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Lil Peep, hero to the emo and hip-hop scenes, dies of suspected overdose at 21

Lil Peep, the young rapper whose mix of intimate emo lyricism and foggy underground hip-hop resonated with a young crowd who loved both genres, has died at 21.

His death Wednesday while on tour in Tucson was confirmed to The Times by Sgt. Pete Dugan of the Tuscon Police Department.

Dugan said the rapper, born Gustav Ahr in Long Island, N.Y., had been booked to perform at a Tucson bar called the Rock.

His tour staff had not seen the artist before the scheduled show time, Dugan said, which prompted his manager to check on him. Ahr was found unresponsive in the tour bus around 9 p.m. Wednesday. The Tuscon Fire Department and local police were called to the scene but were unable to revive him.

Based on paraphernalia found at the scene, Dugan said the suspected cause of death was on overdose of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, which some rappers in underground hip-hop take as a party drug. Dugan said there were no other signs of foul play.

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Lil Peep’s mix of early-aughts emo samples and cutting-edge hip-hop, coupled with his striking face tattoos and colorful fashion sense, first came to popularity in 2015 on streaming site SoundCloud.

The following year, he released his first mixtapes, “Crybaby” and “Hellboy.” Fans responded to his candor about drug use, his emotional swings from bravado to desperation and the intimacy of his performances, which included a stage setup featuring the actual mattress from his bedroom.

He released his debut album, “Come Over When You’re Sober, Pt. 1,” in August.

Immediately after news of his death broke, musicians ranging from the rappers Juicy J and Post Malone to the electro-punk singer Alice Glass and super-producer Diplo wrote condolences online.

Post Malone said, “in the short time that i knew you, you were a great friend to me and a great person. your music changed the world and it’ll never be the same. i love you bud. forever.“

“Beyond devastating that Iil peep has passed. He was by far the best thing in music this past couple years and he was just a lil baby at 21,” Glass wrote.

Diplo said that Peep “had so much more to do man he was constantly inspiring me. I dont feel good man.”

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© 2017 Los Angeles Times

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