Two years ago, Gustav Elijah Åhr, better known under his stage name Lil Peep, tragically passed away. Our Emo-Trap Heart Throb left us all to mourn his untimely death profoundly. Peep left behind a legacy that was larger than he could have ever imagined, ever dreamed. A pioneer, a revivalist to the emo-rap-rock combination of music, Peep was an artist with a uniqueness that was all his own.
American rapper, singer, songwriter, and model, Peep knew how to make us fall in love – using his lyrical dishes, samples that bumped through the speakers perfectly, and a smile to swoon over.
Holding a close bond with his mother, it’s only natural that his name Lil Peep steams from her as her nickname for him was “Peep,” stemming from his big brown eyes. From a young age, he was always interested in music and fashion. He played the tuba and the trombone for most of his childhood. He was a smart kid who did well in school but had little interest in attending. Instead, spending his time focusing on and making music.
The Debut of Lil Peep
Lil Peep began his career posting his music to sites SoundCloud and YouTube. He started to produce a following after releasing several mix-tapes, including Hellboy (2016) and collaborations with Lil Tracy. Naturally, he began to gain a cult-like following of fans. And can we blame them? Nope, we are them. Peep continued to work towards his goals of making music that was relatable and unique to his style debuting with Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1 (2017). Like any proper multiple part release, Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2 exceeded all expectations and landed him with his first US Top 10 Album. He delivered us tracks that he wished would give a voice to the misunderstood like him, those who struggle with depression, relationships, anxiety, suicide, and bullying.
Peep was just like us in many ways, a fan of My Chemical Romance and Panic! At the Disco. His songs, including samples from some of the best to ever do it such as Blink-182, Underoath, Brand New, and Peirce the Veil.
Just in time to celebrate his life this year, on the second anniversary of his death, a documentary, Everybody’s Everything, aired in select theaters. The documentary began with a heartfelt message from Peep’s mother Liza Womack, remembering his life and the effect it had on her, and all of us. Artist like T. Mills and Ghostmane remembered the times working with Peep, and the impact he had on them. It showcased Lil Peep’s road to success, highlighted his goofiness and his gigantic heart. It embraced the eternal love from his beloved grandpa, who always had his back. He loved everyone and just wanted people around him; he wanted to uplift the people he loved with him. Peep believed that everyone deserved it all. He gave and gave until he had nothing left.
Lil Peep was on the verge of star-level fame at the time of his death. His fight with his mental health was the cause of his demise. Sadly, his struggles encouraged his drug usage and his heartbreaking battle. He continually advised his fans against drug use, but he couldn’t seem to stop himself. Exactly two weeks after his 21st birthday, Peep died on November 15th 2017, from an accidental overdose of Fentanyl and Xanax.
Peep saved many with his music, even though he couldn’t save himself. We can only hope that someone will help to carry on his legacy and continue the future of emo. We will remember Peep today and always. The 1975 said it best “Rest in peace Lil Peep; the poetry is in the streets.” We miss and love you, Gus.
Words: Danielle King | Featured Photo: Lil Peep on Facebook