The hip-hop world lost one of its rising stars last fall when Lil Peep (born Gustav Ahr) died at the age of 21 in Tucson, Ariz., where he was to appear in concert for his debut album, Come Over When You're Sober (Part One). According to a toxicology report, the rapper's cause of death was the "combined toxic effects of fentanyl and alprazolam," the latter a generic form of Xanax. The medical examiner ruled the death an accidental overdose.
When news of the young talent's death reached the media, it ignited a wider conversation about mental health and the opioid epidemic in the United States. His short but impactful career coined the term "emo-trap," which his fans used to describe his low-fi rap and rock aesthetic, Fuse.tv experts noted.
Like countless trailblazers before him, Peep -- and his music -- was indeed polarizing. Unlike many other male rappers, Peep displayed heavy emotional vulnerability through his music and life without apologies. That was evident when he came out as bisexual in August 2017: "Yes I'm bisexual," he tweeted simply. "Who wants a kiss?"
Merging hip-hop and emo, Peep was an artist in the truest sense of the word. Following his death, his album Come Over When You're Sober (Part One) reached number three on Billboard's Alternative Albums in the U.S., and 13 on Billboard's Top Rap Albums. During his memorial, Good Charlotte (a group Peep once cited as his "biggest influence") performed his song, "Awful Things." A beautiful sendout for a beautiful soul.