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The Break Presents: Lil Peep

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Lil Peep is sort of an anomaly. Here we have a 20-year-old Long Beach, N.Y. native who raps about doing drugs with girls and pondering suicide, all over rock samples. Is he rap or is he alternative rock? For Peep, he’s a combination of both.

His music has connected with fans quickly and he’s seeing his popularity soar, drawing in many fans worldwide because of his honesty. Songs like “crybaby,” “kiss” and projects like Hellboy and Crybaby have laid a solid foundation for fans to get a sense of the kind of artist he is. He’s emotionally vulnerable and has a knack for writing lyrics that tug at your heart. But don’t just label him sad boy rap. Lil Peep is truly talented. For his upcoming album, he says it’s his best work to-date because he’s starting to take himself seriously as an artist.

“I’ve been working on my album for a few months but I never really taken myself with music this seriously,” he said. “I just started and I just got other people taking me seriously so I kind of need to take it more seriously myself. This is a project where I know people are going to listen to it. Other projects I put out I didn’t know if anyone was going to listen to it. I thought it would be only for me to listen to it and show my friends. This new project, I really polished up and trying to make this as perfect as possible.”

With a growing fan base and music on the way, 2017 looks to be a big year for the young upstart. “I want people to hear what I have to say and I want to be able to get a lot of points across,” he adds. “I want to change the game right now in a lot of positive ways, positive changes it needs to see in order to grow.”

Get to know Lil Peep in XXL‘s The Break.

Age: 20

Hometown: Long Beach, N.Y.

I grew up listening to: “I grew up listening to a lot of emo music, a lot of rock music, a lot of rap music, a lot of trap music, funk, everything. One of my favorite hip-hop artists is Makonnen. One of my favorite bands is Fall Out Boy. You put those two together and that’s Lil Peep [laughs]. I started making music myself around two years ago. Before that I played the trombone.

“There was a point of time where I didn’t step out my house for two months. I was very reclusive and depressed. I was in the house and just listening to Future and music and it took me out of my bedroom, metaphorically. It inspired me to try it myself. I can kind of write songs for people so I thought why don’t I write my own songs.

“My first year making music was very experimental. I was trying to find my sound. My second year I was more in my element, I knew what type of production I wanted to go over and the topics I wanted to address.

“My mom has been calling me Peep since I was a baby. So I just always have been Peep. It’s surreal how fast my popularity has grown. It’s kind of happening so fast that it almost doesn’t seem real. Especially since I’m so reclusive I’m usually out the loop and I don’t really notice it and what’s going on around me—the buzz really.”

My style’s been compared to: “People don’t compare me to anyone because it’s really hard to compare me to anyone. I would describe my sound as revolutionary. I’m trying to take two different sounds and two different scenes into one.”

Most people don’t know: “I’m sick at the trombone. I’m very good; I’ve been playing for a while, since I was like 12.”

My standout records or moment to date have been: “Probably this album that’s about to come out. This will be my favorite piece of work that I have ever put out so far. The project I’m working on right now.”

My goal in hip-hop is: “My goal in music is to save people’s lives like how my life was saved. I was very suicidal and depressed and I was addicted to some drugs and a lot of different artists helped me get out of that with their direct lyrics. It’s amazing how specific some lyrics are. Sometimes you feel like an artist is talking directly to you. That’s what I try to do with my music. I try to think about different problems people are having.

I’m going to be the next: “Lil Peep. I get so much influence from everybody that I wouldn’t be able to box myself into one category. I’m just myself and I don’t know anyone who’s similar to me. I’m just a very different person.”

Follow Lil Peep on Twitter and Soundcloud.

Standouts: Hellboy

Crybaby

“Giving Girls Cocaine”

“I Crash, You Crash”

Lil Peep and Lil Tracy’s “White Wine”

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