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Amazing Race Route Concept #2
Warning: massive amount of text ahead. I created a mostly functional race route around the world (all loactions like buildings, businesses, landmarks, etc. are REAL locations and could theoretically actually work in the race). I tried to have a good variety in locations and types of challenges, but it's really hard! I find it a lot harder to complain about challenge design after making this. Even though this could technically happen there are probably some safety concerns in going to South Africa and Lesotho and it's probably not possible for the American Amazing Race to film in Cuba, but I decided to do it anyway. If you have any questions or feedback please let me know! RACE #2 Leg 1 (USA - Japan) Leg 2 (Japan - South Korea) Leg 3 (South Korea - India) Leg 4 (India - Oman) Leg 5 (Oman) Leg 6 (Oman - South Africa) Leg 7 (South Africa - Lesotho) Leg 8 (Lesotho - Greece) Leg 9 (Greece) Leg 10 (Greece - North Macedonia) Leg 11 (North Macedonia - Cuba) Leg 12 (Cuba - USA) LEG 1 USA - Japan Start at Cloud Gate, Chicago, Illinois Run to clue at Millenium Monument Clue #1 Make your way to the Gunma region of Japan, and travel to Sarugakyu Onsen. However, to get your tickets to Japan, you must make your way on foot through the busy streets of Chicago to Navy Pier, where flights will be given out according to the order of your arrival. Flights go to Tokyo, and you must make your own travel arrangements from there. Flight 1 (5 teams): Chicago - Los Angeles - Tokyo, arrives 8:00 AM Flight 2 (4 teams): Chicago - Tokyo, arrives 9:30 AM Flight 3 (2 teams): Chicago - San Francisco - Tokyo, arrives 9:45 AM Clue #2 Both team members must go into the hot springs and search it for the partly submerged cluebox to get your next clue. Clue #3 Travel to Sarugakyo Bungy for your next clue. Clue #4 Roadblock: Who’s ready to take a jump? Bungy jump at the largest bungy jump in all of Japan at 62 meters, or over 200 feet! Once you’ve taken your leap of faith, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #5 Travel to Uenokunirokunomiya Haruna Shrine, Takasaki, for your next clue. Clue #6 Create one string of paper cranes in Senbazuru. Senbazuru is the crafting of 1000 paper cranes for good luck. Following the demonstration, learn how to craft paper cranes. Once you have created forty of them and strung them together, deliver them to a Shinto priest at Akiba Shrine. He will give you your next clue. Clue #7 Travel by train to Akihabara, Tokyo, and go to the top of the Tokyo Skytree to receive your next clue. Clue #8 Roadblock: Who can ‘go’ kart? The teammate who did the first roadblock cannot do this one. Travel to Akihabari Street Kart 1 and dress up in one of the many ridiculous costumes the company has to offer. Then, join a fifteen minute go-karting tour around the streets of this bustling region and look for three enormous signs in race colors with three different Japanese characters on them. If you can spot and write all three characters down correctly during the rush of Tokyo, you’ll receive your next clue. If you can’t get it right, you’ll have to join the next available tour. Clue #9 Travel to Horin Park on foot to find the first pit stop! The last team to check in here may be eliminated. Pit Stop, Leg 1 trip to Canada last: eliminated LEG 2 Japan - South Korea Clue #1 Fly to Busan, South Korea! Upon arrival, make your way to Beomeo-sa for your next clue. Fast Forward, Leg 2 Go to Songdo Beach and swim out into the ocean, locating the five whale statues in the water. At each statue, pick up marked letter tiles. Once you have all seven (two statues have two tiles), you can go back to the beach and unscramble the letters that spell out the name of a traditional South Korean delicacy that the other contestants eat at their first challenge. If you get the right word, you’ll be given a clue that takes you straight to the end of the leg. Clue #2 Master the art of Korean meditation. If you can master all of the moves correctly, then your instructor will give over your next clue. Clue #3 Head to Taejongdae for your next clue. Clue #4 Roadblock: Who’s desperate to eat? Take the marked path over one mile uphill to the marked food stand, and finish one serving of Soondae, a traditional South Korean delicacy that is made of pig intestines and pork blood. Once you have finished the food, you can run down to your partner and get your next clue. Clue #5 Take the Songdo Marine Cable Car from Songnim Park to Amnam Park to receive your next clue. Clue #6 Detour: Fish Identity or Fish Delivery Fish Identity: Go to Jagalchi Fish Market and search for the marked stall. Once there, sort an enormous box of fish and organize them. Once the stall owner approves, put them up for stock in the stall to receive your next clue. Fish Delivery: Go to Jacky’s Seafood and take three orders and three addresses that need to be delivered. Once you have delivered all the fish to all the correct addresses throughout the Gamcheon Culture Village, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Make your way to the pit-stop at Haedong Yonggungsa. The last team to arrive may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 2 -first: trip to Belize -last: non-elimination LEG 3 South Korea - India Clue #1 Fly to Hyderabad, India, and go to the Charminar for your first clue. Clue #2 Travel to Ramoji Film City Main Entrance to receive your next clue. Speed Bump, Leg 3 Make your way to Saha’s Adventure Park and zorb down a steep hill. Once you’ve made it, you can continue racing. Clue #3 Detour: Birdy Woods or Bollywood Birdy Woods: Dressing up in clumsy bird costumes, search through Asia’s largest aviary for a cutout of the bird your partner is dressing up as. Once you’ve found the two cutouts, head to the Bonsai Garden. If you match the right bird, you’ll receive your next clue. Bollywood: Head to Ramoji Movie Magic. Dressing up in traditional Indian outfits, memorize a short dance to the tune of some Bollywood music and perform it to the live audience and judges. If you meet their standards, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #4 Head to Nehru Zoological Park where your next clue will be waiting. Clue #5 Take an amazing elephant ride! With both teammates on the elephant’s back guide it through a short course. If you can reach the end in under two minutes, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #6 Make your way to Bidar Fort by public transport for your next clue. Clue #7 Roadblock: Who’s itching to get etching? One team member must help in the process of the creation of bidriware. First, you must chisel one section in the piece of bidriware very precisely. Any error and you must restart. If given the clear, then you must then make their way inside Bidar Fort and collect a total of three baskets of soil for the artisans to use later in the process. Finally, you must use some of the soil you collected and coat a piece of bidriware in it. If every part of the challenge was done to the satisfaction of the artisans, you will receive your next clue. Clue #8 Make your way to the Bahmani Tombs and the pit-stop! The last team to arrive will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 3 -first: trip to Japan -last: eliminated LEG 4 India - Oman Clue #1 Fly to Muscat, Oman! Once you have arrived, make your way to Al Alam Palace, where you will find marked cars waiting outside. Your clue will be waiting on the car. Clue #2 Drive all the way to the Nizwa Souq in Nizwa, Oman, where you will find nine different tags, each releasing teams at different times the next morning, when you will be given your next clue. Tag 1: departure at 7:00 AM Tag 2: departure at 7:05 AM Tag 3: departure at 7:10 AM Tag 4: departure at 7:15 AM Tag 5: departure at 7:20 AM Tag 6: departure at 7:25 AM Tags 7-9: