God bless the internet for introducing Swedish teenagers to underground American rap. All hail social media for allowing those same kids to contact their hip hop heroes directly via social media and strike up not just friendships but also extremely fruitful working relationships. Yung Lean is a 16 year old from Stockholm for whom the phrase “living the dream” could’ve been invented. Inspired by surrealist emo MCs like Lil’ B and Main Attrakionz, Lean hooked up with some hometown buds (the Sad Boys crew) and started churning out track after track of his own supremely weird stream-of-consciousness nonsense (iced tea, Super Mario, Dumbledore, hookers that look like Zooey Deschanel), complete with DIY videos that have turned him into that most modern breed of celebrity: the YouTube sensation. Along with typically gauzey production from fellow Sad Boys Yung Gud and Yung Sherman, Lean’s new Unknown Death 2002 mixtape features an exclusive beat from East Bay cloud-rap big deals Friendzone, who the Yung MC hooked up with on Twitter, and he’s teamed up with a label on another continent – the ever generous Mishka NYC – to make the whole thing available online for free. This is how this generation makes and releases music. This is the world my daughter is going to grow up in, and whilst I may yet come to regret my decision, on the evidence of crazy, awesome shit like this I think I’m okay with that.
Check out the Friendzone produced “Solarflare” below and download Unknown Death 2002 gratis here.