Gustav Elijah Åhr (November 1, 1996 – November 15, 2017), known professionally as Lil Peep (often stylized as LiL PEEP), was an American rapper, singer, songwriter and model. He was a member of the emo rap collective GothBoiClique. Helping pioneer an emo revival style of rap and rock music, Lil Peep has been credited as the leading figure of the mid–late 2010s emo music scene and came to be an inspiration to outcasts and youth subcultures.
Gustav Elijah Åhr was born on November 1, 1996, in Allentown, Pennsylvania to first-grade teacher Liza Womack and college professor Karl Johan Åhr. He had one sibling, Karl "Oskar" Åhr. Åhr grew up on Long Island, New York. His parents were both Harvard graduates who divorced when he was a teenager. Åhr claimed to have Swedish citizenship on Twitter.
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and raised on Long Island, New York, Lil Peep started releasing music on SoundCloud in 2014, using the pseudonym Lil Peep because his mother had called him "Peep" since he was a child. He soon became popular on the platform for his collaborations with Lil Tracy and several mixtapes: Lil Peep; Part One (2015), Live Forever (2015), Crybaby (2016) and Hellboy (2016); the latter's success led him to his first solo tour across the United States.
Lil Peep left high school early to move to Los Angeles and meet up with online friends. He initially lived in Skid Row, Los Angeles, and dipped in and out of homelessness, staying at Savage's apartment while Savage pursued a degree. The two eventually went separate ways and Peep met Atlanta rapper and producer JGRXXN and Florida rappers Ghostemane and Craig Xen, living with them while forming the collective Schemaposse. He originally met Craig Xen online and was introduced to JGRXXN who needed a singer. Lil Peep also attempted to attend Glendale Community College during his first year living in Los Angeles. 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.
In April 2019, "Gym Class" and "Star Shopping", two Lil Peep singles that were originally released in March 2016 and August 2015 respectively, were re-released onto all streaming platforms by the Lil Peep estate. The 2016 EP Vertigo was subsequently released by the estate to streaming platforms on March 5, 2020. The Peep estate officially released the Crybaby mixtape with all samples cleared to all streaming platforms on June 10, 2020 to coincide with the four-year anniversary of the original release.
Lil Peep began to grow in popularity soon after, with the song "Star Shopping" (later released as a single following his death ) from Lil Peep; Part One making waves in underground hip-hop circles. Lil Peep's popularity continued to grow after the release of the song "Beamer Boy", which led to him performing live for the first time with the rest of Schemaposse in March 2016 in Tucson, Arizona. The following month, Schemaposse broke up and Lil Peep was no longer associated with a collective, though they remained on good terms. Shortly after Schemaposse's breakup, Peep began to associate with Los Angeles-based rap collective Gothboiclique, featuring members of the group on his full-length mixtape Crybaby. The group shared a squat in Skid Row with Peep and often shared beds. Crybaby was recorded in three days with a $150 microphone. He did a majority of the mixing and mastering himself. Crybaby was released in June 2016. Later that month, First Access Entertainment (FAE) partnered with Lil Peep on a joint venture to invest in and advise him on his career.
In addition to providing business guidance, co-founder/CEO Sarah Stennett was a friend who gave both moral and financial support, helping Peep realize his vision. In September 2016, Lil Peep released Hellboy. Songs from Hellboy such as "Girls" and "OMFG" received millions of views and plays on SoundCloud and YouTube. Hellboy's success led to Peep's first solo tour across the United States, the "Peep Show" tour, in April and May 2017. In May 2017, the band Mineral accused Peep of copyright infringement for including an unlicensed and uncredited sample of their song "LoveLetterTypewriter" on his track "Hollywood Dreaming". Peep said that he was only trying to "show some love" with the sample.
