That time we spent the day with Yung Lean & Sad Boys

Words: Craig Connolly
Photography: Joshua Gordon

Bitches come and go (Bruh), But you know I stay…

Long before those lyrics became a TikTok staple, we brought a certain fast-rising Swedish hip hop prodigy and his motley crew of Sad Boys to Dublin for their debut Irish performance. On a gloomy Sunday in April 2014 we chaperoned a then 16 year old Yung Lean and the entire Sad Boys crew around arcades and buffets in Dublin ahead of their gig with us in the Twisted Pepper. Flanking us with his camera was acclaimed photographer Josh Gordon to capture what went on.

In the months before this gig came to fruition, Yung Lean & Sad Boys had firmly established themselves as one of the seminal acts of the cloud rap era, attracting the type of intrigue across the internet that had previously been reserved for the likes of OF at the start of the 2010s. Much of the mystique around Jonatan Leandoer Håstad was with him being in middle adolescence when he made his name. A then 16 year old come out of the blocks with Soundcloud playlist dominating-tracks like Ginseng Strip and Oceans 2001. Couple this with his Asian-inspired aesthetic and fondness for Arizona Ice Tea and you had all the accoutrements for an internet sensation.

What follows is a snapshot of what life as a teenage musical sensation looks like.


The Day in Dublin

We spent the day talking about the difference between the architecture in Sweden and Ireland, Asian culture and the legalities of Leprechaun Museum’s.

Leprechaun Museum’s don’t open on a Sunday (obviously), so we ended up in a hovel of an arcade hall.


The gig in The Twisted Pepper

16 year old Yung Lean performing in the Twisted Pepper.

Here he is post-show about to etch his name on The Twisted Pepper wall of fame. RIP.

Most importantly, here is Yung Lean & The Sad Boys at Jimmy Chung’s All You Can Eat Buffet.