Lil Peep: biography
Gustav Åhr known to teenagers and rap fans as Lil Peep seemed to program himself on a short life – like a flash of lightning. The words “Get Cake Die Young” were tattooed on his forehead. Fans identified the American as “sound cloud rapper” and his music style as the mixture of rap and emo-trap. The musician himself did not care about the “purity” of genres and mixed styles the way he felt like.
Some fans call Lil Peep southern rapper or white rapper for the melancholic guitar parts and occasional rock elements. Some people also described the artist as the future of emo style.
Whatever Lil Peep was called and no matter how severely “pure” rappers criticized him, the young man’s compositions were mesmerizing and original: one could hardly mix up his songs with someone else’s. Unhappy love, depression, suicide, drugs, and magic were the main themes Gustav used in his works. Superstitious people believe the young man evoked evil my making such prophecies. In comparison, fans think Lil Peep foresaw his future.
Childhood and youth
Gustav Åhr was an American with Irish and German roots from his maternal side and Swedish roots from the paternal line. The boy was born in the south of New York in 1996. When Gustav was a kid, it was difficult for him to communicate with his peers: the boy considered them stereotypical and boring. He was a reserved person and liked being alone; school raised melancholy and rejection in the child.
When the parents divorced, the teenager’s inclination to depression increased. Lip Peep never talked to his father, a professor from Harvard University, after that: he could not forgive his betrayal. Soon, the 14-year-old young man was expelled from a college for bad academic performance and conflicts with classmates. Gustav’s mother, Liza, was the only person who understood her son; a primary school teacher, she even did homework for the boy.
Thanks to his mother, Gustav Åhr was home-schooled and passed the exams via the Internet. Thus, he managed to graduate.
The idea to take up rap and music came when the young man felt depressed and tried to find a way out. The technical awareness and the artistic nature resulted in a new project. Gustav took the stage name “Lil Peep”; as he told journalists, his mother used to call him “peep.” The musician said:
“She had me raising little birds when I was a kid, so I was raised with ducks and chickens. I'd keep them in my bedroom. That's my whole childhood.”
Initially, Lil Peep tried himself as a rapper. Six months later, he realized he was just like thousands of other rappers and invented his own style: the mixture of emo music, hip-hop, rap, and trap. The young musician took up computer courses and learned how to manage music programs. The works of Blink-182, Му Chemical Romance, and Red Hot Chili Peppers influenced the musician’s style.
Gustav’s mother, grandmother, and brother approved of the young man’s interest in music. As Lil Peep said, their support helped him find himself. At 14, the son expressed his love for the mother and had his first tattoo: the mother’s initials and the date of her birth.
Later, the number of tattoos increased. The words “CryBaby” under the right eyebrow became the young man’s “trademark”; it was Lil Peep’s way to pay respects to the movie iconic in the 1990s.
The musician’s image was changing frequently: his hair was dyed in many colors, from acid yellow to pink. The young man preferred black and pink clothes. He also liked to watch anime: Bleach, Shiki, and Death Note.
The group GothBoiClique also contributed to Lil Peep’s style formation. As a teenager, Gustav listened to the group enthusiastically; he could hardly imagine he would join the musicians in some three or four years and move to Los Angeles.
Lil Peep began his career in 2015. The first 11-songs mixtape Lil Peep: Part 1 attracted music lovers’ attention. The songs "Awful Things,” “The Way I See Things,” “Benz truck,” and “White wine” had millions of views on YouTube.
The first success inspired Lil Peep to create new mixtapes. In December 2015, he presented Live Forever; January 2016 brought California Girls and Vertigo. In the middle of 2016, the musician recorded Crybaby and Hellboy.
All songs are full of thoughts about committing suicide and the burden of existence. All songs are also notable for the simple lyrics about gone girlfriends and drug haze.
In September 2016, the mixtape Hellboy came out. There were 16 songs there. The music video “Girls” unmasked gender stereotypes. The song “OMFG” from the album Crybaby revealed the tiredness of life and the desire to commit suicide.
There were some suicidal motives in Come Over When You're Sober Pt. 1 (2017). The mixtape contained seven songs; “Star Shopping,” “Suck My Blood,” and “Downtown Lyrics” were the most popular tracks.
In June 2017, Lil Peep presented the debuting album Come Over When You're Sober on his Instagram. Soon, the artist started touring to support the album.
Lil Peep’s height was 192 cm., and his weight was 68 kg. The bright appearance and growing popularity attracted numerous fans. However, there were many critics as well. Peep got used to the lack of understanding and had inner “shields” protecting him from haters. At the same time, the young man was sensitive and often felt depressed.
The first unhappy love injured Lil Peep severely: after he broke up with his girlfriend, he remained single for six years. There was a tattoo on the singer’s abdomen: the word “love” with a sad emoji instead of the letter “O”; he also had a broken heart tattoo on his cheek.
In 2017, people saw a brunette accompanying the musician; he had her name, Layla, tattooed on his forearm. There were several photos of Lil Peep’s girlfriend on his Instagram.
In August 2017, the young man wrote on his Twitter page he was bisexual.
Lil Peep did not keep secret he was addicted to drugs. On his Instagram page, he called himself “a productive junkie.”
The artist died in the night of November 15-16. He was 21 years old. The cause of death was allegedly the overdose: a false sedative and opioid analgesic fentanyl.
The young man died in a tour bus. Lil Peep’s friends took him to the nearest hospital, but medics could not save him. In one of his last Instagram posts, the musician wrote:
“When I die, you'll love me.”
- 2015 – Lil Peep Part One
- 2015 – Live Forever
- 2016 – Crybaby
- 2016 – Hellboy
- 2017 – Come Over When You're Sober (Part I)