Swedish rapper Yung Lean has released his third album, Stranger, a follow up to 2016’s Warlord. Dropping tracks like ‘Ski Mask’ and ‘Hunting My Own Skin’, and most recently ‘Metallic Intuition’ in preparation, the hype for the album has been real.
Whilst his vapourwave, sad boys aesthetic has been trivialised by some and glorified by others, Stranger comes with a progressed, mature and sonically satisfying, sound. This is hardly surprising when you look at the collaborations under his belt at just twenty one – working with Travis Scott, appearing on Frank Ocean’s Blonde, and not to mention the overall worldwide awareness and appreciation of his sound and vibe, selling out shows across the world.
Yung Lean doesn’t totally abandon lyrical content revolving around the idealised rapper lifestyle that marked his previous work – while Stranger still has plenty of tracks about girls, money, and drugs, it is matched with equal parts, mental illness, love, and loneliness, which are discussed with an admirable honesty.
Speaking on the album with Zane Lowe where he premiered ‘metallic Intuition’ earlier this week on Beats One Radio, he shared “it’s kind of a natural progress from Warlord, being a very gothic and dark album…[this album] being a bit lighter.”
Sonically and vocally innovative, the verdict on Yung Lean may still be out, but Stranger shows the rapper has evolved since the feisty youthfulness of the Gingseng Strip days.
Sniffed by Sophia Davies
And check out visual companion to the album, an artistic, Western style short film: