When A-Trak declared that “hip-hop has entered its psychedelic age,” he wasn’t wrong. At the vanguard of this whole thing is Stockholm’s Yung Lean, letting his freak flag fly in garish videos loaded with Tumblrd-out throwback imagery. Transformers, Super Smash Bros., Pokemon and Windows screensavers all make appearances. In fact, many of the references in Yung Lean’s visual identity are actually older he is, at a fresh-faced 16.
As well as being an internet darling, Yung Lean also heads up the Sad Boys clique, along with producers Yung Gud and Yung Sherman. These guys are experts in the fetishisation of sadness and have found likeminded spirits in sadwave figures like producer Karman and rapper Little Pain.
— k a r m a n (@sadshawty) July 9, 2013
My name is… Yung Lean Doer aka R Kelly.
By day I… do ignorant things with my friends such as watching movies and drinking coffee.
By night I… go ham and listen to Soulja Boy.
My favourite TV show is… Game of Thrones or South Park or The Life & Times of Tim.
The last movie I watched was… The Darjeeling Limited. Because I was on a train.
The first album I ever bought was… Guru’s Jazzmatazz.
The last was… Cody Chestnutt – The Headphone Masterpiece.
If I wasn’t making music I would probably be… writing books.
I’m addicted to… coffee and Kool Aid.
The best thing about touring is… I get to do what I love with the my friends and groupies and meeting different people. And the food – in Berlin we had mad döner kebab.
The worst thing is… we always get too drunk before the show.
My perfect gig would involve… Yung Sherman naked on the stage covered in gold, while Yung Gud was standing on a lion and I was performing Greygoose with Usher as my hypeman.
The first gig I went to was… Franz Ferdinand when I was like 10 with my dad.
The most important thing on my rider is… Kool Aid.
My hangover cure is… pineapples.
My fave youtube vid is… Gucci Goggles by DJ Nate.
My computer’s wallpaper is… a picture of my friend Oliver and Jim.
Yung Lean’s debut mixtape Unknown Death 2002 is out now.