Gustav Elijah Åhr (November 1, 1996 – November 15, 2017), known professionally as Lil Peep, was an American-Swedish rapper, singer, and songwriter. He was known for being part of a "post-emo revival style of hip-hop".
Lil Peep in August 2016
|Born||Gustav Elijah Åhr
November 1, 1996
Allentown, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Died||November 15, 2017 (aged 21)
Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
|Cause of death||Fentanyl-Xanax overdose|
|Other names||Lil Bo Peep|
|Origin||Long Beach, New York, U.S.|
|Associated acts||Lil Tracy|
Gustav Elijah Åhr was born on November 1, 1996, in Allentown, Pennsylvania to first grade teacher Liza Womack and college professor Karl Johan Åhr and grew up on Long Island, New York. His parents were both Harvard graduates who divorced when he was a teenager. He had Swedish, German and Irish ancestry.
Åhr attended Lindell Elementary School and then Long Beach High School in Lido Beach, New York, which he rarely attended in spite of good grades and was on the deans list for the time he attended. He later dropped out of the high school and took online courses to earn his diploma. Shortly thereafter, he began posting his music on YouTube and SoundCloud.
When Åhr was 17, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music, under the pseudonym Lil Peep. After moving to Los Angeles, Åhr attended Glendale Community College in Pasadena, California.
In 2015, Lil Peep released his first mixtape, Lil Peep Part One, which generated 4,000 plays in its first week. Shortly thereafter, he released his first extended play, Feelz, and another mixtape, Live Forever. The following year, Peep released two full-length mixtapes; Crybaby and Hellboy.
In May 2017, the band Mineral accused Peep of copyright infringement for including an unlicensed and uncredited sample of their song "LoveLetterTypewriter" in his "Hollywood Dreaming" track. Peep said that he was only trying to "show some love" with the sample. One month later, Peep announced his debut album, Come Over When You're Sober, via Instagram. The album was given the release date of August 11, 2017. After a slight delay, the album was released on August 15, 2017. Peep announced a Come Over When You're Sober tour to promote the album. The tour began on August 2, 2017, and was scheduled to end on November 17, 2017, but was cut short by two days due to his death.
Due to Peep's prolific work rate, a number of songs and projects were completed prior to his death. The first official posthumous release arrived within twenty-four hours of his death as videographer Wiggy released the official video for "Sixteen Lines". On January 12, 2018, Marshmello officially released a collaboration entitled "Spotlight". The subsequent video for "Spotlight" was released on February 12, 2018. On January 15, 2018, Juicy J officially released "Got 'Em Like", which featured Lil Peep and Wiz Khalifa. On January 27, 2018, SoundCloud rapper Teddy released a song collaboration with Lil Peep entitled "Dreams & Nightmares".
Lil Peep was described as a "cloud rapper", "SoundCloud rapper", and an "emo rapper" as well as lo-fi rap. New York Times music critic Jon Caramanica defined Peep as the Kurt Cobain of lo-fi rap and described his music as gloomy and diabolically melodic. Peep's music generally drew on both Southern rap and the angsty introspection of the rock subgenre post-hardcore. He said that he wanted to become the "New Kurt Cobain". AllMusic described his music as a blend of hip hop and rock influences along with trap, punk, and dream pop.
Peep's music contains lyrical themes regarding topics such as depression, drug use, past relationships, and suicidal thoughts. He had been described as the future of emo by Steven J. Horowitz of online magazine Pitchfork. Before the release of his first album, he mentioned Kurt Cobain, David Bowie, Frank Ocean and Riff Raff as inspirations, and wanted to be known as the "Kurt Cobain of Rap". His other musical influences include Gucci Mane, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Crystal Castles, Seshollowaterboyz, Rozz Dyliams, My Chemical Romance and Panic! at the Disco. His songs have sampled such artists as Blink-182, Pierce the Veil, Brand New, Radiohead, Underoath, Three Days Grace, Avenged Sevenfold, Slayer, The Postal Service, Oasis and The Microphones.
Åhr played the trombone and tuba and expressed an interest in music and fashion from a young age. Åhr regularly referenced addictions to cocaine, ecstasy and Xanax in his lyrics and posts on social media, where he described himself as a "productive junkie" and advised his audience to avoid drug use. Åhr came out as bisexual in a Twitter post in August 2017.
On November 15, 2017, Åhr was found dead on his tour bus when his manager went to check on him in preparation for that night's performance at a Tucson, Arizona venue. Foul play was not suspected, with his death believed to be from an overdose. On December 8, the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner released details from a toxicology report, certifying the cause of death was an accidental overdose due to the effects of the pain medications fentanyl and alprazolam. Blood tests tested positive for marijuana, cocaine and the painkiller Tramadol. Urine tests also showed the presence of multiple powerful opiates, including Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Oxycodone and Oxymorphone. There was no alcohol in his system.
In a series of Instagram posts in the hours leading up to his death, Åhr claimed to have ingested psilocybin mushrooms and marijuana concentrate. In another, he claimed to have consumed six Xanax pills following a video depicting his attempts to drop an unidentified pill into his mouth several times before successfully swallowing one and shaking a full prescription bottle. A subsequent post was captioned "When I die, you'll love me."
In the days after his death, a police report revealed that Åhr had taken a nap around 5:45 p.m. before the concert. His manager checked on him twice and found him sleeping and breathing fine, but was unable to wake him. When the manager checked on Åhr a third time, he was unresponsive and not breathing. Åhr's manager performed CPR before medics arrived, though he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Numerous artists in the music industry paid tribute to Åhr following his death, including Diplo, Post Malone, Pete Wentz, Marshmello, Zane Lowe, ASAP Nast, Rich Brian, Playboi Carti, Lil Uzi Vert, Bella Thorne, Sam Smith, Lil Pump, Mark Ronson, Trippie Redd, and El-P. Jon Caramanica, a music critic for the New York Times, held a special remembrance podcast episode to honor Peep following his death which was released on November 22, 2017. Good Charlotte also honored Lil Peep, releasing a cover of "Awful Things", which was shown at his memorial in Long Beach, New York on December 2, 2017. Three Days Grace paid tribute by posting a video on Instagram and Twitter of a remix of Peep's song "Witchblades" featuring Lil Tracy. The remixed song's beat was a slowed down instrumental track of the band's song, "The Real You". On March 13, 2018, Åhr's childhood friend and fellow musical artist Brennan Savage released a song and video entitled "Reflection" about dealing with his untimely passing.
|Title||Album details||Peak chart positions|
|Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 1||38||3||16||13|
|Title||Year||Peak chart positions||Album|
|"Benz Truck (гелик)"||2017||—||—||—||Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 1|
(featuring Lil Tracy)
|"Benz Truck (Pt. 2)"||—||—||—|
|"Save That Shit"||—||97||—|