One of the first Swedish rappers to break across the globe, Yung Lean kicked off his career with the Sad Boys, a crew with a name that reflected the melancholic nature of Lean's music. Substance abuse and mental illness were frequent topics in both Yung Lean's early music and life outside of the studio as he grappled with addiction and bipolar disorder. The intensity of his life bled into the bleak atmospheres of his music on early solo records and carried over to more commercially geared efforts like 2020's Starz.

Born Jonatan Leandoer Håstad, Lean was 16 when he joined producers Yung Gud and Yung Sherman in the Sad Boys around 2012. A year later, the crew was releasing tracks under Yung Lean's name, including "Ginseng Strip 2002," which earned two million views after it became a viral hit. The Unknown Death 2002 mixtape landed that same year, along with the Lavender EP, which gave "Ginseng Strip 2002" an official release. Lean's official debut full-length, Unknown Memory, followed in 2014 and peaked within the Top 40 of the U.S. Heatseekers, Top R&B/hip-hop, and rap charts. The effort was supported by a tour of Europe and North America. A year later, he cut the "Crystal Clear Ice" single for the Adult Swim label and issued his sophomore album, Warlord. That same year, he released the Frost God mixtape, which featured an appearance by A$AP Ferg on "Crystal City."

In 2017, Yung Lean began his shift away from the darker side of cloud rap into more overtly mainstream pop-trap territory on his third album, Stranger. 2018's Poison Ivy mixtape was a return to the raw, home-recorded tone of early Sad Boys material. January 2019 saw him issue the single "Creep Creeps." Fourth album Starz materialized in May 2020. The record split the difference between the bleak cloud rap of Lean's earliest work and a more polished, pop-friendly approach to production. While the title track credits elements to Ariel Pink, there were no other features on the album. Playboi Carti had recorded a verse for the song "Yayo," but due to label conflicts, the performance was omitted from the final product. ~ David Jeffries & Neil Z. Yeung, Rovi

Yung Lean - Kyoto
Yung Lean ♦ Ginseng Strip 2002 ♦
Yung Lean - Hurt
Yung Lean x Bladee - Opium Dreams
Yung Lean - Yoshi City
Yung Lean - Red Bottom Sky
Yung Lean & Thaiboy Digital - Diamonds
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