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Download Yung Lean’s Unknown Death 2002 Mixtape

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After calling Swedish teen rapper Yung Lean “mesmerizing” in a post two months ago, some guy tweeted me repeatedly, saying: “MESMERIZING? DO YOU KNOW WHAT MESMERIZING MEANS?! I CAN’T BELIEVE SOMEBODY OK’D THESE 3 VIDS FOR ‘PUBLICATION.’ U SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF.” Like him or not, Yung Lean is an interesting case of modern-day rap. His sleepy-eyed gun and money talk is reframed not just by his whiteness, but by his whole depressed pose—his group is called Sad Boys—and general internetty teen-ness, working N64 controllers and Mewtwo Pokemon cards into music videos. Crying appropriation is a logical first reaction, but I think Yung Lean’s music is more nuanced. Whether you buy it as a real trait of his or as simply an aesthetic choice—potentially a whole other debate—his depression and atonal delivery puts a spin on violence and excess that is at once self-aware (money can also make you unhappy, a common rap theme), and the opposite of self-aware (Yung Lean himself has presumably never been in a position to judge that firsthand). Maybe even more than this weird kid sitting on some of the dizziest beats this side of Kuchibiru, that tension is what makes Yung Lean so interesting to me

Download Yung Lean’s Unknown Death 2002 Mixtape