Down Another Lonely Road I Go: Understanding Lil Peep
Our story begins in the fall of 2017. I had been out of touch with hip hop for a long time, the last new album I really listened to being Life of Pablo almost 2 years beforehand. This changed as I discovered rappers like Lil Uzi Vert, Post Malone and Jaden Smith among others thanks to my friends at college. What stood out to me most about the state of hip hop in 2017 was the prevalence of rappers inspired by emo music from years ago. Rappers like Lil Peep, X, Joji and more fall into this category, while Lil Peep specifically struck me as exceptional. I revisited his songs time and time again, feeling almost like I had tapped into a continuation of the midwest emo I had been so fond of as a younger teenager. Peep’s music had more in common with bands like Teen Suicide, Foxing and Salvia Palth than his hip hop contemporaries. His rhythmic guitar playing, emo imagery and depressing lyrics captured my heart. And then, on November 15th, 2017, he was found dead in his tour bus at the age of 21. Today I’m going to discuss his legacy and attempt to answer the question thousands of people have asked in the wake of his death: was he even good?