Lil Xan
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Lil Xan
Lil Xan
Lil Xan Sony Music Korea.png
Leanos in 2018
Background information
Nicholas Diego Leanos
  • Lil Xan
  • Diego
  • Xan
Born (1996-09-06) September 6, 1996 (age 22)
Redlands, California, United States
  • Rapper
  • singer
  • songwriter

Nicholas Diego Leanos[4] (born September 6, 1996), known professionally as Lil Xan or simply Diego, is an American rapper, singer and songwriter from Redlands, California.[5][6] He is best known for his song "Betrayed", which was certified platinum by the RIAA[7] and peaked at number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100. His stage name is derived from the name of the prescription drug Xanax.

Early life

Leanos was born on September 6, 1996, in Redlands, California to Mexican parents.[8] Growing up, Leanos was poor and lived in motels most of his childhood.[9] He attended Redlands East Valley High School, but dropped out of high school in his freshman year, and spent several years at home unemployed.[10][11] Leanos took a job as a street cleaner and sold drugs[12] before he began rapping.[13] Leanos later pursued a photography career in support of several friends who were rappers. He eventually had his camera stolen, and chose to begin rapping in lieu of investing in a new camera.[14]


Leanos began to gain recognition through platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube. His popularity grew after the release of the music video for his song "Betrayed" in August 2017.[15] The song peaked at no. 64 on the Billboard Hot 100.[16] In an interview with XXL, Leanos announced his debut album Total Xanarchy.[14] The album includes collaborations with artists such as Diplo and Swae Lee.[9] In December 2017, Leanos announced his Total Xanarchy tour,[17] which sold out in five hours according to Billboard.[9] In 2018, Leanos announced that he would change his stage name to "Diego" in order to support his anti-drug message,[18][19] though he later said in an interview he was not sure if he would change his name.[11]

Leanos released his debut studio album, Total Xanarchy on April 6, 2018. The album debuted at number ten on the Billboard 200.[20] The following month in May 2018, Leanos announced the mixtape Heartbreak Soldiers[21] which was released on July 8, 2018.[22] In November 2018, Lil Xan announced that he was making a Mac Miller tribute album.[23]


Leanos has listed Pharrell Williams and N.E.R.D as early influences in hip hop, with other influences including Arctic Monkeys, Cage the Elephant and Queens of the Stone Age.[24] Leanos has also described Drake and Mac Miller as musical inspirations.[13]

According to Pigeons & Planes, Leanos' music started off as "typical trap" and later shifted towards "a murkier, dream-like sound".[24]The New Yorker has described Leanos as part of a "sad rap" movement.[25]


Leanos made headlines in 2018 when during an interview he rated the late rapper Tupac Shakur only a "2" [out of 9] and called his music boring. After the incident fellow rapper Waka Flocka Flame claimed on Twitter that Leanos is "banned from hip hop".[26][27] However, Leanos later paid tribute to Tupac by playing the song "California Love".[28]

Personal life

Leanos started dating singer and actress Noah Cyrus on June 30, 2018.[29] The couple released the collaboration "Live or Die" in August 2018. They broke up in September 2018 after Noah jokingly sent a photo of singer, Charlie Puth, photoshopped on a naked porn star's body to Leanos, prompting him to accuse her of being unfaithful. Leanos initially asserted that the relationship was forced by the couple's record label, Columbia.[30] However, weeks later he appeared to walk back this claim in an interview on Open Late with Peter Rosenberg, stating "Honest to God, I would say like most of the reason the breakup happened was because of me. It was my fault. We could have still been together, but I just feel like I fucked everything up. It also put me in a darker place because I was getting slammed left and right." He went on to say that he had "nothing but love for the Cyrus family."[31]

Leanos was formerly addicted to Xanax, along with opiates and other benzodiazepines, but he was able to quit the drug after two years of addiction.[32] Leanos currently speaks out against Xanax abuse and urges people to stop using the drug altogether.[33][34]

On September 28, 2018, Leanos was hospitalized and was treated for stomach pain after "eating too many Flamin' Hot Cheetos". According to a CNN report, Frito-Lay said that Flamin' Hot Cheetos meets all food safety regulations.[35][36]



Title Album details Peak chart positions
Total Xanarchy
  • Release: April 6, 2018
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Label: Columbia
Be Safe
  • Release: March 3, 2019
  • Formats: CD, digital download
  • Label: Columbia


Title Mixtape details
Heartbreak Soldiers[38]
  • Release: July 8, 2018
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: Columbia

Extended plays

Title EP details
  • Release: September 6, 2016
  • Format: Digital download, streaming, cassette
  • Label: Sleepcvlt (cassette)
  • Release: June 19, 2017
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: N/A
  • Release: August 1, 2017
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: N/A
Xanarchy Militia
  • Release: November 14, 2018
  • Format: Digital download, streaming
  • Label: Columbia


As lead artist

Title Year Peak chart positions Certification Album

"Montana Doe" 2016 -- -- -- -- Non-album single
"Who Are You?"
(with Oohdem Beatz)
-- -- -- -- Citgo
"Center Fold"
(with Julian Dova and Oohdem Beatz)
-- -- -- -- Non-album singles
(with Oohdem Beatz)
-- -- -- --
(with Julian Dova and Oohdem Beatz)
2017 -- -- -- --
"Been Bout It" -- -- -- --
"Xanarchy" -- -- -- -- Xanarchy
"No Love" -- -- -- --
"Crash the Whip"
(with $teven Cannon)
-- -- -- -- Non-album single
"Slingshot" -- -- -- -- Total Xanarchy
"Betrayed" 64 28 49 11
"Far" -- -- -- --
"Water (Models)"
(with Spell Jordan featuring Smokeasac)
-- -- -- -- Non-album single
"Wake Up" -- -- -- -- Total Xanarchy
"Color Blind"
(with Diplo)
2018 -- -- -- -- California and Total Xanarchy
"The Man"
(featuring $teven Cannon)
-- -- -- -- Total Xanarchy
(with Charli XCX)
-- -- -- --
(featuring Lil Skies)
-- -- -- -- Heartbreak Soldiers
"Live or Die"
(with Noah Cyrus)
-- -- -- -- Non-album single
"Slope" -- -- -- -- Xanarchy Militia
"On Sight"
(with Lucifena)
-- -- -- -- Non-album single
"Watch Me Fall" 2019 -- -- -- -- Be Safe
"Tree Sap" -- -- -- --

As featured artist

Title Year Album
(Chem X featuring Lil Xan)
2017 Non-album singles
"For the Better"
(Kid Kaze featuring Lil Xan)
(Joei Razook featuring Lil Xan)
"Broke the Outline"
(Kid Kaze featuring Lil Xan)
(HenneyPapi featuring Lil Xan)
(HenneyPapi featuring Lil Xan)
Litlyfe II
(Kid Kaze featuring Lil Xan)
Non-album singles
(Prime Society featuring Lil Xan and $teven Cannon)
"Crazy Shit"
(Skooly featuring Lil Xan)
Don't You Ever Forget Me 3
(Lil Icepack featuring Lil Xan)
Non-album singles
(Blatz featuring $teven Cannon and Lil Xan)
(Baby Goth featuring Trippie Redd and Lil Xan)
"I Might"
($teven Cannon featuring Lil Xan)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated work Result Ref.
2018 MTV Video Music Awards Push Artist Of The Year Lil Xan Nominated [43]
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Push Nominated [43]


