Illustration by Leo Gordon
I first heard Lil Peep on his song “White Wine.” The production on “White Whine” is hazy and dark, overlaying a rock sample over a trap drumbeat. He mixes in silly lines like “this pretty young white b*tch hopped in my ride,” with unnervingly direct lines like “Lord why, Lord why do I gotta wake up?” Lil Peep was a SoundCloud rapper whose style of music is a mixture of southern rap and rock, usually described as emo trap or lo-fi rap. Lyrically, he often rapped about drug use and his depression. On November 15th, 2017, Lil Peep died from a suspected drug overdose. Police suspect that Xanax laced with Fentanyl caused his death. Hip hop as a whole has been more about prescription drugs recently, and Peep’s death can be seen as a byproduct of this culture.
From Migos member Quavo rapping about popping Percocets and drinking lean to start off his night, to Lil Pump’s glorification of taking Xanax, drug references are a staple of the current rap/trap scene. Because hard drugs have been normalized, many teenagers take these drugs — cocaine, Xanax, and lean for example. Using these drugs is extremely harmful, and this problem will only continue, until there’s more awareness around this issue, and steps are taken to make sure these drugs aren’t seen as casual party drugs anymore.