It was a big blow in the online world when Gustav Ahr, most commonly known as Lil Peep, died almost one year ago from a fentanyl and Xanax overdose. His death became a daily conversation, and social media was in havoc. Heart-broken fans flooded their stories on Snapchat as Lil Peep became more popular in an instant on Instagram. His 750k followers turned into over a million because of the news, while other artists showed empathy and sadness in public.
For a few weeks, Lil Peep’s name was astounding, even impacted his first studio album, Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 1. The album appeared again on the Billboard chart and placed at No.9, comparably higher than when it was first released. Lil Peep and his death were everywhere until the news subsided, but he continued to live in a smaller circle of more devoted fans.
Because of that, I found myself adding one of his songs to my queue from time to time. But after a while, I still can’t say that he occupied my mind. So when I saw Spotify’s Released Radar, I was confused to see his new album: Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 2. Before Lil Peep died of an overdose, he built a cult following his SoundCloud tracks and associations with the GothboiClique before “Benz Truck” became popular. His perspective fans had a wide range of possible content, thanks to tons of singles and several albums found on his account. His collection is consistently related to Come Over When You’re Sober Pt. 1 and revolves around cocaine, designer clothes, and broken hearts. In addition to that, Lil Peep’s earlier works show beats that are sometimes trapped remixes of pop-punk and emo songs, reflecting his emo-punk and hip-hop side. The Postal Services’ “Such Great Heights” inspired the title track on Crybaby samples Brand New’s “The No Seatbelt Song” and “White Tee.” Peep’s social media account played a massive role in the success of “Benz Truck,” charmed many of his followers and contributing to early victories.
Social media became a powerful tool for Lil Peep. He released tons of music by showing his artistic side and created a fanbase even before getting a record deal. However, social media may have also trapped him. Lil Peep’s older brother, Oskar, presented himself in a People Magazine article to dispel the Lil Peep character that devoured Gustav Ahr. Oskar contradicted the lyrics like “I’ma die young, baby, I’ma get killed, aye,” and said Lil Peep was “super happy with where he was in life.” Despite all of this, Lil Peep’s music never reflected the character that his older brother mentioned. Instead, Peep became famous for depression and drug use, seen almost in all of his songs. These contradictions became more evident in his song “Fuck Fame,” where Peep said he hates doing drugs but “dope got (him) famous.” However, Lil Peep and his tragic story are not alone. Many Soundcloud personalities have suffered the same.
Other renowned music personalities like Lil Pump, Nav, and Juice Wrld also employed drugs as part of their brand's identity. Apparently, hard drug consumption seemed to the easy road taken by Soundcloud rappers to achieve fame. Peep overly took this turn for his career resulting in a tragic issue in the music industry. Furthermore, Lil Uzi Vert showed much respect to his fellow by visibly quitting drugs.
With that narrative, I went over to his Come Over When You're Sober Pt.2. This album does not stand for the vibrant life path that rappers had for me. I somehow expected that this Lil Peep's batch of songs continues to discover new sounds, like the EDM vibe with Marshmello. It is more likely the slower version of Come Over When You're Sober Pt.1. His songs “Life is Beautiful” or “White Girl” reveals the other side of the rapper's persona. However, these are just sluggish renditions of his previous songs. With the success that Lil Peep once had, he would have had the chance to get rid of his drug-centered personality. It surely was the main reason he used to be on top of those Soundcloud rappers that people idolized. Pt.2 recalls him as a depressed rap artist.
I do enjoy indulging in the harmony of the songs on the album. It doesn't reflect how Lil Peep's journey in the music industry can be worth remembering. Furthermore, it retells the listeners what they have known about Lil Peep. His music history leads to an eye-opening note that we choose where people will support us. In line with this, it also a reflection of how we present ourselves in public, and why growing SoundCloud plays is to be expected. Sadly, Lil Peep took off-road and eventually losing his own life in exchange for short-time fame.
Being a social media influencer or even a music artist, one should be responsible and wise in choosing their public image. Currently, Soundcloud rappers already established their identity by using hard drugs as part of their art. Lil Peep is a piece of evidence that succumbing to what makes you famous can harm you in the end or die with it. Make the people around you get surprised with your achievements and continuously supporting you till the end. Not the other way around, seeing you for the last time and flood you with attention for passing away.
Gustav Ahr, publicly known as Lil Peep, ended his life journey to what once makes him so loud. Now, he is just a memory silently living in the hearts of his supporters and others who are just curious about him for overnight fame. It might be a hurtful farewell to a music persona and bid goodbye to his wonderful harmony. On the other side, it is best to see that you can be famous in other ways even if you are not following what others had already done. Build your own. Make it worthy for people to follow through.
Date: June 23, 2021 / Categories: SoundCloud Plays, / Author: Joy P
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