departure at 7:30 AM Clue #3 Detour: Selling Goats or Weighing Dates Selling Goats: Navigate through the souq to the weekly goat market. You must select a seller and help them sell their goats. First, thoroughly clean five goats so they are ready for selling. Then, parade five goats around the “walking circle,” where potential buyers will inspect which goats to buy. You must finally buy a goat yourself, haggling for a price under 100 riyals, or 260 US dollars. Once you can purchase a goat, you will receive your next clue. Keep the goat for the next challenge. Weighing Dates: Find the marked stall in the souq that is selling dates. Your goal is to weigh out 200 grams of Ajwa Dates, 175 grams of Barhi Dates, and 125 grams of Hayani Dates. To do this, you must travel across the market to a scale at a different date stall. If you can get the perfect amount of dates, you will receive your next clue. Keep the dates for the next challenge. Clue #4 Travel on foot to the Contemporary Mosque with either your goat or dates and trade them with the man waiting out front for your next clue. Clue #5 Make your way back to the souq, and head to Omani Craftsman's House where you will find your next clue. Clue #6 Roadblock: Who can work and weave? The teammate participating in this roadblock must help create a small basketwork bowl. After watching the example, you must use the provided materials to finish off the bowl. If it meets the requirement of the shop owner, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Make your way to the pit-stop for this leg of the race, Nizwa Fort! The last team to arrive may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 4 -first: continue racing -last: continue racing LEG 5 Oman Clue #1 Drive yourself to Bimmah Sinkhole in Muscat, Oman! You will receive your next clue after having a cup of delicious locally-made coffee. Caution! Double U-Turn ahead! Clue #2 Detour: Script Write or Shipwright Script Write: Drive to Bait al Zubair and go into the Manuscript Room. Using a provided paper and translation guide, figure out what the marked manuscript says in English. If anything is wrong when submitting it, though, you must start completely over. Shipwright: Drive to Oman Maritime Boatyard and find the marked boat. Oman Maritime has been reviving the craft of making the traditional wooden boats of Oman’s past, and you must help with the process. First, you must hand-sand a small section of the marked vessel. Then, you and your partner must work together to stitch coconut palm fiber through twenty holes, or eighty total stitches. Once you’re done, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #3 Make your way to Mutrah Souk for your next clue and the U-Turn board! Clue #4 Search through the enormous market for one of three marked stalls. One you’ve found a stall, search through their wares for a trinket with a red/yellow flag on the bottom. Give the correct trinket to the shop owner, and they will hand you your next clue. Clue #5 Drive yourself to Qurum Beach, where you will receive your next clue. Clue #6 Roadblock: Who will pass the shells? For this challenge, one team member must watch the demonstration of two fishermen playing a traditional Omani game, Al Hawalees. You must first create a “board” in the sand and collect the required amount of shells to play. You must then challenge a local fisherman. If you can win while following all of the rules correctly, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Make your way to the pit-stop at Wadi Bani Khalid. The last team to check in will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 5 -first: trip to Tanzania -last: eliminated LEG 6 Oman - South Africa Clue #1 Fly out of Oman to Durban, South Africa, on one of two flights. Flight 1 (2 teams): Muscat - Durban, arrives 7:30 AM Flight 2 (6 teams): Muscat - Dar es Salaam - Durban, arrives 8:00 AM Upon touching down, make your way to Moses Mabhida Stadium, where you will find your next clue. Clue #2 Roadblock: Who will swing for the skies? One team member must strap in and complete the Big Rush Big Swing, the largest swing in the world! Dive 263 feet down. Once you have finished the swing, you will receive a section and seat number. You will search the stands for your next clue. Clue #3 Make your way to Umhlanga Lighthouse for your next clue. Clue #4 Shake it up! In this challenge, you must create Lighthouse Bar’s famous “Umhlanga Schling.” Use the provided recipe to create fifteen drinks to perfection, and you will receive your next clue. Clue #5 Head to Addington Beach and dig underneath one of the large sandcastles for your next clue. Clue #6 Detour: Tree or Sea Tree: For this detour, go to Durban Botanical Gardens. Use a provided golf cart to make your way to the famous Wood’s Cycad, a tree dating back to the age of dinosaurs. It has been cared for here since 1848. Once there, use one of the provided pieces to put together a large 3d puzzle of the tree. Once it has been approved, you will be handed your clue, and you can drive back to the front of the gardens and continue racing. Sea: Go to uShaka Marine World and help out with some chores! First, help the kitchen staff and prepare 5 pounds of specially made vegetables for some of the aquarium’s fish. Second, travel around the park and take water samples from each of the specified exhibits. Finally, record blood test results taken during routine health check-ups. If you’ve completed all of the steps correctly, you will receive your next clue. Clue #7 Head to the pit-stop at Suncoast Casino and Entertainment World! The last team to check in may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 6 -first: 5k each -last: eliminated LEG 7 South Africa - Lesotho Clue #1 Drive yourself through Qacha’s Nek and into Lesotho! Once in Lesotho, drive yourself to Maletsunyane Falls where you’ll find your next clue. Fast Forward, Leg 7 By completing this fast forward, you will skip an overnight rest point and will be able to head directly to the pit-stop. Head to Sehlabathebe National Park. Once there, using the provided map and compass, ride by horseback to the nomadic tribal people’s current village. At the village, help cook pap-pap, a type of porridge common in Lesotho. The first team to complete the challenge will be able to head directly to the pit-stop. Clue #2 Drive yourself to Seshoeshoe Decor and Fashion Designers in Maseru for your next clue. Clue #3 Who can cut up a pattern? One teammate will choose one of the complicated tribal Lesotho designs, and must find five pieces of fabric that match it perfectly. But be careful, the designs have miniscule differences between them. Once you’ve found all of your fabric, cut them at the directed places to receive your next clue. Clue #4 Make your way to the Subeng River Dinosaur Footprints, where you will find seven tags, each releasing you at a time in the morning when you will receive your next clue. Tags 1-2: departure at 7:00 AM Tag 3: departure at 7:20 AM Tag 4: departure at 7:40 AM Tags 5-7: departure at 8:00 AM Clue #5 Detour: Cave or Maze Cave: For this challenge, go to Liphofung Cave. You must memorize all of the rock paintings in a specified section (15 paintings), and then run approximately a quarter-mile away and select the correct paper cutouts and put them in the right order as they were shown in the cave. When you have everything selected and ordered correctly, you’ll receive your next clue. Maze: Make your way to the second largest dam in Africa, Katse Dam. Enter the first marked gallery and record the air temperature and the humidity. Use those observations to crack a complicated code, and enter the parallel gallery it directs you into. Be careful, it might be hard to find! If you enter the correct gallery, you will find a boat key, which you must give to the boatmaster. He will then give you a small