In 2017, Pitchfork hailed Lil Peep as "the future of emo." Regarding his death, in January 2018 John Jeremiah Sullivan of GQ wrote, "When Lil Peep died late last year, he left behind an outsized legacy." Rolling Stone journalist Elias Leight concurred similarly and wrote that Lil Peep's "rise to stardom was powered by relentless drive." A profile on his artistry was written by Billboard editor Steven Horowitz. The lengthy article resulted in an influx of think pieces centered around Lil Peep amongst writers, with music publications such as Noisey discussing his role within the broader emo genre. Though it allowed Peep to gather attention from a wide audience beyond his SoundCloud base, the piece polarized readers, some whom protested applying the "future of emo" label to the young rapper in the headline. However, Lil Peep has since become regarded being an integral part of a "post-emo revival style of hip hop and rock", and had been described as "arguably the biggest emo icon of the past few years"
According to The Atlantic, "If you were going to bet on the young musicians most likely to soon be superstars, until yesterday, a lot of smart money would have been on Lil Peep." Lil Peep had laid before him a promising career, which had been on the rise since 2015 thanks to a series of tracks, EPs and mixtapes released on SoundCloud. After being around for a little more than a year, Lil Peep had already managed to amass millions of hits on YouTube and Soundcloud. A year after posting his first song, Lil Peep attracted 82,000 followers on SoundCloud and 112,000 followers on Instagram. The burgeoning rapper had generated millions of online streams before releasing his debut album Come Over When You're Sober Pt. 1 in August 2017. Despite being involved with GothBoiClique for the shortest amount of time, Lil Peep become the first of his group to be paid serious critical attention as well as tour internationally. Due in part to his divisive nature, Lil Peep made his way onto Pitchfork's "Best Songs of the Year" list and completed a largely sold-out tour of Russia and Europe.
Lil Peep's growing fanbase enjoyed his refreshing candor about struggles with his sexuality in addition to depression, heartbreak, and drug use. Lil Peep came out as bisexual in a Twitter post on August 8, 2017. He took to Twitter to open up about this aspect of his personal life to his fans. Lil Peep simply stated, “yes i'm bi sexual.” Some time later, he followed up the post by asking his fans if any of them wanted a kiss. After coming out as bisexual, he would regularly confront homophobes on Twitter. He was also known collaborations with iLoveMakonnen, an openly gay recording artist whose music also blurs the line between rap and rock.
Soon after the tour was done, Peep emigrated to London, England, during a disentanglement with Gothboiclique. There he began to associate with figures such as Atlanta rapper iLoveMakonnen and longtime friend Bexey (fka Bexey Swan), and recorded Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 1 and Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 2, the EP Goth Angel Sinner and an untitled project with iLoveMakonnen. Peep released his debut studio album, Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 1, on August 15, 2017. He also took his first world tour, starting in the UK in September and moving to Germany before finishing in the United States in November, which was cut short by his death.
Lil Peep came out around the time he and actress and singer Bella Thorne begin dating in September 2017. Shortly after the release of his debut studio album, the two were spotted kissing. They briefly dated, before Thorne became involved with rapper Mod Sun. While on the Come Over When You're Sober tour, Lil Peep had met and started dating Instagram influencer Arzaylea Rodriguez around the time of his death in November.
Lil Peep had substance abuse issues due to his mental health conditions, including depression and bipolar disorder, which often influenced the thematic content of his music. He died in Tucson, Arizona, on November 15, 2017, two weeks after his 21st birthday. The Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner certified the cause of death as an accidental overdose of fentanyl and Xanax.
On November 15, 2017, exactly two weeks (14 days) after his 21st birthday, Lil Peep 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. In a series of Instagram posts in the hours leading up to his death, Lil Peep claimed to have ingested psilocybin mushrooms and cannabis 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 Lil Peep 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 Lil Peep a third time, he was unresponsive and not breathing. Lil Peep's manager performed CPR before medics arrived, though he was pronounced dead at the scene. Lil Peep's death was recorded on Instagram by his friend Bexey Swan, who believed Lil Peep was asleep. 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 medication fentanyl and the benzodiazepine alprazolam. Blood tests were positive for cannabis, cocaine and the painkiller Tramadol. Urine tests also showed the presence of multiple powerful opioids, including hydrocodone, hydromorphone (dilaudid), oxycodone and oxymorphone. There was no alcohol in his system.
