Rapper Lil Peep dead at 21 of suspected overdose

The rapper Lil Peep performs at Webster Hall in New York.
The rapper Lil Peep performs at Webster Hall in New York.PHOTO: NYTIMES

Lil Peep, a rising rapper whose music blended hip-hop and emo sounds, died aged 21 on Nov 15, according to multiple reports.

The Associated Press reported that police in Tucson confirmed the death of the musician, who was found on his tour bus ahead of a scheduled concert with evidence pointing to an overdose of the anti-anxiety medication Xanax. An official cause of death has not been released.

"I am shocked and heartbroken. I do not believe Peep wanted to die, this is so tragic," said Ms Sarah Stennett, chief executive of First Access, a management agency that worked with the rapper last year. "He had big goals and dreams for the future which he had shared with me, his team, his family and his friends. He was highly intelligent, hugely creative, massively charismatic, gentle and charming. He had huge ambition and his career was flourishing."

Ms Stennett told The New York Times that she had spoken to the rapper's 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, whose real name was Gustav Åhr, was born on Nov 1, 1996, the son of a college professor father and an elementary schoolteacher mother. He took his name from a childhood nickname given by his mother.

He released his debut album, Come Over When You're Sober, Pt. 1, in September, more than a year after he had begun sharing his genre-bending songs on SoundCloud and YouTube.

He gained a following offline too, particularly in Russia, where - as he told the Times of London last year - he "couldn't walk down the street without being mobbed".

Influential magazine Pitchfork dubbed him "the future of emo", shortly after including his sombre alternative rock effort Kiss on its list of 2016's best songs. For his part, Peep told XXL that he considered himself a mix of Fall Out Boy and rapper iLoveMakonnen."I grew up listening to a lot of emo music, a lot of rock music, a lot of rap music, a lot of trap music, funk, everything," he told the magazine.

Tributes to Lil Peep have poured in from fans, fellow musicians and friends, including Makonnen, who wrote: "I'll always love u, we became best friends and made some of the best music I have ever been a part of."

Lil Peep often talked openly about his struggle with depression, a theme that surfaced in many of his songs, along with drug use and suicide.

"Some days I wake up and I'm like, (expletive), I wish I didn't wake up," he told Pitchfork. "Some days I'll be very down and out, but you won't be able to tell, really, because I don't express that side of myself on social media," he added. "That's the side of myself that I express through music. That's my channel for letting all that (stuff) out."