Rapper Lil Peep Reaps the Consequences of the American Opioid Crisis


On Wednesday Night, Gustav Ahr, better known by his rapper name, Lil Peep, died in his tour bus in Tucson at age 21. In following days, America has mourned the loss of the emerging talent, fellow rappers tweeting their condolences. Lil Yachty tweeting, “R.I.P Lil Peep Dawg”, Kevin Abstract tweeting, “rip Lil Peep, so sad man.” The Tucson Police Department found evidence suggesting that the rapper died of an overdose of the anti-anxiety medication Xanax laced with the opioid drug Fentanyl.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States. In a day and age where the misuse and abuse of prescription medications and opioid drugs is glamorized, it is sad to see attention drawn to the negative effects of addiction only after a celebrity has died. President Trump earlier this year claimed that the opioid crisis was a national emergency and would be his top priority, but no proper documents have been filled out to set that claim in motion, and no further claims have been made by the president on that issue. And even with the attention now being put on the issue, the American music industry, more specifically this new age of rappers, could be in too deep. Rapper Lil Xan had his claim to fame through the romanticization of his Xanax addiction, his rapper name literally being Lil Xan. Lil Uzi Vert tweeted after the death of Lil Peep, “We would love 2 stop….. But Do You Really Care Cause We Been On Xanax all f—— year”. The horrible truth is that the issue cannot be stopped instantly. There must be a change in attitude and attention. The youth cannot succumb to the lifestyles new age rappers rave about. In 2015, 276,000 adolescents, ages 12 to 17, were nonmedical users of prescription medications. This number is horrifying. And while nobody is forcing teenagers to obtain addictions to prescription and opioid drugs, new age rappers should be aware of the influence they have. All these Lil’s have a big responsibility. “80 on my wrist,” more like possible thousands of teenage lives on your hands. The music industry should take the tragic death of Lil Peep as a lesson to learn from, that rappers and musicians as a whole need to address the problems in America, not endorse them. Rapper Lil Xan, in his latest song, “Betrayed,” raps about the horrible effects of Xanax. “Pop the cap, I sold my soul” and “Xan’s gon’ betray you” being lyrics. This is the music we need. This is the message needing to be sent. Lil Peep will be missed by many, especially fans who claimed his music and messages saved their lives. Fellow rappers and musicians are just as capable of saving lives, and this should be the event to spark that fire.