Written by Anais Perez
Yung Lean and the Sad Boys Black Marble Tour
The Nest Miami
Dozens of Miami teens stood in line at The Nest Friday July 25th, donning bucket hats and sad boy gear, ready for a truly emotional experience. It was my first time at this venue so I stumbled my way in past the bar and into one of the stage rooms where a DJ was behind the decks playing a mixture of rap and trap music trying to rile the crowd up.
Looking around the room, as expected, was a sea of white boys in bucket hats all crowding together attempting to manage a spot as close to the front as possible. It was a few hours until Yung Lean was supposed to come on and they filled the time slot preceding Lean’s arrival with a few rappers who weren’t listed on the lineup. The crowd was pretty wild, dancing and pushing each other as the guys at the front rapped along to songs like Ace Hood’s “No Flex Zone.”
At around 9:45 p.m. it was announced that Yung Lean and Sad Boys had finally arrived to the venue and the audience could not be happier. It was amazing seeing how emotional a group, mainly consisting of teenage boys, could get over an 18-year-old nonsensical rapper. Finally, the clock struck 10 and Lean made his way on stage. Yung Sherman filled the room with thick hazy beats, and as Yung Lean rapped into the auto-tuned mic the crowd reciprocated and devotedly rapped along to every word. Lean was confident and held the spotlight consistently as the hour passed rapping songs off of his album Unknown Death 2002. The room was dark, lit only by strobe lights that animated Lean and added to this dark and grimy atmosphere, which was the perfect accompaniment to the hazy lethargic style of rapping.
I was shocked at how great of a performer he was and how he was able to engage with the audience in a way that empowered them. His rapping was straightforward and honest. Probably, the coolest part of the night was when “Kyoto” came on and everyone instinctively shouted the infamous S-A-D-B-O-Y-S hook in perfect unison.
If his success as a rapper wasn’t evident by the kind of reception his debut album received, then it was that night. Lean definitely wields the level of talent and branding that it takes to stay relevant for many years to come.