Lil Peep, who in just a few short years spearheaded a movement in hip hop incorporating emo's confessional ethos and modern punk's melodicism, died Wednesday night at the age of 21. First Access Entertainment CEO Sarah Stennett confirmed Peep's death in a statement Thursday morning. Peep was in Tucson, Arizona at the time as part of his Come Over When You're Sober Tour. The cause of death has not been determined.
"I am shocked and heartbroken," Sarah Stennett, whose First Access Entertainment partnered with Peep last year, told Complex. "I do not believe Peep wanted to die, this is so tragic. 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. I have spoken to his 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. She is truly grateful to the fans and the people who have supported and loved him."
Peep was born Gustav Åhr Nov. 1, 1996 in Long Island, later moving to Los Angeles to pursue music. His artistic interests were piqued after getting turned on to L.A.'s underground rap scene. "It inspired me to start doing it myself," Peep told Pitchfork earlier this year. "So I went to Guitar Center and spent $200 on a microphone, plugged it into my MacBook—I've been using the same MacBook since then. I recorded every song I've ever done in GarageBand myself, and it's very homemade. After a couple of months, I noticed there were tens of thousands of plays on my shit, so I kept going. And it's turned into this."
Hellboy, Peep's breakthrough mixtape, shrewdly used punk and emo-inspired samples including an unreleased Blink-182 guitar riff from an MTV documentary about the recording of the band's untitled 2003 album and Underoath's "Too Bright to See, Too Loud to Hear."
Peep released his debut studio album Come Over When You're Sober Pt. 1 in August. The 7-track album, featuring production from Smokeasac and collaborations with Green Day producer Rob Cavallo, took Peep on the road for an extensive tour of the same name. As a live performer, Peep struck a balance between standing as an elusive and mysterious one-man-band, while inspiring an intimacy among his audience that made you feel like you had finally found your people. You felt you were among friends.
Post Malone, Lil Uzi Vert, Travis Barker, Ty Dolla Sign, and many other fellow artists have eulogized Peep and touted his short (but no less impactful) legacy on Twitter.
Rest in power, Peep. You'll be missed.