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Lil Peep Made It

1,063 words

“Lil Peep,” born Gustav Elijah Åhr, died a year ago today, on November 15, 2017. Less than eighteen months earlier, he had become a popular musician worldwide through his truly unique blend of emo, hip-hop, and lo-fi.

Though his music is immediately attention-grabbing in its strangeness, it was still seconded by his appearance. A naturally handsome and youthful Nord, he was covered in tattoos, and I mean covered. He had “Daddy” in Gothic lettering on his chest, near a marijuana leaf icon. Below this, there was his birthday, “11-1,” and below that, “LOVE,” with a sad face in the “O.” He had “Miss” above one knee and “You” above the other. One set of knuckles read “HOME” and the other “SICK.” He had a cross on one shoulder and an inverted cross on the other. His arms displayed a detailed piece in homage to his mother (his first tattoo, at age 14): a centipede, an Uzi, a sort of Mickey Mouse face relinquishing a tear with “MOOD” under it, a Nike brand swoop with “FLY SHIT ONLY” written inside it, and a jack o’lantern with untamed flames—to name a few. Meanwhile, his upper back read “EXIT LIFE” in huge letters. That’s not mentioning anything on his neck, face, and head. His neck had Pink Panther, Lisa Simpson, and “RIP” in front of a huge puff of smoke, bats, a star, a dollar bill with angel wings, and the word “hellboy,” which was a self-designated moniker and the title of his breakthrough album. His head had a curious face drawn by the artist Ed Hardy on one side, and crossed race-car flags on the other.

His face was much adorned, with “Crybaby” (another moniker for himself, and the title of his first solo mixtape) above his right eye, a star beneath it, and a black rose adjacent to that. His left cheek sported a large, red anarchy symbol with a very small broken heart and a cross just above it. Between his eyes was a horseshoe for luck, and along his hairline were the words “GET CAKE DIE YOUNG,” which he has no memory of asking for, but just woke up with one morning.

Though on first consideration it might strike you as ironic, it was incredibly appropriate that he occasionally worked as a runway model. Nobody else on the face of the Earth looked like him, and he embraced and amplified his aesthetic with the kind of pride generally reserved for adolescents.

Lil Peep was in many ways emblematic of the postmodern West’s fashionable nihilism. The Right is at odds with this nihilism, given that it advocates meaning and community. Nevertheless, I think it’s interesting and valuable to focus in on this nihilism, as my earlier piece on suicide was barking up the same tree.

Lil Peep always reminded me of nearly everyone with whom I spent teendom: smart, creative, defiant, drug-addled, depressed, and incredibly self-destructive. What Lil Peep managed to accomplish in his short life was exactly what everyone I knew who ever wrote a poem or started a band wanted: He turned his own personal unhappiness and rebellion into an art form, got famous, got paid, partied, and died at his peak (presumably). That is the highest ideal of untold millions of unhappy creatives across the country, from the guys dropping acid to become Hunter S. Thompson, to the girls praying to Marilyn Monroe as they turn on the Webcam and grab the dildo, to the queers memorizing Divine’s lines in Female Trouble before a drag show. They are all just so many different attempts at discovering the alchemy that will make depression into art. The assumptions are that depression is unavoidable, and that through popularity (artistic, not personal), their depression will be validated and consoled. If that last part doesn’t happen, it doesn’t much matter, because with the newfound fame will come parties and drugs enough to let you die in a blissful blitz.

