Yung Lean (Doer) is a rapper from Europe; Swedish fellow. Lean has a large internet following, but has only been around for about a year. He dropped his first mixtape, which is the one that I am reviewing, only in 2013 (following with another within the same year). He's got a weird steez, and the best way to describe him would be to say that his nonsensical demeanor are intriguing, alluring, and sometimes off-putting. To many eyes, Yung Lean is a part of a trend where rappers/artists make music without serious intent, and are enjoyed primarily for comedic value. One might compare him to Lil B, but to say that they are lyrically similar would be horribly incorrect.
I had heard his name in passing for a long time, but had dismissed him as just another typical mainstream rapper cat trying to make a quick penny with shitty rehashed themes (Which I had also made the mistake of doing to Lil B), but I will readily admit that I could not have been more wrong. After hearing a bit of this tape and learning a bit more about him, I decided that I'd have to give this tape a listen and then tell you guys about it. With that, I really just want to jump into the review.
The tape has two different covers, both of which I will post at the end of the review.
There are three people who are to be accredited with the production of this album; Yung Lean, Yung Sherm, and Yung Gud. Together, these three individuals create the Sadboys :( It's all very confusing to learn at first, and it took me a bit to figure it all out. But basically, Yung Lean is the MC on this mixtape consistently (There is only one feature on the whole mixtape) and both Yung Sherm and Yung Gud are the producers for the whole thing. Just to clear that up.
Yung Sherm and Gud are both awesome producers, and I am very sincere when I say that. It's also really weird - this album doesn't contain the regular boom-clap of mainstream hip-hop, nor the elaborate noise of underground, or really any other regular form of hip-hop. I've heard this compared to trip-hop and vaporwave, but the simplest way that I can describe it is that these beats are electronically-influenced. They ride on an air of subtle electronic ambiance that shines distinctly from what you usually hear, and while peculiar, are very skillfully crafted. Lots of credit towards Sherm and Gud, they really help to bring diversity to this work.
Yung Lean is peculiar. To say that he is a good MC would not really be a lie, but he is so outside of the norm that what is typically expected in an MC does not apply to Lean. His themes are very out-of-the-norm, he might be rapping about fucking your bitch, but the very next verse is about pissing on the floor. Some of his themes are very stale, and some, even damaging (Like his homophobia), but he blends it with a combination of weird shit that keeps his steez fresh. Given how strange Lean's verses are, combined with good production from Gud and Sherm, it's natural to say that this mixtape is interesting at the very least.
It's very experimental stuff, and if you like the sound of experimental electronic beats, you'll probably dig the instrumentals. Lean's verses are erratic, and would sound out of place anywhere else but here. I would not recommend this album to someone who wants to hear regular music with clear-cut production and an obvious goal.
But is this mixtape good, overall? With great production that is severely out of the norm, and lyrical themes that might leave you scratching your head, I'd say that this album might be worth a listen if you're interested in the strange outer-bounds of rap/hip-hop. But this tape is absolutely not for everyone, and if you're just curious, Yung Lean has a multitude of videos online to choose from (YouTube). Personally, if you're curious and not sure if the tape is worth your time, I'd recommend Gatorade, Yoshi City (This track is not on this mixtape), and Ginseng Strip.
That's all that there really is to say about this album. There's a lot more to say about Lean himself and what he has conjured, but I will leave that to you if you're really that interested. I wouldn't say personally that this album is amazing, but it was a really cool listen that kind of opened my eyes to a wider range of music. Music is whatever you want it to be, and this album really expresses that.
JRH gives "Sadboys2001" by Yung Lean a: 2.5/5
- Great production by Yung Sherm and Yung Gud
- Experimental sound that draws you in
- It's something fresh, something that hasn't quite been done before
- MCs of this kind have a habit of putting some people off just by being so distinctly strange, and it's a common phenomenon for people to be hella confused when it comes to music like this. I could see Yung Lean's fame confusing and aggravating any number of average listeners.
- Due to the strangeness of his lyrics, I could very well see him putting off any number of listeners who come across his work.
That is it ninjas. I hope that I've brought something new to you, something fresh and out of the norm, even if you're not too big on the content itself.
|Lean has a penchant for including Japanese characters in his work. Strange, indeed...|