We live in positively mind-boggling times. NASA, as of late, affirmed that they sent a testing probe into the interstellar space. Martha Stewart claims to have an automaton with the only purpose of taking flying photographs of her home. Feline cats and pooches are existing together. Also, most incredible of all, the most eagerly awaited rap show in New York the previous evening was from Yung Lean, a white Swedish teen with a dubious command on the English language and dialect, and a fixation on Arizona Iced Tea. He dominated the show and I can assertively say that; Individuals. Were. Cracking. The. Fuck. Out. Check out the image here to get a proof of what actually happened last night.
When Yung Lean was first mentioned on the media/social media, he was just a weird wiry Swedish kid dressed up in a bucket hat. He could only parrot random phrases he had picked up from the rap lexicon with a dead-eye yet very precious look. He captivated his audience. They were transfixed and amused – thinking of it like a joke, except that it wasn’t a joke at all. The early videos were truly bizarre but Yung Lean’s charisma shone through with brilliance.
Slowly and gradually, it seemed that Yung Lean transformed as if from Charmander to Charizard. From a meme, he became a musician and the oddity became his brilliant default pose. He put out great songs legitimately named “Kyoto” and “Yoshi City”, which established him as an interstellar rapper who wore sadness as if it was a cape of protection against crime and injustice. Yung Lean developed an internet following which materialized into flesh at his debut performance in America at the Webster Hall last night.
He gives out vibes of American hip-hop, which has been translated into Swedish using Google Translate and then back. You will understand the words he uses individually, but together, there’s nothing that will make sense. Yet, there is something off about him. Perhaps, maybe because he doesn’t understand the connotations of the language he uses. For Yung Lean, a duffel bag of heroin is similar to a refreshing can of Arizona Iced Tea – only because it’s American and since he is not, it’s rare and very special.
His first video might have had an amateurish charm but his performance last night set the audience on fire with his professionalism. His words were enunciated carefully even though he didn’t have a vocal backing track – which is something very rare in live hip-hop performances. He sang every single word of every single song. To his fans, Yung Lean is no longer a meme but he’s a dope, a weird rapper whose popularity is reaching a breaking point and he is monetizing on his skills now. You won’t believe this, but his merchandise is now being made by the classic haute street-wear veterans VFILES. Arizona brand representatives were at his show last night and handed out branded sun glasses and, of course, the much-loved Arizona Iced Tea to the audience.