Lil Xan

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Lil Xan
Lil Xan in 2018
Lil Xan in 2018
Background information
Birth nameNicholas Diego Leanos
Also known as
  • Lil Xan
  • Diego
Born (1996-09-07) September 7, 1996 (age 25)
Redlands, California, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter
Years active2015–present
Associated acts

Nicholas Diego Leanos[3] (born September 7, 1996), better known as Lil Xan (/zæn/ ZANN) or simply Diego, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter from Redlands, California.[4][5] He is best known for his song "Betrayed", which was certified platinum by the RIAA[6] 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 Xanax,[7] the trade name of the prescription drug alprazolam.

Early life[edit]

Leanos was born on September 7, 1996, in Redlands, California, to a Mexican father and an American mother.[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]


Lil Xan performing in 2018

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 number 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 considered changing his stage name to Diego in order to support his anti-drug message,[18][19] however he has since expressed uncertainty toward officially going through with the pseudonym change.[11]

Leanos released his debut studio album, Total Xanarchy on April 6, 2018. The album was a moderate commercial success, debuting at number ten on the Billboard 200 and selling 28,000 copies in its first week.[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 he had been working on an album 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 given a number of contradictory statements regarding his yet-unreleased second album. Initially, he planned on releasing his Be Safe project in 2019, but the album entered production limbo and was eventually scrapped. In November 2019, he announced his next album would be titled When September Ends and released an accompanying album cover, but this also never came to fruition.[25] In January 2020, Leanos announced that his album was finished and that it would be called Sorry I Didn't Quit, revealing a new album cover that took inspiration from Lil Wayne's Sorry 4 the Wait.[26][27] No release date has been given for the album as of yet.


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.[28] 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".[28] The New Yorker has described Leanos as part of a "sad rap" movement.[29]

Personal life[edit]

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, with both parties accusing the other of being unfaithful; Leanos also claimed that the relationship was forced by the couple's record label, Columbia.[31] 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."[32]

Leanos has been open about his former addiction to benzodiazepines (particularly Xanax) as well as opiates. He was able to overcome his Xanax problem after two years of suffering from addiction.[33] Leanos currently speaks out against Xanax abuse and urges people to stop using the drug altogether.[34][35]

In February 2019, Leanos announced that he and his then-fiancée Annie Smith were expecting a child.[36] On April 6, Smith revealed that she had experienced a miscarriage,[37] sharing the information about the incident via a video and photographs on Instagram.[37] However, in a No Jumper interview weeks later, Leanos revealed he had suspicions that Smith had been faking her pregnancy. This came about after a number of the rapper's fans on social media pointed out that the couple's ultrasound photos looked identical to ones that could be found on Google.[38] The pair eventually separated, with Leanos later claiming the relationship had been toxic.



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


Title Mixtape details
Heartbreak Soldiers[40]
  • 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[edit]

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


As lead artist[edit]

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 singles
"Watch Me Fall" 2019
"Tree Sap"
"Shake It" Pornhub Valentine's Day Album
"Summer Days" Fireworks
(with DJ Stadium and PH4DE)
Non-album singles
"I Might"
(with $teven Cannon, YBN Nahmir, and YBN Almighty Jay)
"Bloody Nose"
"Midnight In Prague"
"West Side"
"Like Me"
"Wrong Way"
(with Kidd Keo)
"Death to Mumble Rap 2"[45]
(with Gawne)
2020 Eternal
"Willow" Non-album singles
"Everything I Own"
"My Girlfriend"
"Life Sucks" 2021
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

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)
(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 $teven Cannon and Lil Xan)
"Purpple Hearts"
(Diablo featuring Lil Xan and Smokepurpp)
"I Might"
($teven Cannon featuring Lil Xan)
(Baby Goth featuring Trippie Redd and Lil Xan)
Baby Goth
"Lost at Sea"
(Lucifena featuring Lil Xan)
2019 Mood Swings
(Jumex featuring Lil Xan)
2020 Non-album single
"OMG its Rarri"
(Rarri featuring Lil Xan)
Universe 444
(Kinfolk Jon featuring Lil Xan and $teven Cannon)
Non-album single
"Girls Girls Girls"
($teven Cannon featuring Lil Xan)
(C.R.O featuring Lil Xan)
(Diablo featuring Lil Xan and Harry Nach)

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2018 MTV Video Music Awards Push Artist of the Year Lil Xan Nominated [46]
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Push Nominated [46]


  1. ^ Nina Corcoran (December 14, 2019). "Lil Xan has quit rapping". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved November 11, 2020. Ever since breaking out in 2017, Lil Xan has been an influential part of the modern-day mumble rap scene
  2. ^ Ben Beaumont-Thomas (April 5, 2018). "Lil Xan: Total Xanarchy review – moronic rap to make you feel old". The Guardian. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  3. ^ xanxiety (January 10, 2019). "fuck it i'll do a Q n A on live rn". Instagram. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  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 May 10, 2018.
  7. ^ toofab. "Lil Xan on Sobriety, That Name Change and Working with Tekashi 6ix9ine (Exclusive)". Lil Xan famously derives his name from Xanax, a drug he was formerly addicted to
  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 November 14, 2018.
  21. ^ "Lil Xan Shares "Heartbreak Soldiers" Tracklist & Release Date". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  22. ^ "Lil Xan Surprises Fans With New 'Heartbreak Soldiers' Project". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  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.
  24. ^ Harris, Hunter. "Lil Xan Is Making a Mac Miller Tribute Album". Vulture. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  25. ^ "Lil Xan Opens Up About Having Seizures After Quitting Xanax and Hydrocodone 'Cold Turkey'".
  26. ^ "Sorry I didn't Quit ! by Lil Xan". Genius.
  27. ^ "Lil Xan Claims He Was Kidding About Quitting Rap".
  28. ^ a b Rindner, Grant (December 22, 2017). "People Can Change: An Interview With Lil Xan". Pigeons & Planes. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  29. ^ "Battan, Carrie (January 8, 2018). "Lil Xan and the Year in Sad Rap". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  30. ^ "'I don't accept this': Noah Cyrus and rapper Lil Xan go public, and fans aren't happy about it". Retrieved July 31, 2018.
  31. ^ adam22 (September 8, 2018), Lil Xan speaks on Noah Cyrus, Mac Miller and quitting music, retrieved September 9, 2018
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ "A Rapper Named Lil Xan Talks About His Painful Xanax Addiction & Recovery". DJBooth. October 19, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  34. ^ Hodge, Kyle (January 18, 2018). "Lil Xan Is the Unlikely Inspiration for Getting Kids off Xanax". Highsnobiety. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  35. ^ Gore, Sydney (January 9, 2018). "Lil Xan On Substance Abuse In The Hip-Hop Community: 'You'd Be Stupid To Keep Glorifying It'". TRL. Archived from the original on January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  36. ^ 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.
  37. ^ a b "Lil Xan's Fiancée Reveals She Had a Miscarriage". E! News. April 6, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  38. ^ "Lil Xan Questions Whether Partner Annie Smith Faked Her Pregnancy and Miscarriage: 'I'm 50/50'".
  39. ^ Caulfield, Keith (April 15, 2018). "Cardi B's 'Invasion of Privacy' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
  40. ^ "LIL XAN on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  41. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. December 16, 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  42. ^ "Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved September 19, 2018.
  43. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker – Vecka 7, 16 februari 2018" [Weekly chart Heatseeker – Week 7, 16 februari 2018] (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  44. ^ "American single certification – Lil Xan – Betrayed". Recording Industry Association of America. May 3, 2018. Retrieved October 21, 2018.
  45. ^ "Death to Mumble Rap 2 – Single by Luke Gawne, Gawne & Lil Xan". Apple Music. May 8, 2020. Retrieved May 8, 2020.
  46. ^ a b "Camila Cabello, Ariana Grande, Post Malone Lead 2018 MTV EMA Nominees". Billboard. October 4, 2018.

External links[edit]