California rapper Lil Xan is making waves in the rap game as he advocates against the use of Twitter and Xanax. The young star whose real name is Diego Leanos, 21, is still best known for his Billboard Hot 100 hit “Betrayed,” which peaked at No. 65. Xan took his name as a derivative of the prescription anti-anxiety drug Xanax.
He has spoke at length about his difficult upbringing in Riverside, California, where he lived primarily in motels. Xan dropped out of high school in his freshman year and was a minor drug dealer for a while. Eventually, Xan turned his attention to photography and then, eventually, rap. Nowadays, Xan his turning his attention to helping his peers get off the use of prescription drugs. He has personal experience, Xan says he was at one time addicted to Xanax among other drugs.
In the early hours of February 8, Xan announced that he was going “M.I.A from Twitter.” Prior to that message, Xan wrote, “I’m so done with social media like is it that hard to be a kind person?” Earlier that evening, Xan had retweeted a screengrab of cruel tweets including one that told the rapper to “Od and die” as well as “Just looks like [Xan] trying too hard to fit in and you like a baby easter bird that needs to grow more and suckle breast milk.” Those comments originated from an Instagram post that Xan made on February 6.
In the caption, Xan calls his clothes his “Energizer bunny outfit.”
Xan said in an interview on MTV’s TRL about his advocacy, “In the beginning of 2017 I had my own demons with the drug Xanax. It got out of hand so I wanted to make a movement, Xanarchy, about just nothing but anti-Xan use and that’s what I’m really trying to promote in ‘Betrayed.’” Xan went on to talk about the impact that Lil Peep’s death had, “I really don’t agree with glorifying the drug at this point, especially in light of Lil Peep’s death. You’d be stupid to keep glorifying it. You gotta get off that stuff, it’s not good for you… Me as a person and my brand, we’re not promoting Xanax at all. We’re promoting stopping.”
The chorus of his breakout hit, “Betrayed,” includes the lines, “Xans don’t make you / Xans gon’ take you / Xans gon’ fake you / Xans don’ betray you.”
Xan’s Total Xanarchy tour began in Vancouver in January 2017. In an interview with the Phoenix New Times, Xan said, “I don’t know what a not sold-out show feels like, everything we do had sold out.” Being sober on tour is tough for Xan as he says, “I wake up, usually start my day off with some very unhealthy McDonald’s. Then, I get offered weed multiple times, but I don’t smoke so that gets pretty annoying.” Xan then mentioned his meteoric rise from just another aspiring rapper on Soundcloud and YouTube, “Every week, there’s a new accomplishment that I can go back to my mom and freak out about and have her be so proud of me.”
Xan is on the cusp of changing his rap moniker to fully get his anti-drug message across. In an interview with Hypebeast, Xan said that his chosen name would simply be Diego, a nod to his birth name. Xan also says, “I’m not a big ‘lil’ fan and I’m chancing it because I’m thinking of longevity purposes.” Xan then teased the release of his debut album, No Love, saying, “My album sounds pretty good. I’m really proud of this body of work, more than my mixtape. I’m working with everyone from YG to Wiz Khalifa to Rae Sremmurd to Diplo and all that.”
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