ride around the reservoir and you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #6 Drive yourself to Sani Stone Lodge for your next clue. Clue #7 Help a local Basotho Shephard and their dogs move their sheep to a new grazing location. Don’t let the sheep get away! Once they’ve all been successfully moved, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #8 Make your way on foot to the pit-stop at Sani Top Chalet! The last team to check in may be eliminated! Pit-Stop, Leg 7 -first: trip to Egypt -last: non-elimination LEG 8 Lesotho - Greece Clue #1 Via Maseru International Airport, make your way to Athens, Greece, known to be the home of the first democracy! From there, make your way to the Theatre of Dionysus on The Acropolis, where you will take part in a U-Turn vote. The two teams with the most votes will be sentenced to an automatic U-Turn when they arrive at the detour. After the vote, teams will be given their next clue. Clue #2 Fly to Chania, Greece on the island of Crete! Upon touching down, use the provided cars to make your way to the Agora and search for the marked stall. Speed Bump, Leg 8 Together, team members must eat through a total of twelve Greek figs. Once all of the fruits have been stomached, that team can continue racing. Clue #3 Detour: Traverse or Immerse Traverse: Make your way to the Maritime Museum of Crete, and find the small yacht model outside the museum. Your goal is to remember as much as you can without writing it down, then make a half mile walk through the streets of Crete to the yacht harbor, where you must find a marked yacht and rearrange the items until it is just like it was in the model. Once the actual yacht matches the model, you’ll receive your next clue. Immerse: Travel to Minoan’s World 3D Museum, and get treated to a five minute long “9D movie” on Cretan History which engages all of your senses. If you can answer all five questions correctly, you’ll receive your next clue. However, only two teams can participate in the show at once. Clue #4 Drive to the Palace of Knossos for your next clue. Clue #5 Use the provided map to navigate through the ruins, collecting puzzle pieces at each of the marked rooms. Once you have all ten bundles of pieces, head outside and recreate the large painting using the pieces you collected. Once it has been finished, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #6 Drive to Cretan Olive Oil Farm for your next clue. Clue #7 Roadblock: Who is feeling oily? In this challenge, one teammate will help in the process of creating olive oil. First, set up special tree-shaking equipment and a net, used to efficiently get olives out of the tree without bruising them. You will then sort the olives between bruised and fair. Finally, crush both bruised and fair olives with a traditional granite olive press. Once they have been successfully grinded into a paste, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #8 Find the pit-stop along the coast of the small village of Loutro back on the west side of Crete. You will soon discover, however, that the village is completely blocked off from the mainland by mountains, so you will have to find alternate transportation. Hurry, because the last team to arrive will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 8 -first: trip to Austria -last: eliminated LEG 9 Greece Clue #1 Fly back to the mainland in Thessaloniki! When you’ve arrived, search Aristotelous Square for your next clue. Clue #2 Detour: Serve or Observe Serve: For this detour head on foot to Bougatsa Giannis, a renowned restaurant in the Ladadika area. You must take the orders of twelve total people and retrieve the correct dishes for them from the kitchen. Each person also has a dessert, which must be retrieved from nearby pastry shop Trigona Elinidi. You may take notes, but if you mess up someone’s order, you must start it over again. Observe: Go by taxi to the Thessaloniki Science Centre Technology Museum and make your way to the main planetarium. The night sky will be projected above, and will be moving around you at one hour of regular movement per second. Using the provided key, identify five Greek constellations first identified by Claudius Ptolemy- Orion, Ursa Major, Cassiopeia, Centaurus, and Perseus. Be careful, it might be dizzying! Once you’ve found all of the constellations, you’ll be rewarded with your next clue. Clue #3 Find the Arch of Galerius for your next clue. Clue #4 Use one of the marked cars to drive yourself for the rest of the leg. Go to the Thessaloniki Concert Hall for your next clue. Clue #5 Roadblock: Who can blow a note and hold a tune? Macedonian brass bands are extremely popular in the Macedonia region of Greece, so for this roadblock, learn how to play the trumpet, a popular instrument played in these bands. If you can play a few notes of the folk song with the band, you’ll get your next clue. Clue #6 Drive to Dalamara Winery. Once there, follow the guide to the directed area, where you must load two empty kegs onto a horse drawn cart. Direct the horse approximately half a mile through the vineyard and return back to the kegs. You will continue to load and deliver a total of eight kegs to receive your next clue. Clue #7 Drive to Ski Center Voras and take the lift to the top where Kajmakcalan, a chapel right on the border between Greece and North Macedonia is situated. The last team to arrive at this pit-stop may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 9 -first: trip to Colombia -last: eliminated LEG 10 Greece - North Macedonia Clue #1 Drive yourself across the border into North Macedonia to Popova Kula Winery! Once there, pull a tag that departs you at a certain time the next morning. Tag 1: departure at 8:00 AM Tag 2: departure at 8:10 AM Tag 3: departure at 8:20 AM Tags 4-5: departure at 8:30 AM Clue #2 Roadblock: Who is a master chef? The teammate doing this roadblock will use the provided recipe to cook the national dish of North Macedonia, Tavche Gravche, a special type of baked beans. If it is cooked to perfection, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #3 Drive yourself to the Millenium Cross in Skopje for your next clue. Clue #4 Detour: Art Block or Charity Walk Art Block: Drive to the Art Bridge, which is home to 29 statues of important Macedonian artists and musicians. Wandering on and around the bridge are 29 people dressed up as those artists and musicians. You must match nine total people to their statues. A maximum of three teams can complete this challenge. Charity Walk: Drive to the Mother Teresa Memorial House and load a trolley cart with a marked group of items that will almost completely fill the trolley. On foot, travel to the SOS Children’s Village National Office where you are to deliver the items. If you do not choose this option, your items will still be donated after the leg. Clue #5 Drive to the city of Struga, where the North Macedonian national anthem was created. Make your way to the Saint Archangel Michael Cave Church for your next clue. Clue #6 Teammates must work together to memorize four total stanzas of the Macedonian national anthem- in Macedonian. If you can perform it with the orchestra without forgetting the lyrics, you’ll receive your clue to the next pit-stop. Clue #7 Drive to the Monastery of St. Naum and the pit-stop! The last team to check in may be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 10 -first: trip to Indonesia -last: eliminated LEG 11 North Macedonia - Cuba Clue #1 Make your way back to Skopje, then fly to Havana, Cuba, on two predetermined flights. Once there, go by taxi to Taller Calle 8, a car repair shop, where you will receive your next clue. Flight 1 (2 teams): Skopje - Paris - Havana, arrives 6:30 AM Flight 2 (2 teams): Skopje - London - Miami - Havana, arrives 7:10 AM Clue #2 Roadblock: Who can fix it up? The teammate doing this