Remembering Lil Peep and the legacy he left behind

Toshiko Tanaka
Contributing Writer

News leading up to Thanksgiving Break was full of heavy anticipation for the coming holiday, of meeting loved ones and family and just being stress free from work or school, but for others it was cumbersome. Upcoming emo-hip-hop artist Lil Peep passed away on Nov. 15.

To expand on his acclaimed creative productions: his distinctive sound is described as emo-rap, one that is not easily categorized under a particular genre or subgenre and is seen as one of the pioneering revivalists of post-emo. Lyrically his songs are infused with themes of getting fucked up, suicide and the usual falling in and out of love.

Receiving critical reception for his first mix tapes, he rose from the SoundCloud Internet rap scene, garnering millions of listeners. And his aesthetic? Tatted and an anti-Bieber disposition of sorts, he managed an approval from fans. Still underestimating his eccentric sense of style? He established fashion cred as his style that was seen as mainstream yet imbued with authenticity, and I mean sitting front row at the Balmain men’s show during Paris Fashion Week — how can you not assume Lil Peep as an emerging voice?

With his rising popularity, his death at age 21 was quite unfortunate, and because of the drug-addled industry he rose from, his death sparked heavy conversation about drug use and the addiction epidemic. With reports of his hospitalization being caused by an overdose and the last 24 hours of his Instagram recording death notes and his drug use, the discussion of drug glorification in relation to Lil Peep’s death is not a surprise.

He was not the only rising star from our generation to take inspiration from suicidal thoughts and addiction, which of course earned him attention. This idea of self-destruction should be met with critical response and treatment, especially considering the array of overdose deaths in the U.S. is rising — the drug culture depression wave should be treated. Not to take away from his achievements as an artist and a creative soul, but listeners should be cautious of the subliminal messages of drug use we receive daily.

My thoughts go out to his mother who recently made heartwrenching posts about missing her son this Thanksgiving, followed by throwback photos of Lil Peep as a child. Many fans saw him as a voice in our anxiety riddled generation and on Thursday members of the hip-hop community, including Lil Yatchy and Ty Dolla $ign offered condolences on Twitter. As we comprehend the loss of a profound soul, his death leaves us with a deeper message of prudence.