“Hellboy” rapper Lil Peep is dead at 21.

Emo Rapper Lil Peep, Who Was Hailed as the Future of the Genre, Is Dead at 21

Emo Rapper Lil Peep, Who Was Hailed as the Future of the Genre, Is Dead at 21

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Slate's Culture Blog
Nov. 16 2017 9:37 AM

Emo Rapper Lil Peep, Who Was Hailed as the Future of the Genre, Is Dead at 21

Lil Peep
Lil Peep arrives at the Balmain Menswear Spring/Summer 2018 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on June 24.

Edward Berthelot/Getty Images

Lil Peep, who earlier this year was dubbed the “future of emo rap” by Pitchfork, died on Wednesday at the age of 21. Through his woozy, melancholic songs like “White Wine,” “Girls,” and “Drugz,” he drew from ’00s influences like Limp Bizkit and Panic! At the Disco as well as rapper Gucci Mane, while garnering millions of fans on social media and Soundcloud. A 2017 New York Times profile of Peep and several other young rappers considered to be at the forefront of the genre compared him to Kurt Cobain, and the rapper talked openly about his struggles with drugs and mental illness. “I suffer from depression and some days I wake up and I’m like, Fuck, I wish I didn’t wake up,” he revealed in an interview. “… Some days I’ll be very down and out, but you won’t be able to tell, really, because I don’t express that side of myself on social media. That’s the side of myself that I express through music.”

The cause of death has not yet been determined, but the rapper’s manager Chase Ortega reportedly tweeted, “I’ve been expecting this call for a year. Mother fuck.” Sarah Stennett, the CEO of First Access Entertainment, a company that worked with him last year, released a statement in which she said, “He was highly intelligent, hugely creative, massively charismatic, gentle and charming. He had huge ambition and his career was flourishing.”

Aisha Harris is a Slate culture writer and host of the Slate podcast Represent.