21-year-old Swedish rapper—Jonatan Leandoer known as Yung Lean performed at The Granada Theater, on Sunday night. Lawrence, KS was the 10th stop of his North America “Stranger” tour.
Thaiboy Digital was Lean’s supporting act. Thaiboy Digital’s— lo-fi, auto-tuned sound was enough to get a crowd hyped up for the night. His set included old tunes like “2seats” from GTB bootleg 2. He later joined Lean, in the crowd pleasing “Diamonds.”
Thaiboy—worked his way around the stage and had fans in the pit erupting in “aye” chants. His Cheshire grin and vibrant performance, on stage was welcomed by the crowd. With Thaiboy Digital you either like his heavily, auto-tuned songs or you don’t. The only mistake he made that night was greeting the crowd as “Kansas City”—but one can forgive that mistake, as it was the first time that the SAD BOYS had ever been to Kansas.
PHOTO BY IMWITHDABAND
Yung Lean corrected this when he came out to “Muddy Sea” from his recent album, Stranger. Yelling out in his very Swedish accent,
“Lawrence! It’s our first time out here, we didn’t know what to expect.”
While Lean is labeled as a rapper, his sound and appearance is far from what most might think a “rapper” should look and sound like. Lean’s look is 1 of 1 and there doesn’t seem to be a method to the madness.
Wearing an over-sized suit, with a plain white-tee, bright orange hair, adorned with his signature “Stranger” sweatband. Lean seems to create his own wave, and once others catch on he changes the current.
Lean performed an hour long set which included his 2013 viral hit— “Ginseng Strip 2002,” that led to the crowd starting a mosh pit. The atmosphere in the room changed shape rapidly going from, bloody red colored lights for “Red Bottom Sky.” To bright blue and purple lighting, when playing his more up-beat, hyphy songs like “Afghanistan.” Then to a pitch black room, with only a spotlight illuminating his silhouette, during one of his more emotional songs “Agony.”
PHOTO BY IMWITHDABAND
The SAD BOY—Leandoer often danced along the stage swaying his arms, while parading up and down the stage. Yung Gud and Yung Sherman— SAD BOY producers, were both on stage. With two DJ booths set up to make the performance a custom mix. Lean ended the night with, “Yellowman.” The crowd cheered and was left craving more. An encore chant was started but Lean and SAD BOYS crew had left the building. As lights came back on and fans made their way out of the venue. Yung Lean and Thaiboy Digital came out to greet some fans, take pictures, and sign merch.
Lean’s music has been described as “Sad Rap” which might pay tribute to his gloomy sound, catchy hooks and his crew of SAD BOYS—producers Yung Gud, and Yung Sherman. Along with his latest movie-like visuals Lean’s music paints a picture of being more than just a rapper.
Yung Lean has grown musically since his viral hit “Ginseng Strip.” That labeled him into the meme rap, tongue-in-cheek, comedy—that you either got or you didn’t.
“Can’t write a song, only do hooks.”—Agony
“Stranger” is a more mature, but still very emotional Lean. While Lean admits he, “Can’t write a song, only do hooks.” In his song “Agony.” Lean nonetheless performs beautiful, emotional songs on stage and not once loses the attention of the crowd. Who are mesmerized during the slower, depressing songs and are re-energized during the up-beat ones. Lean takes the crowd on a roller-coaster of emotions and does so with ease. There is so much more to come from Jonatan Leandoer, than just music and only time will tell.