Yung Lean – “Hoover” Review
Is it even possible to put a cloud through a meat grinder? Probably not, but that’s exactly what Yung Lean and producer Yung Gud have done on “Hoover”. The cloud rap laced with knowing references that felt dangerously close to a scene driven parody in 2013 has been jettisoned. Where Lean once floated, he now seethes and suffocates. “Hoover” is dirty, greyed out and heavy in the extreme. The weight doesn’t comes an onslaught of instrumentation – quite the opposite – Gud’s beat has a subterranean pulse, like a murder slowly unfolding in an apartment below.
The video (which is superbly shot) is a perfect fit. Mud caked, eerie and willfully out of kilter. From the moment the deflated siren whimpers to a diminuendo and bass line chimes into life, one thing is clear: Lean has evolved. Maturity is not quite the word, there’s still plenty of contrived moping on display, but there’s also genuine menace underpinning every syllable. Lean might not beat anyone to death, but his own zombified corpse might turn up tomorrow, thickly encrusted with grime and crawl relentlessly towards its prey.
Despite the improvements, the braggadocio still feels a little underpowered. Do you really believe Lean when he mumbles: “dirt on my face, bitches think I’m handsome”? Still, Gud’s beat, which sits happily amongst all your unnerving rap favorites (Death Grips, Odd Future, etc…), is intimidating enough to silence any skepticism. The producer, who has been routinely tipped for superstardom, continues to divide opinion. Is his and S-Type’s single “Fire” one of the best cuts of the year or an overly indebted clunker that tries far too hard to be cool? I change my mind every time it blasts out of my headphones. The “Hoover” beat and flow on the other hand, are definite winners.