Lil Peep memorial

The time was around 12:34 a.m., and I had just successfully snuck out of the house for the first time in my life. I was meeting my boyfriend, his friend, and his friend’s girlfriend that night to do totally legal things at totally not the early hours of the morning.

The designated driver said, “you guys know Lil Peep?”

While I’ve heard of him before, I assumed he was some wannabe white rapper that had two brain cells. I mean, he named himself after the worst marshmallow in the world.

I shrugged, uninterested.

As his music filled the car’s busted speakers, I began to realize how poetic and powerful his words were. His voice was raspy and he didn’t even really rap, he just talked about his emotions in a cool way so that he could get us to listen.

He made the lyric, “I just wanna lay my head on your chest so I’m as close as it gets to your heart” sound like a 500 page romance novel.

The four of us sat there, driving back and forth around our little town at 2 in the morning, listening to a white rapper who named himself after diabetes in a candy. And, he didn’t even actually rap.

Despite the oddities of that night, I logged onto my computer the next day and promptly downloaded all of his singles. Within the next few weeks, I could guess which song of his was playing just by hearing the first four seconds.

The time was around 12:57 a.m. six months later. I was laying in my bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to get some rest for school the next day. I had a concert to go to that day and didn’t want to fall asleep halfway through.

My phone buzzed. It vibrated underneath my pillow where my head lay, making it almost impossible to ignore. Rolling my eyes, I dug around for it and pressed the home button. The screen lit up. It flashed a strange, eerie message.

“You should have seen Peep last weekend,” it read.

Gustav Åhr, more commonly known as Lil Peep, died of a drug overdose on Nov. 15 in Tuscon, Arizona.

The news almost immediately went viral. First, I saw it all over Twitter, then it flooded onto Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube. For the first few hours, everyone questioned if it was real.

It couldn’t be real. He was only 21.

The morning I had to wake up for school, I felt numb. The news articles were blowing up my phone, so I felt obligated to look at them.

Ding. Ding. Ding. Email after email. Text message after text message. The articles read things like, “American rapper ‘Lil Peep’ dead at 21”, and, “Lil Peep: Police Investigate ‘Suspicious Death’ of Rapper”.

“Lil Peep Was A Star”.


I felt sick. I didn’t put on makeup that day. After all the stress and speculation, it was really real.

With his death bringing so much attention, Peep quickly gained hundreds of thousands of followers on all of his social media platforms. His album “Come Over When You’re Sober” soared up the charts.

While I was proud of one of my favorite artists for making it big so quickly, it also irked me that he had to die to do it.

While Peep’s analytics were bursting at the seams, the story of his death was going viral. Other musicians and members of Peep’s Los Angeles-based collective, “Goth Boi Clique”, or GBC for short, were making statements about their beloved friend.

He had goals and aspirations. He had things he wanted to achieve.

According to Twitter, Peep was working on other music and collaborations scheduled to be released in 2018. The fact that he had plans for the future really shows that he wasn’t prepared to die.

A memorial was held in Zilker Park last Sunday to honor Peep as a person and his musical talent. Pink candles were lit, pink balloons were released into the sky, and notes and letters were put on display so that fans in Austin could honor the talented rapper.

His unique music touched the lives of many people of all ages, including mine and every person who attended that memorial.

Peep made it a point to put his whole heart into his sound, and you could definitely hear it in the passion in his voice when he sang to his fans during shows.

I will never forget the message that was sent to me that early morning on Nov. 16. Peep will be missed dearly by all of his beloved friends, family, and his millions of fans out there who are still mourning his death.

While Peep is gone physically, his music and legacy will live on forever.

I will continue to blare my “rip peep” Spotify playlist through my headphones, check his Instagram for any new posts, and watch his old YouTube videos.

When I see a pink candle or a pink balloon, I’ll always think of the man who changed my outlook on music forever.

I’ll always think of the man who, even if it were just for a few minutes per song, took me away from reality and put me in a place where I felt like I could be understood.

Rest easy, Gustav Åhr. Rest easy, Lil Peep.