The Way I See Things: A Letter by Smokeasac

In the aftermath of Lil Peep's death, close friend and producer Dylan Mullen, aka Smokeasac, had a few words to say. To everyone else, Lil Peep was a star on stage. To Dylan, he was a kid named Gus. When Dylan was 18, Gus, 15 at the time, reached out to Dylan about buying some of his beats. The two met up in LA a couple years later and have been working together ever since. They went on to create genre defying tracks like Benz Truck, Brightside, and Awful Things. In an atmosphere of misunderstanding and judgement, Dylan shines light on the person Peep really was.  


When I was just 18, I started to post my beats on line from my home in Virginia. It was my first effort at music and get myself out there as a producer/ songwriter. The first person to reach out to me about a beat was a 15 year old kid named Gus who messaged me from his home in Long Island.  

He asked if he could purchase one of my beats to put some lyrics over. I was so excited that he was interested in my work and I sent him a bunch of beats. He sent me back the songs with his lyrics and I was really impressed. I thought to myself “wow this kid is something special”.

I went off to college to study audio engineering. A couple years in, I decided that school wasn’t for me. I left Boston to move out to LA and give it a go in the music business.

A few weeks after moving to Los Angeles, I came across this artist going by the name "Lil Peep".  I had no idea that the person standing in front of me was the same young kid that I only knew as Gus. I'll never forget the moment I realized who he was. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that years later we would both wind up in California trying to pursue our dreams.

Once we put the pieces together of how we met years earlier, we decide to make some music and came up with the track "nineteen". After we released it, I think we both knew at that moment it was our destiny to make music together. I knew Peep was a superstar from the moment I met him in LA. The lyrics came so naturally to him. He was born to be a star and everyone who met him knew it. 

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I remember when we made "Hellboy". He explained to me why he chose the name. He explained that it was because he knew that “Hellboy” came off as intimidating and scary to some but it was because he was like a book that was only judged by its cover.“Hellboy” was actually a super hero who had a huge heart and that's exactly what Peep was, a super hero with a humongous heart. 

Gus knew, no matter how close we were and even though he was my best friend, that I was still a huge fan. I loved his singing and his natural ability to write amazing lyrics. Just like me he loved what he did. We fueled each other and we created music 24/7. It wasn't a job it was our passion and we loved every moment. We brought out the best out in each other. I'd be blown away every time we created together. We were on this amazing journey and the best was yet to come. I admired how he would put his all into every song. When we recorded "Brightside", I watched his body tremble, he was singing so loud and the look in his face was genuine. He was pouring his heart out into these songs. I'll never forget these moments and his voice will forever be in my heart and soul.

Gus loved life more than anyone could imagine. He lived life to the fullest and cherished every moment of every day. He had the biggest goals and dreams you could imagine. He worked his ass off to get to where he was. He had so much drive and ambition. He loved traveling, eating all different types of crazy food. Once when we were overseas, he ate snails and octopus which I personally thought was insane! But he was open to try pretty much anything. I loved his zest for life and I couldn't be more honored that he took me along for the ride. 

Gus was very smart, creative and charismatic. He was such a character. He was super funny and outgoing around people, but the truth is that Gus was shy and really enjoyed just being with his close friends and family. He loved his mother and his dog more than anything and would talk about them all the time. He was Lil peep to the world but to us he was Gus. Like me he was a true mama’s boy.


We shared a very special bond, we would often call each other yin and yang because we were different but we were also so incredibly alike. More Importantly we called each other brothers and there was countless times where we helped each other get through whatever bumps came up in the road. 

We always had each other's back.  He ALWAYS had my back. He comforted me when I felt broken and I did the same for him. He always told me everything was gonna be okay. He always made things okay for me.  Not many people could cheer me up like Gus did. I'd be upset and he would give me this look…it was so silly that no matter what I'd start laughing. He knew how to cheer me up and he often told me I did the same for him.  He was so selfless, caring for people more than he did himself. He had so much love in him. Performing across the world was his dream and he made it happen. But since he was shy and slightly introverted the combo was a lot to deal with even for a super hero like peep. He loved his fans so much. It wouldn't matter what he was in the middle of. His fans came first. He always paid close attention and he made the time to know and acknowledge his biggest supporters. He treated them like family. Being such a loving person he wanted the best for everyone. He was always trying to make sure his loved ones were doing well. This pressure can be hard for someone who always wants to be the best for his family, friends and fans.  He had a tremendous weight on his shoulders.

He wanted to give a voice to people that suffer from anxiety and depression, people who have been abused, bullied, and the people who were misunderstood like him. He had demons of his own and he faced those demons by creating music.

Gus truly loved life. His death is a huge tragedy for all of us. He would want me to tell everyone to support your friends, watch their back, if they are struggling with issues that are too big for them to manage…get them to seek professional medical attention. Do not try to find your answers in the street.  Honor him. Give his death meaning. 

Gus - I will always feel blessed that you were part of my life. I will never forget those looks you gave me and the way you always made me laugh. I will remember all the times we acted goofy together and the fun we shared. The way you made me feel good about myself…I hope that I made you feel good about yourself. I will miss how we always had each other’s back.

I will always be proud of how we strived to do our best and make great music and how our music affected people. I won’t forget how blown away we were by all the amazing fans out there who support the music everyday.

Gus and I always knew… without the fans, all of our hopes and dreams might never come true. Thank you so much for all the support you’ve given us. We are so grateful everyday for your support of our music!

I am so grateful how you all reached out to me during this painful time to offer your messages of hope, kindness and support. It means so much to me and I thank you from the bottom of my heart…for both of us!

RIP my brother, my confidant, my friend.  You will always be with me. I will carry you in my heart forever. 

- Smoke

Click here for the Lil Peep Memorial posted on Smokeasac's website


Smokeasac plans to start working on Come Over When You're Sober Pt. 2 this coming January to carry on Peep's legacy. Watch the music video for 'Benz Truck' (prod. Smokeasac) below:

Lil Peep's Official SoundCloud Page: