Recently christened Tupac deflector Lil Xan is one of the most popular rappers out — and that’s perfectly fine. The culture has seen its fair share of weirdness blow past traditional Hip Hop vessels, and this 21-year-old SoCal kid isn’t the first and won’t be the last.
Also, his true-to-life druggy persona obviously isn’t the most righteous attribute a spotlighted individual should possess, but again, Xan isn’t and shouldn’t be considered the prime example for a paradigm shift in rap role models.
Yet the quality of the work and use of the platform he’s built for himself is ripe for the critiquing, which has largely gone unchecked by the populous that matters the most. It’s not HipHopDX, nor the plotting radio hosts who conduct his interviews, nor his Hip Hop sensei manager, Stat Quo; it’s the fans.
Supporters can be partially blamed for the sloppy, disrespectful video of his new single, “The Man,” which will appear on his debut album, Total Xanarchy.
The Sam King-directed spectacle opens up drenched in all somberness and seriousness as a mental health group sits around discussing their issues in confidentiality. Before Xan takes to the floor, one group member opens up about his sexual addiction, prompted by being molested by a cousin when he was just 12-years-old. Afterward, the repentant pill popper painstakingly describes how guilt almost always shrouds his high when he’s abusing the drugs that blessed him with his rap name.
“I fuck dat bih, yeah! I fuck dat bih, yeah!” — Lil Xan on “The Man”
It’s a short-lived sequence of layered reality for the rest of the visual falls way back on a standard rap video fare, as the nurses become vixens and every dude becomes a co-signer to Xan’s shenanigans. It’s basically his “No Love” video in a different setting — one that just happens to exist in efforts to repatch fragile minds and damaged bodies.
By the time co-collaborator $teven Cannon arrives midway on video to spit his worthless rhymes about “bitches” and … “bitches,” the mental health concept is a complete afterthought. It’s essentially a totally different video (quite a feat in two-minutes time).
Infiltrating a mental health facility for a rap video is hardly a new concept, mainly popularized by the biggest rap stars of them all: Eminem. As of press time, his 2013 single with Rihanna, “Monster,” rest comfortably at more than half a billion views on YouTube. But in this particular instance, what separates Eminem from a Lil Xan is the context of the song’s lyrics.
Slim Shady’s record noticeably tackles an attempt at being one with a schizophrenic state of mind whereas Lil Xan’s “The Man” is another turn-up anthem about balancing bottles and boobs. And its video casually shows him taking his medicine — a practice Lil Xan repeatedly claims is being shed from his image to inspire his even younger fans.
Even young dogs drag their feet at learning new tricks and every rapper isn’t out to save the world, build on the stoop and keep the wokeness meter up.
But making a mockery of one of society’s most delicate subjects — one that’s still not totally understood across the board — is unacceptable. Lil Xan, Sam King, Noreberto Garcia, Jordan Page, Lerry Kin, YCFILMS and production company Buffnerds Media should all be ashamed.