SoundCloud rappers get a bad reputation, but in the digital age there’s no question that a massive influx of artists are getting their start on the streaming platform. This past summer SoundCloud laid off over 150 employees and people questioned whether the company would even last until the end of year. This caused panic among independent musicians and producers. Chance the Rapper then stepped in and claimed that he would do anything in his power to keep SoundCloud alive. SoundCloud co-founder and CEO Alex Ljung then assured listeners and artists that the company was in control of its “independent future” and on a path to “profitability”.
Diving into 2018, SoundCloud is alive and well. Last year we saw the rise of artists that were ready to make their mark on the new age of Hip Hop. Diego Leanos known better as Lil Xan, gained recognition with his song “Betrayed” which racked up the plays on SoundCloud. His popularity grew after the release of the music video. After 4 months, the music video is now at 85 million views.
The song peaked at No. 67 on the Billboard Hot 100. The name “Lil Xan” comes from the rapper’s past addiction problems. Leanos was formerly addicted to Xanax, along with opiates, but he was able to quit the drug after two years of addiction. Leanos currently speaks out against Xanax abuse and urges people to stop using the drug altogether.
When Xan was growing up, he was mostly into alternative rock and was the photographer in his group of rapper friends. When his camera was stolen after a friend’s show, instead of paying for another $1200 camera, he used the money he had for studio time. Over the course of two years, rapping went from being a hobby to his profession. In an interview with XXL Lil Xan stated, “I was rapping as a hobby for a year and six months, but it got very serious six months ago. Then even more four months ago and even more two months ago, now it’s even at a level where the movement which I created, Xanarchy, has taken off. The music is doing very well and I’m just blessed to be in this position right now.”
Lil Xan is now signed to Columbia Records and plans to release his debut album Total Xanarchy in March 2018. His latest music video for the single “Wake Up” was released just last week. Check it out below: