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Open Space: Lil Xan & $teven Cannon

One of the most interesting rap videos to go viral within the past couple months was the Cole Bennett directed clip for Lil Xan’s “Betrayed.” One glance at the thumbnail, paired with a name like that, would have us thinking that Xan was just another drugged-out SoundCloud rapper. However, Lil Xan’s contemplative banger about his struggles with Xanax went viral, with over 20 million views on YouTube and counting.

“I was convinced for a while that drugs were needed in the creative process of music,” Lil Xan revealed to us during his OPEN SPACE interview with Mass Appeal. “You don’t need drugs or any of that shit to be good at anything.” In fact his team actively discouraged him from popping pills: “They said it makes me evil or something.”

Lil Xan is from Redlands, California, which he describes as “The place where dreams come to die.” He said his rap career began when he went to a show featuring $teven Cannon, better known as the Xan Man. Cannon pulled Xan on stage and the rest was history.

“All I knew about him was that he was cool as fuck,” Cannon remembers. “I knew he would never, like, steal from me, you feel me? I knew he was going to be lit when I heard his voice on a beat.”

Although Lil Xan and his affiliates have been memed and negatively labeled as “SoundCloud rappers” Lil Xan points out that some of the most successful rappers today have come out of SoundCloud.

“So many careers are coming from SoundCloud: Smokepurpp, Lil Pump, everybody who the kids are fucking with—and that’s all that matters—is from SoundCloud. To diss SoundCloud, you got to be an old head, listening to Tupac, Joe Budden head-ass.” Not that there’s anything wrong with old school rap, Xan hastens to add.

Check out the full OPEN SPACE interview above to hear Lil Xan explain all his face tattoos, negotiate the proper price selling his soul, and profess his love for A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul.

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————–Mass Appeal————–

What started as a humble graffiti ‘zine in 1996 would soon grow to be one of the most trusted outlets for youth-spawned urban culture. Today, Mass Appeal is a media collective led by authentic voices and inspired minds. We are a platform for radical creatives who are transforming culture.

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Open Space: Lil Xan & $teven Cannon


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