roadblock must follow the example to repair one of the classic Cuban cars. If it makes it past inspection, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #3 For the remainder of the leg, you’ll have to drive the car you just fixed. Head to Fusterlandia, where you’ll find your next clue. Clue #4 Find where the attached image is in person throughout the folk neighborhood of Fusterlandia. If you can find where the image actually is and show the judge, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #5 Sell the Box or Find the Band Sell the Box: Drive to Santa Maria del Mar Beach and sell the provided boxes of boxed rum, the “juice box for bug kids.” While never selling any box for under 25 Cuban Pesos, make 375 Cuban Pesos (around fifteen US dollars). Once you’ve made your sales, you’ll receive your next clue. Find the Band: For this detour, drive to the Cuban Art Factory and observe the large, marked piece of sheet music in the first room. Going from room to room in the factory, try to find the band who is playing the music that was in the first room. You must make your guesses ten minutes apart, so be confident in your answers! Once you have chosen the right band, you’ll be rewarded with your next clue. Clue #6 Drive to Vinales Valley Tobacco Field and search the marked area for your next clue. Clue #7 Perfectly roll ten Cuban cigars, five per contestant. Watch the example closely, as any small mistake in rolling the tobacco leaf will cause the cigar to fail. Once all of the cigars have been perfectly rolled, you’ll receive your next clue. Clue #8 Take a long drive to the eastern side of Cuba and the pit-stop at Ignacio Agramonte Park in Camaguey! The last team to check into the pit-stop will be eliminated. Pit-Stop, Leg 11 -first: trip to Botswana -last: eliminated LEG 12 Cuba - USA Clue #1 For the first part of this leg, you’ll be staying in Cuba! Drive yourself using the car you used in the last leg down Neptuno street in Havana, where you will find a guarapo stall with a flag. Clue #2 Using the hand-press to crush sugarcane, make forty glasses of guarapo. Once all of the glasses have been successfully made, you’ll be handed your next clue. Clue #3 Drive to the Tropicana Night Club for your next clue. Clue #4 Roadblock: Who can make it and shake it? For this challenge, one team member must follow the instructions of the costume designer to create a costume for one of the showgirls. If the costume is made correctly and given a pass, teams will be given their next clue. Clue #5 Teams must drive to Aeropuerto de La Habana Ciudad Libertad, where you will embark on a charter flight to Key West, Florida, back in the United States. Once in Key West, teams must go to the southernmost point in the continental United States for their next clue. Clue #6 Make your way to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum, where you’ll find your next clue. Clue #7 Roadblock: Who is a reader, a writer, and a decipherer? Ernest Hemingway, known for books like The Old Man and the Sea, had a notoriously bad handwriting, with little regards to punctuation or accuracy. One team member must copy one of Hemingway’s notes perfectly, letter for letter, on the provided typewriter. If it was typed perfectly, you will be handed a decoder key which you can use to find the hidden message, which will reveal the location of your final challenge. Answer: Smathers Beach Clue #8 Now that you’ve made it to Smathers Beach, you’ll partake in a final challenge. Out in between the marked buoys are bundles of letter tiles. You must dive down to retrieve them and bring them back up to shore. Figure out what you’re supposed to spell out with them, and once you think you have the answer, hang the tiles in order on your clothesline. If you have the correct answer, you’ll be given the final clue. Answer: United States, Japan, South Korea, India, Oman, South Africa, Lesotho, Greece, North Macedonia, Cuba, United States (teams must figure out that they have to spell out all of the countries they visited in order on the race) Clue #9 Congratulations! Make your way to the final pit-stop at Fort Zachary Cruise Pier! Go, go, go, the first team to reach the pit-stop will win 1 MILLION dollars! Pit-Stop, Leg 12 10 countries 4 continents over 27,000 miles first: 1 million dollars
A not-so-brief rundown of letters J-L of Jeffrey Epstein's 'Little Black Book'
Below is a rundown of letters J-L of Epstein's contacts. Last year, I wrote about letters A-C. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/cpis3n/a_brief_rundown_of_the_first_ten_pages_of_jeffrey/). I also wrote about letters D-F on July 5, 2020. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/hlrba8/a_notsobrief_rundown_of_letters_df_in_jeffrey/). I posted letters G-I on July 13, 2020. You can check that out here (https://www.reddit.com/conspiracy/comments/hqko0y/a_notsobrief_rundown_of_letters_gi_in_jeffrey/). There are some misspelled names. Epstein entered their names like this. I have bolded some of the more interesting connections and information, but there could be much more that I overlooked. I hope something here strikes an interest in someone and maybe we can get more investigations out of this. Please, if you know anything more about any of these people than what is presented here, post below. I am working off of the unredacted black book found here: https://www.coreysdigs.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Jeffrey-Epsteins-Little-Black-Book-unredacted.pdf J-L Jackson, Michael (Samuel Gen): Yes, this is a reference to MJ the singer. However, the numbers listed are not MJ’s. They belong to Samuel Gen, a lawyer for a financial advisor (Jerry Seinfeld’s brother-in-law) who worked for MJ for a while. This one was a reach for Epstein. Jacobson, Julian: Likely a reference to a Managing Director at several London-based investment firms. Jagger, Mick: World-famous lead singer of the Rolling Stones. Has been seen in photographs with Ghislaine Maxwell. Actress Rae Dawn Chong claims she slept with Jagger when she was 15 years old. Jagger, Hatti: Former fashion director for Vogue, Harper’s, and Tatler. Also works as a celebrity stylist and at fashion shows. jake: Not enough info. Jameel, Mohammed: Saudi Arabian businessman. CEO of Abdul Latif Jameel, a collective of family-owned businesses that specialize in transportation, investing, and real estate. Royal pervert Prince Andrew infamously partied on Jameel’s yacht during the 2011 London riots (source: https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/prince-andrew-frolicks-on-yacht-with-mystery-147496). James, Susie: Founder and owner of 123 Send Ltd, a company that provides payment terminals. Janklow, Linda: Literary agent and wife of Mort Janklow, the primary owner of Janklow & Nesbit Associates, the largest literary agency in the world. Attended a party hosted by Sony Pictures with Epstein, although they are not pictured together (source:https://www.patrickmcmullan.com/search/?event=5b3ef4fb9f92906676446c21). In 2007, Ghislaine Maxwell threw an exclusive party (80 carefully selected guests) at her NYC townhouse to celebrate the opening of a new shop by designer Allegra Hicks (granddaughter-in-law of Earl Mountbatten, who you can read more about in my G-I Epstein thread under India Hicks’s name). One of the eighty guests was Julie Landlow, daughter of Linda and Mort. Jarecki, Nancy & Andrew: Andrew is a filmmaker, co-founder of Moviefone, and was a producer on Catfish, the documentary that launched the popular MTV show. Andrew’s family was reportedly friends with Jeffrey Epstein. There is an EXCELLENT thread on the connections between the Jarecki family (especially Andrew and Nick’s father, Henry) and Epstein here (source:https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1200044576947556352.html). Quick summary: Henry was