Lil Peep did this all perfectly. Like his tattoos, his songs are largely about misery and death, and reflect the randomness of contemporary pop culture. And as in his tattoos, people were drawn to them, fascinated by them, and loved them. Like Kurt Cobain, with whom critics aptly compared him, Lil Peep’s lyrics kept his death from coming as a surprise. He died while touring for his album “Come Over When You’re Sober (Part I),” which had lyrics with this memorable chorus:

Sometimes life gets fucked up (fucked up)
That’s why we get fucked up (we get fucked up)
I can still feel your touch
I still do those same drugs
Sometimes life gets fucked up (fucked up)
That’s why we get fucked up (we get fucked up)
I can still feel your touch
I still do those same drugs

Another song went:

Help me find a way to pass the time (to pass the time)
Everybody telling me life’s short, but I wanna die (I wanna die)
Help me find a way to make you mine (make you mine)
Everybody telling me not to, but I’m gonna try
Now I’m getting high again, tonight

Perhaps most appropriate, though, would be the lyrics from the opening track of the album that put him on the map:

And I got this vibe, I swear it’s perfect to ride to
I wanna die too, we all wanna die too
I got this vibe, I swear she love gettin’ high to
I love gettin’ high too, I wanna hide you
How did I find you? I’ll be inside, I’m makin’ music to cry to

Oh, it’s a lonely world, I know
Gon’ get a lonely girl, that’s fo’ sho’
Oh, I’m a lonely boy, she made a lonely boy, yeah, I know

Oh, it’s a lonely world, I know
Gon’ get a lonely girl, that’s fo’ sho’
Oh, I’m a lonely boy, she made a lonely boy, yeah, I know

He died of a fentanyl-Xanax overdose at the age of 21. At the time of his death, “[his blood] tested positive for marijuana, cocaine and the painkiller Tramadol. His urine tested positive for all of those drugs, along with multiple powerful opiates, including Hydrocodone, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Oxycodone and Oxymorphone.”

To reiterate: Lil Peep made it. His life was what modernity’s dreams are made of, and across America, millions more would give just about anything to make it like he did—even their lives.

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17 Comments

  1. Niko
    Posted November 18, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    Very tragic. But to say that is even to give in to thwir identity as tragic rock stars who die young, so I feel stupid for saying it. Lil Peep’s death seems more farcical at this point than tragic.

    Another musician-producer–big in the electronic music scene–Avicci killed himself recently. He was Swedish. Sweden has produced a lot of great music producers. His family released this statement:

    “[he]really struggled with thoughts about meaning, life, happiness. He could not go on any longer. He wanted to find peace.”

  2. Vehmgericht
    Posted November 18, 2018 at 4:35 am | Permalink

    No fan of popular music at all, but I feel do sorry for this man, his kith and kin. A musical and poetic talent is evident in spite of the degenerate artistic vehicle employed.

    We should not gloat or mock: it is unworthy and as self-destructive in its own way as the conspiracy mongering and exterminationist fantasising that tainted the ‘alt-right’.

    It seems that, in the eyes of some on the Left, there are now only two roles available to white men: the heartless oppressor or the hapless junkie. Neither is positive or has any future.

    Mr Åhr, rootless and shootless, was too sensitive a soul to want to be classed with the former … it is his — and our — tragedy that he could see no alternative to the latter.

  3. Stronza
    Posted November 17, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Here’s what Lil Peep would be like as an old man if he hadn’t died:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ciBwMpHI7kE

  4. Matt Jackson
    Posted November 17, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    My gut reaction is to dismiss people like Peep with smugness and contempt. And I would, if he didn’t remind me so much of myself at his age. I wish I would have known then what I know now. To confirm my suspicions that the world actually was against me, as it is now.

  5. Peter
    Posted November 17, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I have a very uncomfortable thought here: are not Whites actually… always “depressed”? I.e., put it the other way round: do we have expressions of… easy-going? Classical music… I FLED it because it made me suicidally depressed! I needed to switch to latino music to find alegria. Now… maybe Mozart, Haydn is serene… anyways seems to me there is a very strong streak of this depressiveness in Whites… never contented… need to strive, CHANGE everything… fwiw. So an effing freak like Lil Peep may well be an accurate expression of our White nature !? That makes for uncomfortable self knowledge !? I like to say: we Whites build great machines, the negro makes good music. Are we Whites really unable to generate alegria? Quite frankly, I fear so. Possible we have to live in symbiosis with others to cover that area (and is is not plausible… as I also always like to say: a green pencil cannot at the same time be a blue pencil… you have your strong side… and maybe you need to resort to others for their strong side. Maybe a brain that tends to the logical just cannot produce expressions of contentedness… we are machines built for different purposes… ) .

