Lil Peep, an emerging musician from Long Island New York, died last month of an apparent drug overdose. Peep’s music can be hard to categorize. There is a clear base and influence from modern hip-hop and trap music, with braggadocios lyrics of diamond watches, designer clothing, and Mercedes Benz being rapped over 808 basslines and programmed snares.
But this is only half of the sound which Peep was best known for.
Many of his instrumentals also feature melancholy piano sounds and haunting electric guitar chords. Around the name dropping of luxury cars and clothes, Peep fills the rest of his songs with lyrics of heartbreak, drug abuse, and depression. In his song “The Brightside,” Peep belts out the chorus:
“Help me find a way to pass the time. Everybody’s telling me life’s short but I wanna die. Help me find a way to make you mine. Everybody’s telling me not to but I’m gonna try. Now I’m getting’ high again.”
Songs like this make up the majority of Peep’s work. Peep was one of a handful of new artists pioneering an entire new subgenre of rap, called Emo rap. Peep’s success allowed many other artists to emerge and be successful with the sound, such as Trippie Redd, XXXTENTACION, and even Lil Uzi Vert, one of hip-hop’s biggest names.
Lil Uzi Vert’s song “XO Tour Life” has been one of the most popular songs of this year, and features many similarities to Peep’s music. Peep’s death has left a gaping hole in the music industry, and his short career has already made a shift in what is popular in music today.
On November 15th, hours before his concert at the The Rock in Tucson, Arizona, Peep was pronounced dead of a supposed drug overdose. He had celebrated his 21st birthday less than a month before. The news was heartbreaking to not only Peep’s family, friends and fans, but also to many bands and artists in the music world. Artists such as Travis Barker, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Yatchy, and Ty Dolla Sign all expressed condolences via social media. In an episode of the H3 Podcast, rapper Post Malone recently expressed his appreciation of Peep’s music. “(Lil Peep) was going to change music forever,” he said.
Lil Peep’s legacy will continue to live on through the emerging emo-rap genre. His song “Awful Things” reached Billboard Hot 100 a few days after his death, a first for the late artist. Although Lil Peep is gone far too soon, his sound and influence will live on indefinitely. Rest in peace, Peep.