Amidst the teenaged chaos of YUNG LEAN: IN MY HEAD, the young Swedish rapper reveals a surprisingly old soul! Directed by Henrik Burman, Yung Lean’s new music documentary highlights his drug-fuelled fame, psychosis, and tragedy from 2013 to 2015. The film captures an initial image of 15-year-old Jonatan Leandoer Håstad, and how his reflection began to blur into the chart-topping Sadboy that everyone adores.
Boarding the rollercoaster with Yung Lean and the Sadboys.
If you’ve somehow never heard of Yung Lean (or his 2013 hit ‘Kyoto,’ which has 48 million views), the documentary is a great place to start. Viewers are quickly introduced to Yung Lean’s long-time friends and collaborators, Yung Sherman (Axel Tufvesson) and Yung Gud (Carl-Mikael Berlander). Of course, they’re otherwise known as the Sadboys.
There’s no shortage of fan interviews, as droves of concertgoers emphasize their life-saving dependence on the music. Fans admit they’ve traveled to North America from as far as Russia or Australia. While in line, they struggle to articulate just how much they value Yung Lean’s genuine approach: raw lyrical musings over infectious electronic production.
A true rollercoaster ride from Sweden to Miami, Yung Lean’s wildest dreams reach breathless peaks with wide-span international attention. Seemingly-unreachable musicians like Justin Bieber and Frank Ocean are expressing their adoration. There’s even a reality-warping moment where Yung Lean’s manager (Emilio Fagone) rushes to hand him a phone call … from Travis Scott.
Dropping just as quickly, the ride descends into flagrant drug use, battles with mental illness, and the untimely death of Hippos in Tanks label owner Barron Machat.
He raps, he paints, he draws, he heals…
Upon a light-shedding medical diagnosis, Yung Lean – or now, Jonatan – begins his slow and careful navigation through grief and recovery. This is where the film strikes notes of intimacy, as Jonatan paints under the afternoon sunlight and cooks dinner for his family. His surprisingly old soul shines while exploring gardens and narrating a moment of wisdom, courtesy of his grandma.
These energetic illustrations were inspired by Jonatan’s work! They offer a unique and personal touch throughout the entire film. They convey his muddled perceptions of both his astronomical successes and unexpected setbacks.
With Starz in his eyes, he’s making plans.
Pushing the ‘re-start’ button, Yung Lean/Jonatan has gingerly returned to the spotlight. Now under a variety of pseudonyms, he’s experimenting with a selection of mediums. Last year, he released his album Starz, featuring the standout track (and music video), ‘Butterfly Paralyzed.’ What’s more, the film promises even more artwork on the horizon, including new work from the Sadboys!
To watch the film on digital platforms or VOD, click here!
So, are you a fan of Yung Lean? Or are you just leaning into his work now? What’s your favorite scene from the tell-all documentary? Let us know in the comment section below, or tweet us @TheHoneyPOP!
Featured Image Source: Björn Tjärnberg