From what we know about Lil Peep from his short run of popularity before his untimely death last night, he wasn’t exactly looking for absolution for his near-constant adulation of Xanax use, but he received it anyway from a not-entirely-unexpected source. Lil Uzi Vert took to Twitter to express his regret over Peep’s death and his addiction, paying a poignant tribute to an artist who was, at least, his spiritual brother and fellow “emo rapper.”
“We Would love 2 stop …..” he wrote, “But Do You Really Care Cause We Been On Xanax All Fucking Year.” He then said a goodbye and offered a message of understanding and commiseration, “Rip Buddy I 100% Understand and I Don’t Fault U.”
Rap’s (and by extension, the larger hip-hop culture that includes musicians, artists, and other entertainers) current fascination with prescription medication as pastime has been discussed at length, but Peep’s death continues to highlight the fact that those discussions have made little headway into a workable preventative strategy that will keep kids from ever risking addiction in the first place.
From Russ’s sternly-worded t-shirt to several anti-drug PSAs being headed up by prominent up-and-comers in the hip-hop world, plenty are doing as much as they can to curb the tide of America’s unfortunate opiate crisis, but for at least one troubled young man, help was too late in coming. Hopefully, Lil Peep can serve as much more than a tragic figure or a canary in a mineshaft and become a rallying point that galvanizes real efforts to combat this disturbing trend in both hip-hop and the greater mainstream culture that often takes its cues from rap.