Lil Xan

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Lil Xan
Lil Xan.png
Lil Xan performing in Berkeley in 2018
Background information
Birth nameNicholas Diego Leanos
Also known as
  • Lil Xan
  • Diego
  • Xan
Born (1996-09-06) September 6, 1996 (age 23)
Redlands, California, United States
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2015–present
Associated acts

Nicholas Diego Leanos[4] (born September 6, 1996), better known as Lil Xan or simply Diego, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter from Redlands, California.[5][6] He is best known for his song "Betrayed", which was certified platinum by the RIAA[7] and peaked at number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100. On April 6, 2018, Leanos released his debut studio album, Total Xanarchy.

His stage name is derived from the name of the prescription drug Xanax.

Early life

Leanos was born on September 6, 1996, in Redlands, California to Mexican parents.[8] Growing up, Leanos was poor and lived in motels most of his childhood.[9] He attended Redlands East Valley High School, but dropped out of high school in his freshman year, and spent several years at home unemployed.[10][11] Leanos took a job as a street cleaner and sold drugs[12] before he began rapping.[13] Leanos later pursued a photography career in support of several friends who were rappers. He eventually had his camera stolen, and chose to begin rapping in lieu of investing in a new camera.[14]


Leanos began to gain recognition through platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube. His popularity grew after the release of the music video for his song "Betrayed" in August 2017.[15] The song peaked at no. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100.[16] In an interview with XXL, Leanos announced his debut album Total Xanarchy.[14] The album includes collaborations with artists such as Diplo and Swae Lee.[9] In December 2017, Leanos announced his Total Xanarchy tour,[17] which sold out in five hours according to Billboard.[9] In 2018, Leanos announced that he would change his stage name to "Diego" in order to support his anti-drug message,[18][19] though he later said in an interview he was not sure if he would change his name.[11]

Leanos released his debut studio album, Total Xanarchy on April 6, 2018. The album debuted at number ten on the Billboard 200.[20] The following month in May 2018, Leanos announced the mixtape Heartbreak Soldiers[21] which was released on July 8, 2018.[22] In September 2018, Leanos announced that his next album would be titled Be Safe as a tribute to Mac Miller, as these were the last words he said to Leanos before his death.[23][24]


Leanos has listed Pharrell Williams and N.E.R.D as early influences in hip hop, with other influences including Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant and Queens of the Stone Age.[25] Leanos has also described Drake and Mac Miller as musical inspirations.[13]

According to Pigeons & Planes, Leanos' music started off as "typical trap" and later shifted towards "a murkier, dream-like sound".[25] The New Yorker has described Leanos as part of a "sad rap" movement.[26]

Personal life

Leanos started dating singer and actress Noah Cyrus on June 30, 2018.[27] The couple released the collaboration "Live or Die" in August 2018. They broke up in September 2018 after Cyrus jokingly sent a photo of singer, Charlie Puth, photoshopped on a naked porn star's body to Leanos, prompting him to accuse her of being unfaithful. Leanos initially asserted that the relationship was forced by the couple's record label, Columbia.[28] However, weeks later he appeared to walk back this claim in an interview on Open Late with Peter Rosenberg, stating "Honest to God, I would say like most of the reason the breakup happened was because of me. It was my fault. We could have still been together, but I just feel like I fucked everything up. It also put me in a darker place because I was getting slammed left and right." He went on to say that he had "nothing but love for the Cyrus family."[29]

Leanos was formerly addicted to Xanax, along with opiates and other benzodiazepines, but he was able to quit the drug after two years of addiction.[30] Leanos currently speaks out against Xanax abuse and urges people to stop using the drug altogether.[31][32]

On September 28, 2018, Leanos was hospitalized and was treated for stomach pain after "eating too many Flamin' Hot Cheetos". According to a CNN report, Frito-Lay said that Flamin' Hot Cheetos meet all food safety regulations.[33][34]

In February 2019, Leanos announced that he and fiancée Annie Smith were expecting a child.[35] On April 6, Smith revealed that she had a miscarriage.[36] She shared the news via a video and photographs on Instagram.[37]



Title Album details Peak chart positions
Total Xanarchy
  • Release: April 6, 2018
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Label: Columbia
Be Safe
  • Release: TBD
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Label: Columbia


Title Mixtape details
Heartbreak Soldiers[39]
  • Release: July 8, 2018
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: Columbia
Heartbreak Soldiers Pt. 2
  • Release: March 20, 2019
  • Formats: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: Columbia

Extended plays

Title EP details
  • Release: September 6, 2016
  • Format: Digital download, streaming, cassette
  • Label: Sleepcvlt (cassette)
  • Release: June 19, 2017
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: N/A
  • Release: August 1, 2017
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: N/A
Xanarchy Militia
  • Release: November 14, 2018
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: Columbia
  • Release: February 19, 2019
  • Format: Streaming
  • Label: Columbia


As lead artist

Title Year Peak chart positions Certification Album

"Montana Doe" 2016 Non-album single
"Who Are You?"
(with Oohdem Beatz)
"Center Fold"
(with Julian Dova and Oohdem Beatz)
Non-album singles
(with Oohdem Beatz)
(with Julian Dova and Oohdem Beatz)
"Been Bout It"
"Xanarchy" Xanarchy
"No Love"
"Crash the Whip"
(with $teven Cannon)
Non-album single
"Slingshot" Total Xanarchy
"Betrayed" 64 28 49 11
"Water (Models)"
(with Spell Jordan featuring Smokeasac)
Non-album single
"Wake Up" Total Xanarchy
"Color Blind"
(with Diplo)
2018 California and Total Xanarchy
"The Man"
(featuring $teven Cannon)
Total Xanarchy
(with Charli XCX)
(featuring Lil Skies)
Heartbreak Soldiers
"Live or Die"
(with Noah Cyrus)
Non-album single
"Slope" Xanarchy Militia
"On Sight"
(with Lucifena)
Non-album single
"Watch Me Fall" 2019 Be Safe
"Tree Sap"
"Shake It" Pornhub Valentine's Day Album
(with DJ Stadium and PH4DE)
Non-album singles
"Summer Days"
"I Might"
(featuring YBN Nahmir, Steven Cannon and YBN Almighty Jay)
"Bloody Nose"
"Midnight In Prague"
"West Side"
"Like Me"

As featured artist

Title Year Album
(Chem X featuring Lil Xan)
2017 Non-album singles
"For the Better"
(Kid Kaze featuring Lil Xan)
(Joei Razook featuring Lil Xan)
"Broke the Outline"
(Kid Kaze featuring Lil Xan)
(HenneyPapi featuring Lil Xan)
(HenneyPapi featuring Lil Xan)
Litlyfe II
(Kid Kaze featuring Lil Xan)
Non-album singles
(Prime Society featuring Lil Xan and $teven Cannon)
"Crazy Shit"
(Skooly featuring Lil Xan)
Don't You Ever Forget Me 3
(Lil Icepack featuring Lil Xan)
Non-album singles
(Blatz featuring $teven Cannon and Lil Xan)
"I Might"
($teven Cannon featuring Lil Xan)
(Baby Goth featuring Trippie Redd and Lil Xan)
Baby Goth

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2018 MTV Video Music Awards Push Artist Of The Year Lil Xan Nominated [44]
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Push Nominated [44]


  1. ^ Lil Xan Is the New Face of Sad! Rap - Music - The Stranger
  2. ^ Kasra Ahmadi (2017-12-20). "Who is Lil Xan? The Cali rapper is the new leader of the anti-Xanax movement". Retrieved 2018-06-16. Diego hasn’t turned back since, and is now becoming one of the quickest viral SoundCloud rappers in the game.
  3. ^ D.L. (November 15, 2017). "Lil Xan Signs with Columbia Records". Rockstar Dreams. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  4. ^ xanxiety (January 10, 2019). "fuck it i'll do a Q n A on live rn". Instagram. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  5. ^ Elibert, Mark (December 5, 2017). "10 Hottest MCs of Latin Descent in Hip-Hop Today". Billboard. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  6. ^ Caramanica, Jon (December 18, 2017). "3 Rappers Peeking at Eminem's Playbook". The New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  7. ^ "Lil Xan's "Betrayed" Has Gone Platinum". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  8. ^ Brown, Preezy (March 24, 2018). "10 Things You Should Know About Lil Xan". Vibe. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Haithcoat, Rebecca (January 22, 2018). "Chartbreaker: Lil Xan on Face Tattoos and Overcoming Addiction". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  10. ^ Back2Back Hip Hop (August 11, 2017). "The LIL XAN Interview" (Interview). YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  11. ^ a b No Jumper (January 27, 2018). "The Lil Xan Interview" (Interview). YouTube. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  12. ^ Noisey (December 15, 2017), Lil Xan Would Like to Make You Sober: Noisey Raps, YouTube, retrieved February 1, 2018
  13. ^ a b Schiller, Rebecca (January 16, 2018). "Get to Know 'Betrayed' Rapper Lil Xan". Billboard. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  14. ^ a b C.M., Emmanuel (November 10, 2017). "The Break Presents: Lil Xan". XXL. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  15. ^ Blake, Emily (October 26, 2017). "Pandora Predictions to Know: Lil Xan, Lyrica Anderson & Mahalia". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Billboard Hot 100: February 17, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  17. ^ F, Matt (December 21, 2017). "Lil Xan Reveals Dates For "Total Xanarchy" Tour". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  18. ^ Coleman II, C. Vernon (January 13, 2018). "Lil Xan Plans on Changing His Name". XXL. Retrieved January 13, 2018.
  19. ^ P., Milca (January 14, 2018). "Lil Xan Officially Changes Name To Diego On Big Boy's Neighborhood". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  20. ^ "Lil Xan Shares 'Total Xanarchy' Album - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  21. ^ "Lil Xan Shares "Heartbreak Soldiers" Tracklist & Release Date". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  22. ^ "Lil Xan Surprises Fans With New 'Heartbreak Soldiers' Project". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  23. ^ Jarreau, Khal (September 26, 2018). "Lil Xan Says Mac Miller's Last Words to Him Inspired the Title of His Next Project". Complex. Archived from the original on September 27, 2018. Retrieved February 18, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  24. ^ Harris, Hunter. "Lil Xan Is Making a Mac Miller Tribute Album". Vulture. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  25. ^ a b Rindner, Grant (December 22, 2017). "People Can Change: An Interview With Lil Xan". Pigeons & Planes. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  26. ^ "Battan, Carrie (January 8, 2018). "Lil Xan and the Year in Sad Rap". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  27. ^ "'I don't accept this': Noah Cyrus and rapper Lil Xan go public, and fans aren't happy about it". Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  28. ^ adam22 (2018-09-08), Lil Xan speaks on Noah Cyrus, Mac Miller and quitting music, retrieved 2018-09-09
  29. ^ Boyle, Kelli (September 27, 2018). "Lil Xan Just Admitted His Breakup With Noah Cyrus Was His Fault For A Sad Reason". Elite Daily. Archived from the original on January 30, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  30. ^ "A Rapper Named Lil Xan Talks About His Painful Xanax Addiction & Recovery". DJBooth. October 19, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  31. ^ Hodge, Kyle (January 18, 2018). "Lil Xan Is the Unlikely Inspiration for Getting Kids off Xanax". Highsnobiety. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  32. ^ Gore, Sydney (January 9, 2018). "Lil Xan On Substance Abuse In The Hip-Hop Community: 'You'd Be Stupid To Keep Glorifying It'". TRL. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  33. ^ JENNIFER WEAVER. "Rapper Lil Xan hospitalized after indulging in too many Flamin' Hot Cheetos". KOMONEWS. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  34. ^ CNN, Lisa Respers France,. "Lil Xan can't stay away from Flamin' Hot Cheetos". CNN. Retrieved 2018-10-01.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  35. ^ Grossman, Lena (February 17, 2019). "Lil Xan Expecting His First Child 5 Months After Noah Cyrus Breakup". E! News. Archived from the original on February 18, 2019. Retrieved February 18, 2019. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  36. ^ "Lil Xan's Fiancée Reveals She Had a Miscarriage". E! News. April 6, 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  37. ^ "Lil Xan's Fiancée Reveals She Had a Miscarriage". E! News. April 6, 2019. Retrieved 2019-04-07.
  38. ^ Caulfield, Keith (April 15, 2018). "Cardi B's 'Invasion of Privacy' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  39. ^ "LIL XAN on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  40. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. December 16, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  41. ^ "Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  42. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker – Vecka 7, 16 februari 2018" [Weekly chart Heatseeker – Week 7, 16 februari 2018] (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  43. ^ "American single certification – Lil Xan – Betrayed". Recording Industry Association of America. May 3, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  44. ^ a b "Camila Cabello, Ariana Grande, Post Malone Lead 2018 MTV EMA Nominees". Billboard. October 4, 2018.

External links

  • Media related to Lil Xan at Wikimedia Commons