Just over three months since the death of Gustav “Lil Peep” Åhr and the hip-hop community still mourns him. Despite 2.4 million Instagram followers still paying homage on his active account to Lil Uzi Vert using his pic as a Twitter avatar there are still people who do not know much about him. Considering his impact on hip-hop, it’s only right to list five things you (probably) didn’t know about Lil Peep.
1. Lil Peep = Genius
His parents were both hypothetical geniuses – both Harvard graduates. Liza Womack, his mother, is an elementary school teacher. Gus’ father, who cut contacts with the family when he was about 14 years old, is working somewhere as a college professor. Who knows – maybe that was the reason Gus never found school to be enticing.
Despite what some people will say, Gustav did graduate high school. He was unusually smart, and received great grades when he did show up to class. Gus went on to attend one semester of college before dropping out, despite being on the Dean’s List.
2. Mama’s Boy
His circle stayed small throughout the entirety of his life, and he remained closer to his mother than anybody. The young Åhr was uniquely close with his family, and the constant travel made him sad that he couldn’t be with his mother, brother, grandma, and the rest of his family. They gave him the strength and leverage to keep him going.
The tight bond he had with his mother led to her supporting and loving him every step of the way, even letting him convert their home into a makeshift studio after she bought him a pair of red headphones from Best Buy. His first tattoo was actually his mother’s name.
3. Gus Made Music In An Unusually Original Style
To try to describe Lil Peep’s music in writing is probably not feasible, but it must at least be attempted. He did things in a completely original way. His influences were artists and groups like Good Charlotte, Future, and Fall Out Boy. Peep molded them into his own genre, and is the pioneer of emo-rap. Peep took hardcore rock pieces from bands like My Chemical Romance, and fuzed them with other hip-hop aspects.
What makes it so original though is that he poured every single ounce of his soul into it, adding his own lyrics, representing his own feelings and emotions. Seeing that Peep dropped new music could mean absolutely anything. It could be a hard rock piece, or a chilling and mellow beat that could make any human eye tear up. He was a revolutionary icon that represented the millions out there who did and are battling depression and similar diseases.
Peep crossed boundaries, with lyrics like “Everybody tellin’ me life’s short, but I wanna die” (from “The Brightside”). Many kids out there had a voice in Gus that represented their feelings. His words were often simple, but at the same time so meaningful and relatable that they surpass almost every other artist out there right now.
4. He Was A Very Genuine Person
The money never changed him, just as stated in “Benz Truck”. His friends and family always came first. Some things stressed him out and affected him, but nothing could change the young Peeper, as his mom always referred to him as.
He stayed humble (he even had a tattoo above his left eye that said “crybaby” with the purpose of reminding him that he was blessed) up until the end. How down to earth Peep was is truly astounding for somebody who saw so much success in so little time. Gustav was one of the most respectful and caring human beings one could ever meet.
Everyone who had the privilege of being acquainted with him knew the utterly genuine soul he was. He supported every type of people, and routinely supported LGBT rights. Peep was bisexual himself, and spoke of it freely.
5. Lil Peep Only Released One Official Album
By mid 2015, Gustav had built up a following on social media, particularly the popular music platform SoundCloud, and was on his way to stardom. The world saw him release “star shopping”, the mixtape Hellboy, “Beamer Boy”, and other pieces. They were met with all love and were acclaimed by music reviewers and fans alike.
Sadly Peep only had the chance to release one official album. His first and only official studio album Come Over When You’re Sober, released in 2017, saw great success. Producer smokeasac, who worked on many of his other productions, has given hints of the second part of the album seeing a release later this year. Peep’s “emo-rap”, which can be paralleled with “SoundCloud rap” (another genre he pioneered), will live on. Dozens of artists are pushing boundaries with bold lyrics and sounds, all in the same manner that Peep did.
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