    P.S.: that may well be important as we ask for White pathology… so we already know about pathological altruism. Now we may have the need for symbiosis with non-Whites… we know that Whites run to the exotic… so maybe we should just accept that as another White trait but make totally clear that we still want to maintain our race ! Make clear that symbiosis does not mean to give up the own!…. that´s something we need to explain to our liberal fellow-Whites who think they have to throw the baby out with the bath water… if you like / need something of non-Whites = Whites are bad and need to vanish -> NO ! Fallacy !

  6. Vauquelin
    Posted November 17, 2018 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    I see the excessive use of tattoos, in an age and place where they have no deeper cultural meaning, as an outward expression of mental illness.

  7. Buttercup
    Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    Lil NPC.

  8. miguel79
    Posted November 17, 2018 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    This is indeed a destiny that is idealized and romanticized by youths across Europe and NA, and it has been so for decades. And our enemies like it so.
    I don’t agree with (seeming?) implication that there is anything affirmative or authentic about his life or art. This is the ultimate passive surrender to the ideals of modernity, a denial of freedom and creativity rather than any affirmation of freedom.

    • Posted November 17, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      The beautiful loser meme has done incredible damage to millions of people. It has been promoted in TV movies and pop music. It is a mindweapon of mass destruction.

      Don’t celebrate depressed losers. Rathwr, encourage them to off themselves and get it over with.

  9. Anarcocapitalist
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    This story reminds me of Arcade Fire’s song “Creature Comforts.”

  10. metal_gear
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Say what you want about him, he did capture the aesthetic of young, confused, drug-addled white kid in despair better than anyone else will. Formerly being one myself, I do like some of his music and understand the appeal. Many that read this site won’t. My only hope is that people don’t choose to emulate that lifestyle, that they wake up and fight back. I have seen too many young talented white kids die as a result of that. The single lamest way to go out.

    • Requiem for a ribbit
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      I would not include this guy in the same cemetery as Cobain, Ledger, Belushi, Morrison, or even the late skateboarder Justin Pierce who played Casper in Larry Clark’s ‘Kids.’ Because he doesn’t capture anything artfully representative of modern “white” youthful rebellion for his era. His very appearance is naively, shamelessly at war against being white.

      His tattoos are an eruption of exit signs, a psychosomatic allergy to whiteness, appropriated from Mexican cartel and prison gang aesthetic, and gladly sponsored by Hollywood and Big Pharma. Whereas Mex cartels, prison gangs, Yakuza, use body sleeve tatts to primally express racial tribal lifeforce, Lil Peep was a self-terminating wisp, a fey ambassador for the multiculti Rx death cult. White? Only in the way Xanax is a white pill. A zombie ceases to be white once bitten, and a facial tattoo is the modern tell.

  11. Wanred
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Well that escalated quickly.

    I clicked on a few links here and there and heard mentioning of an ‘ex-girlfriend’… You’d think this guy would die lonely. Some people will never cease to amaze me, such classy standards.

  12. Ambrose Kane
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    What a worthless puke! Only in the decadent, self-absorbed West would a young man graffiti himself all over his face and body, compose the lamest lyrics to his so-called ‘music,’ become famous by a brain-dead generation, and then die of a drug overdose.

    His “personal unhappiness”?! No, he had it too good. He was just too stupid and narcissistic to know it.

    Good riddance to the Kurt Cobain’s and Lil Peep’s of the world. Our race is better without them.

  13. Richard Edmonds
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:26 am | Permalink

    Do I feel sorry for this jerk ? No, I do not.

    The System ordered this young man to kill himself, and the jerk, the weakling, the snivelling wretch obeyed his race-genociding masters.

    creep.

  14. 21st Century WN
    Posted November 15, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    He looks like a piece of trash.

  15. Posted November 15, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    FWIW, Terrence Malick (of all people) is producing a documentary about him. Apparently, he’s a friend of the family.

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