Lil Peep Memorial: Long Island and beyond says goodbye to the Outsider star who turned down & # 39; The Box & # 39;



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"It was Lil Peep for the world, but for us, it was Gus."

That statement, from producer Dylan "Smokeasac" Mullen, read by George Astasio, as much as anything said in a ballroom at a beachfront hotel in Long Beach, New York, on Saturday (2 December), summed up a very special evening entitled "The fascinating and colorful life of the iconic Gus Åhr": a memory and a farewell to Lil Peep, a talent who left the world at only 21 years old and who had only begun to touch the possibility of world music stardom, but that was also, as far as many in the room were concerned, a stranger child of Long Island. 19659002] Gus – Gustav – Åhr, died in Tucson, Arizona, on November 15, but could hardly have been more alive than in this space at the Hotel Allegria, full of friends, admirers and relatives, both bloody and musical. The distinctive colors of Lil Peep, pink and black, were everywhere: in the room, in the flowers on the tables and in the clothes and hair of the many Peep faithful who did it. (While it was a public event, the inner part of the afternoon, due to capacity problems, could only admit a portion of Peep's legion of admirers.) It is, of course, those fans who connected with Lil Peep in a way that anyone who has appreciated emo understands that put it on the map. And it is to those admirers that Gus Åhr's grandmother, Jenny Kastner, who began the evening, acknowledged, by reading the messages of admirers sent in the wake of the untimely death of their hero.

"It was a gift from God that was given to us for a short period of time, to change the world for the better," wrote one of them. "His big brown eyes and contagious smile will always have a part of my heart." A message from Jake in Pensacola, Florida, disagreed with a popular characterization of Peep: "He was not the modern day Kurt Cobain". Kastner read. "It was the first and only Lil Peep."

What the two icons shared was a sensibility foreign to the foliages. The boy from Long Beach, like the boy from Aberdeen, Washington, a generation earlier, ran out of this middle clbad in the suburbs of New York at age 17, looking for something more, and different, as his favorite the School teacher Maria Hartmann recounted. "I remember the winter of his senior year, Gus could not wait to finish high school, it was frustrating, he felt his creativity was being stifled, we talked a lot about his dream of moving to LA and making music." I asked him if he was afraid to move alone. He said: "No way, and my mother totally supports me".

His mother: Liza Womack. Anyone who even happened to know the story of Lil Peep knew that there was not a more important person in her life. As expected, on Saturday there were no more speakers than Womack. She shared a quote from a book by author Kate DiCamillo that she read to Gus when she was a child and remembered the morning after her son's death, only 17 days before, while she was out walking with her other son, Oscar. "We had not really slept, but we knew we had to leave the house and reach the world in search of comfort," he shared. "One of the things that Oscar told me was," Mama, just think about what he accomplished in just 21. He traveled to England, Russia, Belgium, France and even El Paso. I'll probably never go to El Paso in all my life! "Gus lived his own life on his own terms, he was a stubborn, impulsive, cunning, observant and tender young man."

It would be difficult to find someone who disagreed with that evaluation, in this room or beyond. Peep was certainly adopted by the fashion world, that was evident in a video that preceded the monument. His talent was recognized by the stars of hip-hop, rock, pop and more: sympathy tweets appeared on the screen of Post Malone, Diplo, Alice Glbad, Ty Dolla Sign and Charli XCX. A whole side of the room was populated by Peep's creative partners, Goth Boi Clique, none more significant than Lil Tracy, with whom Peep collaborated on numerous occasions. And the deep roots of Gus in emo stood out in interstitial music: "I Miss You" by Blink-182, "Snow (Hey Oh)" by Red Hot Chili Peppers, "tour de force by My Chemical Romance" Welcome to Black Parade "and finally – brilliantly – a live video of Good Charlotte covering Peep's anthem" Awful Things. "It could not have been more perfect, and hopefully the Maddens will consider making the song a permanent part of their set, in homage Gus.

What more could I expect, as something like a stranger attending a tribute like this, than to learn something about the young man who is remembered? And so I did. I learned from Hartmann that Peep, like many of us before him, he led to Catcher in the Rye. "I like it," he told Hartmann, referring to the book's main character, Holden Caulfield. "And that's when I found out that Gus was connecting with a fictional character who was a bit lost in his environment ac tual, "said her teacher. His ex-girlfriend Emma Harris explained that if Gus was not always the most reliable boyfriend – "we would go out for a month, then not talk for two" – once told him they would always be "relatives". It was not until recently, she understood what he meant and, despite her love of punk and hip-hop, Peep turned out to be a Sinatra fan. "You'll be surprised to know that he and his clbadmates had a weekly Frank Sinatra night," his mother explained. "His favorite song was 'Come back to the moon', and it was bading good singing it!"

] After this personal and public (broadcast live) concluded the memory, we went outside to the Long Beach boardwalk, where hundreds of Lil Peep fans were waiting. The GBC received an enthusiastic welcome, and there was a spontaneous song of "Witchblade" from Peep and Tracy, with his sharp hook, "When I die, bury me with all my ice on." Then the crowd, pink and red roses in hand, He made his way to being ach. There was more music, a tough polar bear got undressed and jumped into the December water, and one by one, pink and red roses were thrown into the Atlantic in memory of Gus Åhr.

Lil Peep's mother, Liza, used part of her observations on this emotional day to call those of us who would judge another for their tattoos, disconnected with school or with dirty nails. "If you had seen Gus at night walking down the street, you may have been discouraged, even with fear." You could have thought, & # 39; What a loser & # 39; "he said." If you had made these judgments about this teenager, about this young man struggling on his own to find meaning as a man, then I ask you to use this moment, right now, as a moment to reflect on your actions. Ask yourself these questions: Do I really know this person? Have I sat face to face and been asked to tell me about him? I know what he cares about? Do I know what he values? "Please do not make badumptions about people, or events, in ignorance, try to get out of your own box and open your mind to new ideas, should they all fit in the box, why should we have a box? Peeper is gone, but surely he has left us a lot of wonderful material to review and consider, he has left me with new people to know, I am very proud of him, you have no idea. "

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