugs. Even after Peep’s passing and a heart attack - nothing is holding back the young artist. He is still pushing forward and making some of his best artwork despite the on-going noise surrounding his life. The newer songs off SINNER aren’t depressing, we as listeners can hear him celebrating his victory over his demons. Tracy is brutally honesty and intimate with his fans, which is why he is consistently loved, endeared, and embraced by those who support him despite his sometimes bizarre behavior.