  1. ^ Lil Xan Is the New Face of Sad! Rap - Music - The Stranger
  2. ^ Kasra Ahmadi (2017-12-20). "Who is Lil Xan? The Cali rapper is the new leader of the anti-Xanax movement". Retrieved . Diego hasn't turned back since, and is now becoming one of the quickest viral SoundCloud rappers in the game.
  3. ^ D.L. (November 15, 2017). "Lil Xan Signs with Columbia Records". Rockstar Dreams. Retrieved 2017.
  4. ^ xanxiety (January 10, 2019). "fuck it i'll do a Q n A on live rn". Instagram. Retrieved 2019.
  5. ^ Elibert, Mark (December 5, 2017). "10 Hottest MCs of Latin Descent in Hip-Hop Today". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Caramanica, Jon (December 18, 2017). "3 Rappers Peeking at Eminem's Playbook". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017.
  7. ^ "Lil Xan's "Betrayed" Has Gone Platinum". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved .
  8. ^ Brown, Preezy (March 24, 2018). "10 Things You Should Know About Lil Xan". Vibe. Retrieved 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Haithcoat, Rebecca (January 22, 2018). "Chartbreaker: Lil Xan on Face Tattoos and Overcoming Addiction". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  10. ^ Back2Back Hip Hop (August 11, 2017). "The LIL XAN Interview" (Interview). YouTube. Retrieved 2017.
  11. ^ a b No Jumper (January 27, 2018). "The Lil Xan Interview" (Interview). YouTube. Retrieved 2018.
  12. ^ Noisey (December 15, 2017), Lil Xan Would Like to Make You Sober: Noisey Raps, YouTube, retrieved 2018
  13. ^ a b Schiller, Rebecca (January 16, 2018). "Get to Know 'Betrayed' Rapper Lil Xan". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  14. ^ a b C.M., Emmanuel (November 10, 2017). "The Break Presents: Lil Xan". XXL. Retrieved 2017.
  15. ^ Blake, Emily (October 26, 2017). "Pandora Predictions to Know: Lil Xan, Lyrica Anderson & Mahalia". Billboard. Retrieved 2017.
  16. ^ a b "Billboard Hot 100: February 17, 2018". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  17. ^ F, Matt (December 21, 2017). "Lil Xan Reveals Dates For "Total Xanarchy" Tour". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2018.
  18. ^ Coleman II, C. Vernon (January 13, 2018). "Lil Xan Plans on Changing His Name". XXL. Retrieved 2018.
  19. ^ P., Milca (January 14, 2018). "Lil Xan Officially Changes Name To Diego On Big Boy's Neighborhood". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 2018.
  20. ^ "Lil Xan Shares 'Total Xanarchy' Album - XXL". XXL Mag. Retrieved .
  21. ^ "Lil Xan Shares "Heartbreak Soldiers" Tracklist & Release Date". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved .
  22. ^ "Lil Xan Surprises Fans With New 'Heartbreak Soldiers' Project". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved .
  23. ^ Harris, Hunter. "Lil Xan Is Making a Mac Miller Tribute Album". Vulture. Retrieved .
  24. ^ a b Rindner, Grant (December 22, 2017). "People Can Change: An Interview With Lil Xan". Pigeons & Planes. Retrieved 2018.
  25. ^ "Battan, Carrie (January 8, 2018). "Lil Xan and the Year in Sad Rap". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2018.
  26. ^ Lamarre, Carl (March 7, 2018). "Waka Flocka Flame Says Lil Xan Is 'Banned From Hip-Hop' After Calling Tupac's Music 'Boring'". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  27. ^ Setaro, Shawn (March 7, 2018). "Waka Flocka Says Lil Xan Is Banned From Hip-Hop for 2Pac Comments". Complex. Retrieved 2018.
  28. ^ Price, Joe (March 23, 2018). "Lil Xan Pays Tribute to 2Pac by Performing "California Love"". Complex. Retrieved 2018.
  29. ^ "'I don't accept this': Noah Cyrus and rapper Lil Xan go public, and fans aren't happy about it". Retrieved .
  30. ^ adam22 (2018-09-08), Lil Xan speaks on Noah Cyrus, Mac Miller and quitting music, retrieved
  31. ^
  32. ^ "A Rapper Named Lil Xan Talks About His Painful Xanax Addiction & Recovery". DJBooth. October 19, 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  33. ^ Hodge, Kyle (January 18, 2018). "Lil Xan Is the Unlikely Inspiration for Getting Kids off Xanax". Highsnobiety. Retrieved 2018.
  34. ^ Gore, Sydney (January 9, 2018). "Lil Xan On Substance Abuse In The Hip-Hop Community: 'You'd Be Stupid To Keep Glorifying It'". TRL. Retrieved 2018.
  35. ^ JENNIFER WEAVER. "Rapper Lil Xan hospitalized after indulging in too many Flamin' Hot Cheetos". KOMONEWS. Retrieved .
  36. ^ CNN, Lisa Respers France,. "Lil Xan can't stay away from Flamin' Hot Cheetos". CNN. Retrieved .
  37. ^ Caulfield, Keith (April 15, 2018). "Cardi B's 'Invasion of Privacy' Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Chart". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  38. ^ "LIL XAN on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved .
  39. ^ "Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. December 16, 2017. Retrieved 2018.
  40. ^ "Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved 2018.
  41. ^ "Veckolista Heatseeker - Vecka 7, 16 februari 2018" [Weekly chart Heatseeker - Week 7, 16 februari 2018] (in Swedish). Sverigetopplistan. Retrieved 2018.
  42. ^ "American single certification - Lil Xan - Betrayed". Recording Industry Association of America. May 3, 2018. Retrieved 2018.
  43. ^ a b "Camila Cabello, Ariana Grande, Post Malone Lead 2018 MTV EMA Nominees". Billboard. October 4, 2018.

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