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Lil Xan

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Lil Xan
Lil Xan Sony Music Korea.png
Background information
Birth nameDiego Leanos
Also known as
  • Lil Xan
  • Diego
Born (1996-09-06) September 6, 1996 (age 22)
Redlands, California, United States
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2015–present
Associated acts

Diego Leanos (born September 6, 1996), known professionally as Lil Xan or simply Diego, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter from Redlands, California.[4][5] He is best known for his breakout hit "Betrayed", which was certified platinum by the RIAA[6] and peaked at number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100. 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.[7] Growing up, Leanos was poor and lived in motels most of his childhood.[8] He attended Redlands East Valley High School, but dropped out of high school in his freshman year, and spent several years at home unemployed.[9][10] Leanos took a job as a street cleaner and sold drugs[11] before he began rapping.[12] 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.[13]


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.[14] The song peaked at no. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100.[15] In an interview with XXL, Leanos announced his debut album Total Xanarchy.[13] The album includes collaborations with artists such as Diplo and Swae Lee.[16] In December 2017, Leanos announced his Total Xanarchy tour,[17] which sold out in five hours according to Billboard.[16] 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.[20]

Leanos released his debut studio album, Total Xanarchy on April 6, 2018. The album debuted at number ten on the Billboard 200.[21] The following month in May 2018, Leanos announced the mixtape Heartbreak Soldiers[22] which was released on July 8, 2018.[23] In November 2018, Lil Xan announced that he was making a Mac Miller tribute album.[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.[12]

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]


Leanos made headlines in 2018 when during an interview he rated the late rapper Tupac Shakur only a "2" [out of 9] and called his music boring. After the incident fellow rapper Waka Flocka Flame claimed on Twitter that Leanos is "banned from hip hop".[27][28] However, Leanos later paid tribute to Tupac by playing the song "California Love".[29]

Personal life

Leanos started dating singer and actress Noah Cyrus on June 30, 2018.[30] The couple released the collaboration "Live or Die" in August 2018. They broke up in September 2018 after Noah 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 later asserted that the relationship was forced by the couple's record label, Columbia.[31]

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.[32] Leanos currently speaks out against Xanax abuse and urges people to stop using the drug altogether.[33][34]

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 meets all food safety regulations.[35][36]



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




Title Mixtape details
Heartbreak Soldiers[38]
  • Release: July 8, 2018
  • Format: 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[39]
  • Release: November 14, 2018
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: Columbia


Title Year Peak chart positions Album Certification

"Betrayed" 2017 64 28 49 11 Total Xanarchy RIAA: Platinum[43]

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 Pending [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. ^ Elibert, Mark (December 5, 2017). "10 Hottest MCs of Latin Descent in Hip-Hop Today". Billboard. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  5. ^ Caramanica, Jon (December 18, 2017). "3 Rappers Peeking at Eminem's Playbook". The New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
  6. ^ "Lil Xan's "Betrayed" Has Gone Platinum". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2018-05-10.
  7. ^ Brown, Preezy (March 24, 2018). "10 Things You Should Know About Lil Xan". Vibe. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  8. ^ Haithcoat, Rebecca (January 22, 2018). "Chartbreaker: Lil Xan on Face Tattoos and Overcoming Addiction". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  9. ^ Back2Back Hip Hop (August 11, 2017). "The LIL XAN Interview" (Interview). YouTube. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  10. ^ No Jumper (January 27, 2018). "The Lil Xan Interview" (Interview). YouTube. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  11. ^ Noisey (December 15, 2017), Lil Xan Would Like to Make You Sober: Noisey Raps, YouTube, retrieved February 1, 2018
  12. ^ a b Schiller, Rebecca (January 16, 2018). "Get to Know 'Betrayed' Rapper Lil Xan". Billboard. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  13. ^ a b C.M., Emmanuel (November 10, 2017). "The Break Presents: Lil Xan". XXL. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  14. ^ Blake, Emily (October 26, 2017). "Pandora Predictions to Know: Lil Xan, Lyrica Anderson & Mahalia". Billboard. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  15. ^ a b "Billboard Hot 100: February 17, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved February 13, 2018.
  16. ^ a b Haithcoat, Rebecca (January 22, 2018). "Chartbreaker: Lil Xan on Face Tattoos and Overcoming Addiction". Billboard. Retrieved February 1, 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. ^ No Jumper (January 27, 2018). "The Lil Xan Interview" (Interview). YouTube. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  21. ^ "Lil Xan Shares 'Total Xanarchy' Album - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  22. ^ "Lil Xan Shares "Heartbreak Soldiers" Tracklist & Release Date". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  23. ^ "Lil Xan Surprises Fans With New 'Heartbreak Soldiers' Project". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  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. ^ Lamarre, Carl (March 7, 2018). "Waka Flocka Flame Says Lil Xan Is 'Banned From Hip-Hop' After Calling Tupac's Music 'Boring'". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  28. ^ Setaro, Shawn (March 7, 2018). "Waka Flocka Says Lil Xan Is Banned From Hip-Hop for 2Pac Comments". Complex. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
  29. ^ Price, Joe (March 23, 2018). "Lil Xan Pays Tribute to 2Pac by Performing "California Love"". Complex. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  30. ^ "'I don't accept this': Noah Cyrus and rapper Lil Xan go public, and fans aren't happy about it". Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  31. ^ adam22 (2018-09-08), Lil Xan speaks on Noah Cyrus, Mac Miller and quitting music, retrieved 2018-09-09
  32. ^ "A Rapper Named Lil Xan Talks About His Painful Xanax Addiction & Recovery". DJBooth. October 19, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  33. ^ Hodge, Kyle (January 18, 2018). "Lil Xan Is the Unlikely Inspiration for Getting Kids off Xanax". Highsnobiety. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  34. ^ 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.
  35. ^ Staff, JENNIFER WEAVER, KUTV. "Rapper Lil Xan hospitalized after indulging in too many Flamin' Hot Cheetos". KOMO. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  36. ^ CNN, Lisa Respers France,. "Lil Xan can't stay away from Flamin' Hot Cheetos". CNN. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  37. ^ Caulfield, Keith (April 15, 2018). "Cardi B's 'Invasion of Privacy' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  38. ^ "LIL XAN on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2018-05-08.
  39. ^ a b c d "Lil Xan: Songs, discography, biography and listening guide". Retrieved 2018-05-23.
  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.