Lil Peep, Rising Emo Rapper, Is Dead at 21

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Lil Peep. Photo: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

Lil Peep, the rising emo rapper, has died at 21. His manager and local police tell The Guardian and AP that the rapper was taken to a hospital in Tucson on Wednesday night after being found unresponsive on his tour bus. The medical examiner is investigating his cause of death as a suspected Xanax overdose. A representative for Lil Peep, whose real name was Gustav Ahr, told the New York Times that she had “spoken to his mother and she asked me to convey that she is very, very proud of him and everything he was able to achieve in his short life.” The Long Island native had a devout but complicated following built on his candid songs about depression and drug use.

He got his start on YouTube and SoundCloud with intimate songs recorded in his bedroom. He described their making to the Times as an “absolute blur.” Vulture previously wrote of his work: “He’s 20 years old but he sounds like he’s lived 100 lives. He’s 20 years old but he’s already over it. He’s 20 years old, but he’s exhausted by the act of recording even one song. He’s 20 years old and he already sounds like he doesn’t care.” The rapper said he suffered from depression and anxiety, topics he never shied away from, which established a deep connection with fans. He told the Times, “They say that I stopped them from committing suicide, which is a beautiful thing.”

On Twitter, fellow rapper Post Malone wrote of Lil Peep: “In the short time that I knew you, you were a great friend to me and a great person. Your music changed the world and it’ll never be the same.” Peep was one of many emerging young artists who grew up a fan of both emo and rap, and hoped to fuse the two into a new sound for a new generation. He told Pitchfork earlier this year, “No one’s ever been in this genre before, so I couldn’t really compare it to anything from the past. I’m excited to find out.”

Lil Peep, Rising Emo Rapper, Is Dead at 21