The original Sad Boy, Yung Lean’s music is more than just Nike, N64, and Arizona Iced Tea.

Born Jonatan Leandoer Håstad from Stockholm, Sweden, Yung Lean became known stateside when his early singles started to go viral online. Tracks like “Ginseng Strip 2002” and “Hurt”, were softly-produced dream-rap songs with Lean rapping in barely-understandable English. It was the aesthetic of the videos that really caught people’s attention, however, which is what helped solidify Young Lean’s meme status. This eventually led to more singles, a mixtape, a debut album, and a world tour. All in all, not so bad off the strength of an internet meme.

But Lean’s intention was never to simply be an internet meme, and he’s continued to make music since. His music now is darker, more complex, but still contains the same magnetic qualities that attracted people to him in the first place. Yung Lean is the perfect example of an artist that refused to be placed in a box, and chose to break down its walls instead.  

Photo Credit: Frank Hoensch/Redferns/Getty Images