born in Nazi Germany; flew on the Lolita Express; is an expert in psychotropic drugs; owns two islands in the British Virgin Islands; founded the first youth center in the British Virgin Islands; lived 2 miles from Epstein in NYC; owns and donates to many sketchy foundations, schools, and organizations; has donated at least $1 million to leftist organizations). Andrew’s wife Nancy created bettybeauty, a company that specializes in hair dye for your nether regions (not kidding). Jarecki, Nick: The movie director brother of Andrew and son of Henry Jarecki (see link under Andrew & Nancy Jarecki for more info). Reportedly dated Courtney Love (also in Epstein’s ‘Black Book’) in 2015. Photographed with Ghislaine Maxwell at a Gucci party (source:https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/ghislaine-maxwell-and-nick-jarecki-attend-gucci-hosts-a-news-photo/591605562). Jason (canada): Not enough info. Could be artist Jason Wasserman based out of Canada. The second number listed traces back to Station 16 Gallery in Montreal. Javier: Javier Banon is former Co-head of Merchant Banking at Lehman Brothers and current Founding Partner of Trilantic Europe. Jeffries, Tim: Ownedirector of Hamiltons Gallery in London. Best known for dating models Elle Macpherson, Claudia Schiffer, Kylie Minogue and Sophie Dahl (also in Epstein’s ‘Black Book’). Jefferies has attended fundraisers for ARK Academy and the NSPCC. He truly cares about children. Johnson, Richard & Nadine: Nadine is a millionaire public relations guru. Nadine is a good friend of Ghislaine Maxwell’s. Some clients of Nadine Johnson include spirit cooking extraordinaire Marina Abramovic and hotelier Andre Balazs, good friend of Ghislaine. Richard is one of the most well-known gossip columnists and was the editor of Page Six for twenty-five years. There is a great thread detailing the Johnsons’ ties to the Clintons, Balazs, and others here (source:https://threader.app/thread/1162148078981394432). Basically, Richard Johnson is friendly with the Clintons and, as Page Six Editor, purposely did not report or downplayed stories on the Clintons and Nadine’s clients. He also took bribes. Considering Nadine is a good friend of Ghislaine, it would not be a stretch to assume that Richard could have buried stories on Maxwell and Epstein. I could spend 10 pages on the shady connections these two have. Johnson, Lucy: Not enough info. Jones, Ann & Mick: Mick is the guitarist of Foreigner, an immensely popular rock band in the ‘70s and ‘80s. His wife, Ann, is a jewelry designer, and friend of Ghislaine. Ann Jones was photographed at a party with Ghislaine and Donald Trump in 1997 (source:https://www.the-sun.com/news/85818/epstein-madam-ghislaine-maxwell-milked-billionaire-dad-and-threw-lavish-parties-with-beautiful-women/) Josephson, Barry & Jackie: Barry is a producer and the former President of Production for Columbia Pictures. Jackie is his ex-wife and also a producer. Karella, Kalliope: Wife of Prince Pierre d’Arenberg. Kalliope is a good friend of Ghislaine Maxwell. Kastner, Ron: No info found. Katz, Anton & Robin Plant: Anton is CEO and co-founder of Talos Trading, which specializes in cryptocurrency. Anton and Robin are friends of and have been photographed with Ghislaine (source: https://www.patrickmcmullan.com/search/?person=5b3ef50c9f929066764df255). Katzeneilenbogen, Mark: Long-time investment banker who used to be based out of South Africa. Keeling, Sarah: There is a Sarah Keeling in London who is a former British government official with 20 years of experience in national security and intelligence experience, however, the phone number listed has a 410 area code, which leads back to eastern Maryland. Inconclusive. Kegan, Rory: A nightclub designer and creator. Co-founder of the exclusive, celebrity-filled London nightclub, Chinawhite. Prince Andrew (source:https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9818190/prince-andrew-pictures-cast-doubt-epstein-sex-slave/) and Prince Albert of Monaco are regulars. Chelsea Clinton has been there, as well (source:https://www.standard.co.uk/news/bright-night-for-china-white-6299739.html). Other patrons include: Prince Andrew, Kate Middleton, George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio, and more. Keidan, Amanda: Owner of Keidan Jewelry. Keidan, Jon: An entertainment executive-turned-venture capitalist. As an entertainment exec, Keidan worked with John Legend, Dave Matthews Band, and Nappy Roots. Keidan serves on the Council of Foreign Relations, a powerful group that some believe determines foreign policy. Former and current members include former presidents, current and former politicians, business magnates, and celebrities (https://www.cfr.org/membership/roster). Keller, Georgie: Interior designer. Kellette Frayse, Caroline: Fashion editor at Vogue and Tatler (both magazines constantly come up in Epstein’s contacts). Former girlfriend of Imran Khan, whose name has come up frequently. Passed away in 2014. Her husband, Jean-Marc Fraysse, is a French investment banker. Kelmenson, Leo-Arthur & Gayl: Leo was an advertising and marketing guru who has been credited with saving Chrysler. Friend and advisor to Lee Iacocca, former President of Chrysler. He worked as Special Project Officer for the U.S. Department of State under President John F. Kennedy and AG Robert F. Kennedy. He had tons of connections. His former maid accused him of sexual harassment in 2010 (source:https://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/maid-harassment-suit-claims-ad-exec-leo-arthur-kelmenson-madman-pervy-mad-men-wannabe-article-1.156915). Kelmenson died less than two months after the story came out. Kennedy Cuomo, Andrew & Kerry: Andrew is the current governor of New York. It’s no secret that Cuomo is willing to look the other way on sexual deviancy as long as he receives a payoff. Cuomo halted a probe into the handling of Harvey Weinstein’s case in New York after receiving $25,000 from Weinstein’s law firm (source:https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bjbqg4/andrew-cuomo-received-dollar25000-donation-from-harvey-weinsteins-law-firm). Andrew’s brother, CNN Host Chris Cuomo famously told viewers “not to get caught up in the intrigue of who Epstein’s friends are” (source:https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2019/07/11/cnn_cuomo_lets_not_get_caught_up_in_the_intrigue_of_who_was_friends_with_jeffrey_epstein.html). Perhaps, he was covering for his brother. Kerry Kennedy is Cuomo’s ex-wife of fifteen years, the daughter of RFK, and a close friend of Ghislaine Maxwell. Supposedly, Kennedy provided Ghislaine with informal illegal advice (source:https://www.splicetoday.com/politics-and-media/the-nth-word-and-m-theory). Kennedy Jr. Ted: Son of Ted Kennedy and nephew of JFK and RFK. Ted Jr. dabbled in politics and currently works as a lawyer. His father, Ted, was a notorious sexual abuser (allegedly). Kennedy, Bobby & Mary: Bobby is the son of RFK and nephew of JFK. Bobby is a known drug abuser and philanderer. Bobby kept a sex journal detailing his conquests while he was married (source:https://nypost.com/2013/09/08/rfk-jr-s-sex-diary-of-adultery/). His ex-wife, Mary, committed “suicide” two years after their divorce. Before committing suicide, Mary told a friend that she “feared for her life” and Bobby told her that she “would be better off dead” (source:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3231043/How-serial-cheater-Bobby-Kennedy-Jr-strutted-family-home-exposing-private-parts-demanded-m-nage-trois-wife-Mary-went-public-Cheryl-Hines-telling-Mary-things-easier-killed-herself.html). Kennedy, Ethel: Widow of RFK Sr. and mother of eleven, including Bobby Kennedy, Kerry Kennedy, and Joseph Kennedy II. Kennedy, Jo: Joseph Kennedy II is the son of RFK Sr. and Ethel. Served in the House of Representatives