Face-tatted Soundcould rapper Lil Xan is having a woozy moment | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

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Face-tatted Soundcould rapper Lil Xan is having a woozy moment

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In an era of emotionally vulnerable, face-tattooed Soundcloud rappers, Diego Leanos, aka Lil Xan, is currently leading the pack. On his first official album, this spring’s Total Xanarchy, the 22-year-old bares his soul over hazy, woozy, vapor-wavy beats. He muses on heartbreak and insecurities through catchy nursery-rhyme-like melodies, with verses filled with druggy giggles and nearly indecipherable, heavily auto-tuned mumbles—a collision of innocence and depravity that makes for an unsettling listening experience. Xan—named after Xanax, the prescription tranquilizer he was once addicted too—has been in the public eye a lot this summer: his hot slot at Lollaplooza, his highly-covered whirlwind romance with Miley Cyrus’s younger sister Noah, and his brand-new addition to his already-impressive face-ink collection (a stream of tattooed tears flowing from his right eyeball in remembrance of recently-departed rapper Mac Miller) have solidified his position as a pop-culture icon. But is Lil Xan actually good? I’ve been listening to Total Xanarchy nonstop since April, and I still can’t answer that question clearly. One thing is for sure: Lil Xan’s psychedelic-alien emo-rap is unlike anything that’s been released before, and its genuine weirdness alone will have listeners coming back to it over and over again.   v

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