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The Emo Sound of Lil Peep: A New Genre in Hip Hop

by JustxSophia
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Lil Peep was a 21-year-old rap artist from Long Island with a distinctive style of emo hip hop and a fanbase of mostly teenagers. He rose to fame rapidly in 2016 with his album “Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 1,” which hit number one on iTunes this past October. The rapper died in November 2017 due to an accidental Fentanyl overdose, but he left behind a legacy of creative lyrics and passionate music for his fans to enjoy ːnot just today, but for years to come.

A Brief History of Hip Hop’s Emo Sound

Lil Peep has been a pioneer in the latest addition to hip hop. Hip hop’s emo style is a new presence in the rap genre that is quickly gaining popularity. Artists such as Lil Peep, Post Malone, and XXXTentacion have been paving the way for this new genre. The best way to describe what distinguishes “emo” from typical hip-hop lyrics is through its focus on pain and depression in contrast to typical aggressive lyrics in order to portray a more humanized sound. Artists of this genre incorporate aspects that are more familiar to fans, such as depressing lyrics and strong emotional connections. There is a general focus on what the artist feels rather than how others view him/her, which gives the genre an empathetic tone.

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Lil Peep’s Personal Life

Lil Peep was born Gustav Åhr on November 1, 1996 and died on his tour bus November 15th, 2017 at the age of 21. Hailing from Long Island, New York, Lil Peep derived much of his creativity from growing up in the area after being greatly inspired by Marilyn Manson. He often expressed how he was a loner who didn’t fit in with those around him. He first started to make a name for himself through his YouTube channel, where he published videos of himself rapping along with his own compositions. These videos consisted of lyrics about drugs, relationships, and some slightly darker material that helped contribute to his emo hip-hop persona.

Lil Peep’s Musical Career

At the beginning of Lil Peep’s career, he released his debut album “Lil Peep Part One”, the first in a series of albums. It was followed by “Crybaby” in March 2017 and later his final release before passing, “Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 1,” which debuted at number one on iTunes in October. The track “Awful Things” is probably the closest song to his personal style on “Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 1,” where he talks about some of the women in his life who haven’t understood him or had betrayed him, before making a more emotional statement about how he doesn’t care what people think of him anymore because nothing will bring back his lover.

The Appeal of Lil Peep’s Emo Hip Hop

Lil Peep draws in a lot of younger fans because, as mentioned before, he is able to humanize the hip hop genre through lyrics that express how he feels rather than portraying an image for others to view. The rapper’s young fan base can also relate to his music because of the themes that are most prevalent in his songs. Most of Lil Peep’s popular songs, including “Awful Things” and “beamer boy,” have lyrics related to drugs use, heartbreak, coping with depression, suicide, rejection from family/friends/loved ones, loneliness due to being misunderstood or unwanted, etc. His songs directly address these issues in a way that is raw and completely uncut, which allows his fans to relate to him on an emotional level.

Lil Peep’s Death by Fentanyl Overdose

On November 15th of 2017, Lil Peep tweeted “I’m not sober anymore,” before dying of an apparent overdose due to Xanax laced with Fentanyl. According to an interview with Lil Peep’s mother, the rapper had come home from tour and was exhausted after not sleeping for days; he took “six of his anxiety pills ” before falling asleep at 7 pm on November 15th. At around 9 pm, Lil Peep’s manager checked on him and found him unresponsive and started CPR. Lil Peep eventually died en route to the hospital at 10:52 pm.

Lil Peep’s Posthumous Album and Legacy

Due to his young age and great talent, Lil Peep left behind a large number of fans who will be eager for new material from him after his untimely death. His posthumous album, “Come Over When You’re Sober 2”, is set to release in August 2018 and will be his second top-charting album. The first song released off the upcoming album is called “Cry Alone,” and it is a very raw and touching song that is both sad and comforting at the same time; similar to a lot of his other music.

Lil Peep is famous for being able to humanize the hip hop genre through empathetic lyrics that many teenagers can relate to, which makes him a special artist in the eyes of many who have been touched by his words. His music will continue to be enjoyed and shared for years to come, as long as his passion for hip hop and desire to express himself through his music remain everlasting.

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