by Allie McGlone
In an Instagram post on Tuesday, Lil Peep wrote below a blurry, blue lit picture of his ink marked lower body, “when i die you’ll love me.”
Lil Peep, whose real name is Gustav Åhr, died Wednesday evening of an overdose just two weeks after his 21st birthday. The up and coming emo rapper had highly publicized struggles with depression and drugs. He was a self-described addict, and often posted images and videos of himself popping pills and snorting cocaine on social media. Although he sought help from those around him, he was unable to prevail against the mental illness and addiction that plagued his body and mind.
Those who were close to him say his soul was pure and compassionate. Lil Peep was known among his fans for his talent, kindness and creativity. As an openly bisexual man, Lil Peep often spoke out about LGBT issues. He took a stand against the degradation and marginalization of women in the music industry. He was also open about his mental health struggles, allowing him to connect more deeply with fans who had similar experiences. Many admired Lil Peep’s willingness to discuss such vital and volatile affairs, and to be so candid about his personal problems.
The rapper released several mixtapes on SoundCloud full of imaginative, dark, boundary-pushing songs. Lil Peep blended the fast paced, confident hip hop and raw, emotional emo genres. His work is known for its slow melodies and thought-provoking lyrics. His songs are interesting, original, and obviously deeply personal to their performer. One line states, “this music’s the only thing keeping the peace when i’m falling to pieces.” Lil Peep’s recent debut album, “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1” is also available on Spotify.
Lil Peep seemed to have premonitions of his own fate. The rapper often spoke and posted about his personal struggles, and predicted that he would die young and in pain. He had the words “die young” tattooed on his forehead, and they were featured in many of his songs. In the days leading up to his death Lil Peep told his followers, “I feel emptyyyyyyyyyyyyy.” In another post, the artist wrote, “maybe I won’t die young and I’ll be happy?” Then he added, “I always have happiness for like 10 seconds and then it’s gone. I’m getting so tired of this.”
Within hours of his death, social media was flooded with tributes to the rapper. Heartbroken followers reacted to the musician’s death with statements of despair and disbelief: “You deserved better.” “I miss u.” “Rest in peace, angel.” “I love you.” Devastation was expressed by those close to the rapper as well. Lil Peep’s girlfriend, Arzaylea Rodriguez, addressed her lover in a post Wednesday night, telling him “i want to wake up from this nightmare.” His mother, whose childhood nickname for him Lil Peep used as his stage name, conveyed that she is “very very proud” of him. His producer wrote simply, “my heart is crushed.”
The rapper’s wasted youth and talent is a true tragedy, and the loss of his kind soul is deeply lamented. He will be remembered forever by fans and friends. “When i die you’ll love me,” Lil Peep told us. We do.
Goodnight, goth boy. Rest easy.