Numerous artists in the music industry paid tribute to Lil Peep following his death, including Diplo, Post Malone, Pete Wentz, Marshmello, Mark Ronson, Zane Lowe, Sam Smith, Bella Thorne, Trippie Redd, A$AP Nast, Rich Brian, Playboi Carti, Ugly God, Lil Uzi Vert, Lil Xan, Ty Dolla Sign, Lil Pump, Dua Lipa, 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". Lil Peep would be mentioned by Juicy J (who had collaborated with him before his death) on Rae Sremmurd's Powerglide. Lil Peep was also honored during the 60th Grammy Awards. On June 19, 2018, rapper Juice WRLD released a two-song EP titled Too Soon.. dedicated to him and XXXTentacion, the latter being involved in a homicide relating to robbery. In The 1975 track, "Love It If We Made It", there is a lyric that gives a tribute to Lil Peep: "Rest in peace Lil Peep, The poetry is in the streets". In the song Glass House, by Machine Gun Kelly, which pays tribute to many deceased artists, Lil Peep is mentioned in the lines: "Wish Lil Peep and me had met, but I can't get that back".
Lil Peep was cremated at Huntington Station, New York and his ashes were placed in his grandfather's garden. On December 2, 2017, friends, family and fans paid their respects to Lil Peep at his memorial in Long Beach, New York. A memorial was also held in London on the same day that a large picture of Lil Peep was projected onto the side of the Houses of Parliament in central London.
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 24 hours of his death, as Wiggy, a director of many of Peep's music videos, released the official video for the then-unreleased song "16 Lines". On January 12, 2018, Marshmello officially released a collaboration titled "Spotlight". The video for "Spotlight" was released on February 12, 2018. On January 15, 2018, rapper Juicy J released the song "Got 'Em Like", which featured Lil Peep and Wiz Khalifa. On January 27, 2018, SoundCloud rapper Teddy released a song collaboration with Lil Peep, "Dreams & Nightmares".
In March 2018, Peep's music archive was acquired by Columbia Records. On May 13, 2018, a posthumous single, "4 Gold Chains", featuring Clams Casino, was released as well as a music video. A collaboration album between Peep and rapper iLoveMakonnen is expected to be released on Makonnen's label Warner Bros. On August 17, 2018, Makonnen announced a new Lil Peep single, "Falling Down", a reworking of "Sunlight on Your Skin" that he recorded with Peep in the fall of 2017 in London. The new version features recently deceased rapper XXXTentacion, who recorded his verses following Peep's death. The creation of the single was condemned by surviving members of GothBoiClique, who said there had been unresolved conflict between the two artists stemming from latter's history of violence towards women. "Falling Down" was released on September 19, 2018, and peaked at number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. The original "Sunlight on Your Skin" was released on September 27, 2018.
On October 14, 2018, Lil Peep's estate revealed that his first posthumous project, Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 2, was finished in September 2018 and Lil Peep's executive producer for the project, Smokeasac, confirmed that it was just awaiting approval from Peep's family. On October 17, 2018, Lil Peep's estate confirmed that the lead single from Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 2, "Cry Alone", would be released on October 18, 2018. Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 2 was released on November 9, 2018. On November 1, 2018, the second single from the album, "Runaway", was officially released. On November 7, 2018, the third single, "Life is Beautiful"—a remix of the track "Life" from the Feelz EP—was released.
Soon after the tour, Lil Peep emigrated to London, England, where he recorded his debut studio album. While his mixtapes explored emo, trap, lo-fi and alternative rock, his debut album Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 1 (2017) was a transition into pop punk and rap rock. His second album Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 2 (2018) was a commercial and critical success, debuting at number four on the Billboard 200. The documentary film about him, Everybody's Everything, was released in 2019.
On January 31, 2019, the first single from the upcoming collaboration album with ILoveMakonnen, "I've Been Waiting", featuring Fall Out Boy, was released. The song was originally a demo by ILoveMakonnen; Peep then performed on it, spawning a partnership that created up to 20 songs. Fall Out Boy was added to the song after Peep's death.
On March 10, 2019, the documentary Everybody's Everything, which chronicles Lil Peep's life, premiered at the SXSW Film Festival. On November 1, 2019, the estate announced the release of the soundtrack to the documentary, which features both released and unreleased tracks.
In late 2018, it was announced that a Lil Peep clothing line was being created called "No Smoking" (stylized as "NO SMOK!NG") which was developed before Lil Peep's death.