from 1987-1999. In 1973, Joseph was convicted of negligent driving after paralyzing a young woman. He was fined $100. Kennedy, Senator Edward: Brother of JFK and RFK, Ted Kennedy served as U.S. Senator of Massachusetts for 47 years. Besides politics, Ted is best known for the Chappaquiddick incident in which a young female speechwriter for RFK drowned to death when he lost control of his vehicle while driving across a bridge. He was charged with leaving the scene of an incident and given a two month suspended sentence. Ted was also notorious for his extramarital affairs. Senator Kennedy once hosted a party at his house attended by Bill Clinton and Lynn Forester de Rothschild. Rothschild wrote a letter to Clinton afterwards in which she mentions that they spoke about Epstein (source:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7283825/Jeffrey-Epstein-injured-jail-cell-following-possible-suicide-assault.html). It is unclear what was said or what Rothschild’s connection could possibly be. Kersner, Sol: South African accountant and hotel and casino magnate who died of cancer in 2020. Kerzner was a close friend of Donald Trump. They even worked together to create The Palm, a man-made island off the coast of Dubai (source:https://www.ft.com/content/46393280-d9f9-11da-b7de-0000779e2340). Kerzner was also close friends with Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York (https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/sarah-ferguson-the-duchess-of-york-sol-kerzner-chairman-and-news-photo/83768272), Naomi Campbell (https://www.gettyimages.ca/detail/news-photo/naomi-campbell-and-sol-kerzner-pose-backstage-during-the-news-photo/82869744), and Bill Clinton (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8144647/As-Sol-Kerzner-dies-aged-84-RICHARD-KAY-looks-riotously-louche-life.html). Kerzner was very good friends with Nelson Mandela and built his casino resorts with Gerard Inzerillo, who you can read about in my G-I ‘Black Book’ thread. Khayat, Antoine, Jana, & George: Jana is an heiress and businesswoman. Jana is the niece of Galen Weston, a close friend of Prince Charles. George is her brother and CEO of Associated British Foods. Jana’s husband, Antoine, is a former banker and currently runs their vineyard. Kidd, Jemma: Kidd is a British makeup artist, fashion model, and aristocrat. Married to Arthur Wellesley, Earl of Mornington, the son of the Duke and Duchess of Wellington, making her a Countess. Kidd is an interesting figure with elite connections. From 2005-2012, Ghislaine Maxwell served as Director of Jemma Kidd Make-Up Limited, a U.K. makeup company, which was founded by Kidd. Not only did Ghislaine serve as Director, but she was also a shareholder, along with the Rothschild family (source:https://nationalpost.com/news/world/in-hiding-for-years-epstein-accomplice-ghislaine-maxwell-spotted-in-l-a-burger-shop). If you click around the PDFs on this website (https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/05340072/filing-history), you can see everything. The 16 JUN 2006 PDF on page 3 shows you a list of Officers and shareholders of the company. Jemma Kidd has also attended charity events for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) (https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-beckham-nspcc-party-jemma-kidd-106882170.html). Her sister, Jodie, is also a huge supportefundraiser of the NSPCC, as well as the Help a London Child and Monsoon Accessorize Trust charities, both of which help out disadvantaged children (source:https://www.looktothestars.org/celebrity/jodie-kidd). King, Abby: No info found. Kirwin Taylor, Charlie & Helen: Charles is an investment banker. He was former CEO of Credit Suisse in Switzerland, an investment firm which shows up a few times through Epstein’s contacts. His wife, Helen, is a journalist. Kirwin Taylor, Peter: British financier. Was a member of the Pilgrims Society (https://isgp-studies.com/pilgrims-society-membership-list), a group that has included the Rothschilds, Rockefellers, and other elites amongst its ranks. Kissinger, Dr. Henry A: Former U.S. Secretary of State and National Security Advisor under Nixon. Kissinger has long been accused of committing war crimes (ex: carpet bombing Cambodia, installing fascist governments in Chile and Argentina, genocide, extending our stay in Vietnam, etc) yet somehow managed to win a Nobel Peace Prize in 1973. Kissinger once said, “Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy.” Kissinger served with Epstein on the Trilateral Commission. Kissinger has also been a member of the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute, and Bohemian Grove. Long thought to be an advocate for a globalist New World Order, Kissinger is a scumbag of the highest order. His connections with Gates, the Clintons, Bush Sr. and Jr., the Rockefellers, and the Rothschilds are well-documented. If anyone here has ever done any research regarding the NWO, you have undoubtedly seen Kissinger’s name several times. Klee, Rupert & Charlotte de: Rupert is a Director with Oakridge Group, a property development and investment company. His wife, Charlotte, is the producer of the religious plays at Wintershall. Klesch, Johnathan: Former Director of Klesch Trading, which specializes in industrial commodities. It has offices in Russia, Malta, Surrey, and in London, down the block from Buckingham Palace. Koch, David: Co-founder of Koch Industries, a diversified manufacturing conglomerate. Koch Industries has stolen oil from Indian reservations, committed hundreds of polluting, labor, and workplace safety violations. When he ran on the Libertarian ticket as the vice presidential nominee in 1980, Koch aimed to abolish Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare benefits, and minimum wage. Koch and Epstein were friends. Epstein even attended a party at Koch’s Southampton home (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7270735/Jeffrey-Epstein-Trumps-closest-advisers-Wilbur-Ross-Rudy-Giuliani-Steve-Mnunchin.html). Koch has also been photographed with Ghislaine Maxwell (https://www.reddit.com/KochWatch/comments/dcjth3/david_koch_ghislaine_maxwell_getty_images/). Thankfully, Koch died last year. Kohl, Astrid: A businesswoman involved in pharmaceuticals. Married to Prince Alexander of Liechtenstein. Daughter-in-law of Prince Philipp of Liechtenstein. Niece of former German Chancellor, Helmut Kohl. Kotic, Boby: CEO of Activision Blizzard, a video game holding company. Used to run several electronic companies. From 2003-2008, he was a director at Yahoo! In 2012, he became a non-executive director of Coca-Cola. Kotze, Alex Von: British businessman involved in the tech industry. Kravetz, Anna: Not much info found. Has a degree in finance from Wharton School and used to live on Park Avenue in NYC. Krooth, Caryn: A successful real estate agent based out of Los Angeles Kudrow, Alistar: No info found. Lal, Dalamal: Director of Akron Corp. & Akron (Nig.) Ltd., a food and beverage import company based out of Nigeria. Lalaunis, Demetra: Daughter of Ilias Lalaounis, a pioneer in Greek jewelry and a world renowned goldsmith. Lambert, Christopher: Well-known actor. Lambert, David: Former partner, managing director, and VP at Goldman Sachs. Lambert, Edward: Lampert is a billionaire hedge fund manager and former CEO of Sears. Lampert graduated from Yale University in 1984 where he was a member of Skull and Bones. Rumored pedophile David Geffen gave Lampert $200 million to invest in 1992, when Lampert was just 29 years old. Lampert made Geffen $1 billion. Lambos Duff & John: Karen “Duff” Duffy is an actress, model, and TV personality. She has had memorable roles as the love interest in “Blank Check” and as JP Shay in “Dumb and Dumber.” Duffy has battled with sarcoidosis, a deadly central nervous system disease, since the mid-’90s. She credits Harvey Weinstein with saving her life (https://nypost.com/2000/10/03/coping-with-class-this-model-patient-suffers-in-style/). John is a former banker with Morgan Stanley and current President of GCA-US, an investment banking company. Lang, Caroline: An art expert and Chairman at Sotheby’s Switzerland. Lange, Dieter: Former Partner at WilliamHare, an international law firm with offices in London, Berlin, the U.S., Beijing, and Brussels. Passed away in 2010. Larsen Janet: The only one I can find is a Business Psychologist based out of London. Laurie, Jonathan: Founder and CEO of Cheyne Capital Management, an alternate investment fund firm. Lavlada, Laura D.B. de: Laura Diez Barroso is a Mexican businesswoman. She sold her stock in Televisa for $726 million in 1993. Since then, she has been the head of several other companies. Lawford Christopher & Jean: Christopher was an actor and relative of the Kennedys. His uncles were JFK, RFK, and Ted Kennedy. Many of his relatives appear in Epstein’s ‘Black Book’. His first wife, Jeannie, was an ad-sales associate for New York Magazine. Lawton Paul: Two British businessmen with the same name come up. Both have extensive resumes. Could be either one. Lazar, Christopher & Marie: Christophe seems to be a realtor in Paris, but I am not completely sure. Le Bon, Simon & Jasmine: Simon is the lead singer of Duran Duran. His wife, Yasmin, is/was a fashion model. Yasmin is represented by Models1 in London. Models1 also represents Epstein and Ghislaine’s friend, Naomi Campbell. Le Bon has been accused of sexual assault in the past (https://www.freep.com/story/news/2018/07/12/simon-le-bons-accuser-sex-assault-claim-speaks-out-awful/777106002/). Le Fur, Jean-Yves: French businessman and magazine creator. He was once Princess Stephanie of Monaco’s ex-fiance. More notably, Le Fur was the one who discovered supermodel Karen Mulder (his girlfriend at the time) on the floor after she attempted suciide. Mulder blew the lid off the rampant rape and sexual abuse that she and her modeling colleagues had suffered at the hands of businessmen, royalty, celebrities, and government officials. She was even the protege of Epstein collaborator (allegedly), Jean Luc Brunel (https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/article238351108.html). Le Marg Willie: No info found. Lea, Piers: CEO of Learning Technologies Group, a workplace digital learning company. Leeds, Jeffrey: Co-founder and Managing Partner of Leeds Equity. One of Leeds Equity’s partner companies is Endeavor Schools, which runs private preschools, primary schools, and secondary schools in Florida and 11 other states (https://www.leedsequity.com/news/articles/leeds-equity-partners-completes-investment-in-endeavor-schools). They are also partners with Fusion Educational Group (now Fusion Academy), which runs a chain of private secondary schools (https://www.leedsequity.com/news/articles/leeds-equity-partners-completes-investment-in-fusion-education-group). Former teacher Kris White, now the head of Fusion Academy in Palo Alto, allegedly told a student that he was in love with her and wrote her a note saying he was “obsessed” with her. (https://www.mercurynews.com/2020/07/12/teachers-named-in-presentation-high-sex-investigation-kept-working-as-bay-area-educators-for-years/). This story was just published on July 12, 2020. Hypothetically, if one wanted to procure underage children, it would certainly help if the head of the school was on board and possibly a pedophile himself. According to this former teacher at Fusion Academy, “many students struggle with learning differences, behavioral issues, and/or addictions” (https://www.glassdoor.com/Reviews/Employee-Review-Fusion-Academy-RVW21260629.htm). In other words, the downtrodden and vulnerable. Fusion Academy refers to itself as a non-traditional school that focuses on individual students. Seems like a great opportunity. Leeds was also good friends with Epstein (https://nymag.com/nymetro/news/people/n_7912/) and has close ties to Colin Powell and Rudy Giuliani (https://nypost.com/2016/09/14/colin-powell-wont-vote-for-her-because-of-bill-clinton/). Lefcourt, Jerry: Famous lawyer who defended Epstein in 2007. That same year, Epstein donated $250,000 to the Washington-based Foundation for Criminal Justice, where Lefcourt was a board member. Lester, Dominick: Founder and owner of MortgageFlex Systems, a mortgage lending company. Levine, Phillip: Ex-Miami Beach mayor and close friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton. He claims that he doesn’t know how Epstein got his contact information… all 13 phone numbers, including those of his driver and housekeepers (https://www.miaminewtimes.com/news/ex-miami-beach-mayor-philip-levine-listed-13-times-in-jeffrey-epsteins-black-book-11242116)! Liman, Doug: Popular Hollywood director and producer. He directed Swingers, The Bourne Identity, and a couple of Tom Cruise movies. Lindeman-Barnet, Sloan & Roger: Sloan has been a New York Times bestseller and an on-air and print reporter for NBC, ABC, and Reuters. Sloan and Roger also sit on the board of the Spence School in New York City, a private K-12 all-girls school (https://www.spenceschool.org/2017---news-detail?pk=999120). Her husband, Roger, is the founder of beauty.com and Chairman and CEO of Shaklee, a highly successful nutrition company. Donald Trump, Melania Trump, and Ghislaine Maxwell all attended the publication party for Sloan’s book in 2008 (https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/ghislaine-maxwell-anton-katz-and-robin-katz-attend-sloan-news-photo/619921016;https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/news-photo/donald-trump-melania-trump-sloan-barnett-and-roger-barnett-news-photo/619921180).Other guests included Steve Mnuchin, Epstein and Maxwell chum Carol Mack, and a bunch of others also featured in Epstein’s ‘Black Book’ (Colin Cowie, Anton and Robin Katz, and Vittorio Assaf). Lindemann, Adam & Elizabeth: Adam is a billionaire investor and art gallery owner. Brother of Sloan (mentioned just above). Elizabeth is his ex-wife. She is often photographed with many other people mentioned in Epstein’s ‘Black Book.’ Lindemann, George(Sr.) & Freida: Now-deceased billionaire father of Sloan and Adam. George was the CEO and Chairman of Southern Union, a pipeline company and served as Vice President of the Metropolitan Opera Association of NYC. His wife, Frayda, is the President and CEO of the Metropolitan Opera. Lindsay, Alex & Jaclyn: Alex is a war documentary maker who rents out his loft at the address Epstein has listed (https://www.independent.co.uk/property/house-and-home/property/spheres-of-influence-72014.html). Lindsey, Ludovic: Racecar driver. Lindsley, Blake: Actress who was in two movies directed by Doug Liman (also in Epstein’s book) - “Swingers” and “Getting In.” Linley, David: Princess Margaret’s son, Queen Elizabeth II’s nephew, and first cousin of Prince Charles and Prince Andrew. Linley is a furniture maker and the 2nd Earl of Snowdon. He used to be the Chairman of Christie’s auction house in the UK. Liogos, Babis: No info found, but one of the numbers traces back to Thylan Associates, a real estate and investment firm. Lister, Paul: Likely the director of legal services and company secretary for Associated British Foods, or it could be a conservationist. Not sure which. Livanos, Arriette: I believe this Arietta Livanos, wife of Greek shipping magnate, Stavros Livanos. Arietta passed away in 1986. Lo Cascio, Robert: Founder and CEO of LivePerson, a tech company that develops conversational commerce. LoCascio was photographed with Ghislaine at an after party in 2012 (https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/ghislaine-maxwell-and-robert-locascio-attend-osklen-spring-news-photo/1169681572). Loeb, Alex: Alexandra is the daughter