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Yung Lean in February 2018
|Birth name||Jonatan Leandoer Håstad|
|Also known as||
|Born||18 July 1996|
|Origin||Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden|
Born in Minsk, Belarus and raised in Södermalm, Stockholm, Sweden Håstad rose to fame in the mid 2010s, through the singles "Ginseng Strip 2002" and "Kyoto". The then 16-year-old released his first debut mixtape Unknown Death 2002 in July 2013. Håstad released his first studio album Unknown Memory in September 2014, to minor commercial success in the United States. He released two studio albums and mixtapes since then.
Håstad was born on 18 July, 1996 in Stockholm, Sweden to Kristoffer Leandoer, a Swedish poet, fantasy author, and translator of French literature who owned a book publishing company and a Russian mother who is a human rights activist working with LGBT groups in Russia, Vietnam, and South America. Håstad spent his early childhood in Minsk, Belarus, where his mother moved the family so Håstad could have a similar childhood to her.
They returned to Sweden and settled in Stockholm when Håstad was somewhere between the ages of three and five. He was raised in the city's Södermalm district. Håstad grew up speaking both Russian and Swedish. During his time in high school, Håstad often got in trouble for doing drugs or writing graffiti. He also had a job at a local McDonalds. When he was 15, he was put on probation for smoking cannabis.
2012–13: Career beginnings, Lavender and Unknown Death 2002
In 2012, Håstad met Yung Sherman and Gud in a local Stockholm park and they struck up a friendship, discovering they enjoyed much of the same music. Together with several other mutual friends they formed a group known as Hasch Boys. Another group of Stockholm artists who would later form the group Drain Gang were also member of Hasch Boys.
When many of the other members of Hasch Boys began to lose interest in the group, Håstad, Sherman and Gud broke off and formed the group "Sad Boys" as a trio. By 2012, Yung Gud and Yung Sherman were producing and mixing music while Håstad had begun writing lyrics and recording vocals in a makeshift studio in his basement. They shared the music they made on the platform SoundCloud. Sad Boys performed their first show in Gothenburg, Sweden on May 5, 2013.
Yung Lean became widely known when the music video for his track "Ginseng Strip 2002" went viral, exceeding 2 million views on YouTube. That same year, he put out his first official releases: Unknown Death 2002 and an EP titled Lavender which includes the track "Ginseng Strip 2002" along with other songs that were cut from Unknown Death 2002. Consequence of Sound placed "Ginseng Strip 2002" at number 44 on their "Top 50 Songs of 2013", while Vibe included Unknown Death 2002 in their list, "The 10 Most Overlooked Debut Rap Mixtapes of 2013", describing it as "a natural progression from the freely associative, often nonsensical rhymes of Lil' B with a keener sense of melody".
In 2013, Yung Lean and Sad Boys toured throughout Europe. Later that same year, Acclaim Magazine had Yung Lean as their guest for a Q&A "smalltalk" segment, where they asked him about a wide variety of miscellaneous things, including his favourite hangover cure and his desktop wallpaper.
2014–2016: Unknown Memory and Warlord
In 2014, Yung Lean and Sad Boys embarked on the White Marble Tour, playing in 24 cities across Europe. Shortly after the conclusion of this tour Sad Boys announced a further Black Marble Tour, which would include several performances in cities across North America. The first of these shows took place in July at the Webster Hall in New York City, and was well received by writers for publications such as XXL, and The New York Times.
Yung Lean released his debut full-length album, titled Unknown Memory on 23 September 2014. The album was accompanied with North American and European tours, beginning on 1 December in New York with a nearly sold-out show on Webster Hall's main ballroom stage.
Yung Lean released his second full-length album, Warlord, on 25 February 2016; he also released a line of clothing, "Sad Boys Entertainment". Håstad modelled for Calvin Klein's July 2016, AW16 Campaign. During his Warlord American tour, his tour bus in Pennsylvania was shot at. Håstad was also featured on Frank Ocean's critically acclaimed Blonde where he provided backup vocals on the song "Godspeed". According to Håstad, his part on the project was recorded when he was seventeen in Ocean's apartment in London.
Yung Lean released a surprise track on 25 November 2016 titled "Hennessy & Sailor Moon (feat. Bladee)". On December 14, 2016 he released the mixtape Frost God containing eight tracks including "Hennessy & Sailor Moon" and "Crystal City" which featured A$AP Ferg.
In an interview with Complex in January 2018, Håstad announced he was writing several film scripts, including one based around Swedish serial killer John Ausonius, best known as The Laser Man. In February 2018, Yung Lean released the single "King Cobra" with Thaiboy Digital, as well as a collaboration with Converse that consisted of a shoe and several items of clothing titled "One Star Toxic."
XXL magazine included him in their 2014 list of "15 European Rappers You Should Know". Fact magazine viewed the Unknown Death 2002 mixtape as "a logical continuation of Clams Casino and Beautiful Lou's innovative techniques, emerging with thick, melancholy numbers that drip with a rare and earnest allure." In 2013, Fact published another article titled "Rise of the Sad Boys: from Kompakt to Yung Lean, a history of how electronic musicians have worn their sadness on their sleeves", which claimed that "[Yung Lean]'s mixtape Unknown Death 2002 is the epitome of sad rap".
Yung Lean was described by Entertainment Weekly as "loosely affiliated" with the cloud rap movement. According to music website HighClouds, part of Yung Lean's appeal is "the production provided by Yung Gud and Yung Sherman who combine the cloud rap of Clams Casino with electronic music touches".
While recording his second studio album Warlord, Håstad lived in Miami Beach, Florida. During this time, Håstad became addicted to Xanax, lean and cocaine. On April 7, 2015, Håstad overdosed and was hospitalized in Mount Sinai Medical Center & Miami Heart Institute before moving back to Sweden to live with his family.
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