An enigmatic new face in hip-hop emerging from the deepest depths of SoundCloud rap culture and scaling the highest echelons of Spotify stream counts, Californian rapper Lil Xan will jump off the Splendour in the Grass bandwagon briefly this July for a couple of exclusive, all ages sideshows in Sydney and Melbourne.
Clocking up his first trip to Australia, Lil Xan (real name Diego Leanos) will arrive on our shores in a white-hot flurry of hard-earned hype. A controversial spirit, his signature track Betrayed has been streamed close to 200 million times (its video is putting up similar numbers on YouTube), has gone gold in Australia and has landed the 21-year-old rapper at the forefront of a growing counterculture in the US.
Betrayed became a sensation by documenting the vagaries of addiction and detox via prescription tranquilliser Xanax – the drug from which Lil Xan and his crew take their names. Its undeniable hook “Xan’s gonna betray you, Xan’s gonna take you” sits addictively over woozy, processed beats.
The success of Betrayed paved the way for debut album TOTAL XANARCHY, which hit the Top 10 in the US Charts on release. The record features spots from the likes of Charli XCX, Diplo and 2 Chainz, and has enticed devotion from millions of young Americans. Clocking up nearly 1 million views in its first 12 hours of release, Betrayed laid the foundations for Lil Xan to become one of 2018’s most popular new artists.