of John Loeb, former U.S. Ambassador to Denmark under Reagan and former Delegate to the United Nations. John Loeb was also a special advisor to Nelson Rockefeller. Alexandra is also a descendant of the Lehman family (Lehman Brothers). Alexandra graduated from Spence Day School for Girls (mentioned earlier under Sloan and Roger Lindemann-Barnett). Lonsdale, Richard: British investment banker. Lorenzoti, Eva Vivre: Founder of luxury online retailer, Vivre.com and is a TV spokesperson/personality. Good friend of Ghislaine Maxwell. Maxwell and a couple of Rockefellers were guests at her house for a dinner party in 2010 (https://hauteliving.com/2010/11/doris-world-eva-lorenzottis-dinner-party/105102/). Lorimer, John & Lottie: John works as a private investor and as a realtor. His wife, Lottie, is an interior designer. Louthan Guy J: Prolific British film producer and former boyfriend of actress Liz Hurley (also in Epstein’s book). Love, Courtney: Famous drug addict, musician, and actress who likely killed her husband, Kurt Cobain. Courtney famously claimed that Prince Andrew showed up to her house late one night in 2000 looking for sex. She has since retracted this claim. The entries under Love’s name all say ‘Dana’ next to them. This is Courtney’s ex-boyfriend, Dana Giacchetto. Giacchetto was considered to be the “stockbroker to the stars” and was friends with JFK Jr, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, and many others. He ripped his clients off of millions. Even more telling, Giacchetto was involved in a sex abuse case against X-Men director Bryan Singer (https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/news/leonardo-dicaprios-convicted-ex-money-manager-denies-bryan-050000120.html). He died in 2016 after he partied too hard and overdosed (https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dana-giacchetto-dead-stockbroker-stars-902383). Lowell, Ivana: Guinness heiress who wrote about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual abuse while she worked at Miramax in her book back in 2010 (https://www.irishcentral.com/culture/entertainment/guinness-heiress-spoke-out-about-predator-harvey-weinstein-7-years-ago). She also dated Harvey’s younger brother, Bob. Loyd Mark: No info found. Lucas, Colin: The godfather of Boris Johnson, England’s current Prime Minister. Lucas is a British historian and university administrator. Served as Vice Chancellor of Oxford University from 1997-2004.
Welcome to Lost in the Sauce, keeping you caught up on political and legal news that often gets buried in distractions and theater… or a global health crisis. Figuring out how to divide the COVID-19 content from the “regular” news has been difficult because the pandemic is influencing all aspects of life. Some of the stories below involve the virus, but I chose to include them when it fits into one of the pre-established categories (like congress or immigration). The coronavirus-central post will be made again this Thursday-Friday; the sign up form now has an option to choose to receive an email when the coronavirus-focused roundup is posted. House-keeping:
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Let’s dig in!
Congress passes stimulus
Last week started out with a Republican-crafted stimulus bill that was twice-blocked by Senate Democrats, who objected to the lax conditions of aid to corporations, too little funding for hospitals, and a $500 billion “slush fund” for big companies to be doled out by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin with no oversight. Conservative-Democrat Joe Manchin (WV) even criticized the GOP bill:
“It fails our first responders, nurses, private physicians and all healthcare professionals. ... It fails our workers. It fails our small businesses… Instead, it is focused on providing billions of dollars to Wall Street and misses the mark on helping the West Virginians that have lost their jobs through no fault of their own.”
Through negotiations, Democrats shifted the bill in a more-worker friendly direction. The version that passed includes the following Democrat-added provisions: expanded unemployment benefits, $100 billion for hospitals, $150 billion for state and local governments, direct payments to Americans without a phase-in (ensuring low-income workers get the full amount), a ban on Trump and his children from receiving aid, and oversight on the “slush fund” (see next section for more info). Senate Democrats also managed to remove a provision that would have excluded nonprofits that receive Medicaid funding from the small-business grants.
Further reading: After Senate Democrats blocked the Republican-crafted bill, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led the House Democrats in releasing their own version, a best-case scenario of their dream coronavirus stimulus bill. It is interesting to contrast what the Democrats prioritized to what the Republicans focused on: “How the House Democrats' stimulus plan compares to the Senate's”
Echoing sentiments expressed during debate on the previous coronavirus bill (the second, for those keeping track), Republican senators derided the $600 a week increase in unemployment payments as “incentivizing” workers to quit their jobs. Sens. Ben Sasse (Neb.), Rick Scott (Fla.), Tim Scott (S.C.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) delayed passage of the bill in order to force a vote on an amendment removing the extra unemployment funding. "This bill pays you more not to work than if you were working," Graham said. Fortunately for American workers, the amendment failed and the improved bill passed the Senate and the House.
Note: In 2009 only three Republicans helped Obama pass his stimulus bill in his first month in office.
The giveaways in the bill
While Senate Democrats were able to add worker-friendly provisions, the bill still required bipartisan support to pass the chamber and some corporate giveaways remained in the final version.
NYT: “Senate Republicans inserted an easy-to-overlook provision on page 203 of the 880-page bill that would permit wealthy investors to use losses generated by real estate to minimize their taxes on profits from things like investments in the stock market. The estimated cost of the change over 10 years is $170 billion.”
NYT: “...if a company owns multiple hotels, even if the overall hotel or restaurant chain has more than 500 employees — the limit to qualify for treatment as a small business — it will still be able to take advantage of the small-business benefits offered in the rescue package. ...The provision could benefit the Trump Organization, which operates a relatively small chain, with six hotels in the United States in cities including New York, Washington and Chicago.”
“A provision for the FDA to approve ‘innovative’ sunscreens—which would benefit L’Oreal, which has operations in Kentucky—appeared in the bill, which was steered in the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.”
“The $25 billion allocated in loans and loan guarantees for the airlines will also benefit eligible businesses "approved to perform inspection, repair, replace, or overhaul services, and ticket agents.” The last two words — ‘ticket agents’ — mean that travel agents who book flights will also be able to apply for a piece of the $25 billion.”
“The credit reporting industry got a win by defeating a total ban on negative credit reports during the crisis. Instead, a watered down version made it into the final bill: Consumers wouldn't get a negative credit report if they have an agreement with a lender to delay payments or make partial payments.”
Trump’s signing statement
While signing the latest coronavirus relief bill, the president also issued a signing statement undercutting the congressional oversight provision creating an inspector general to track how the administration distributes the $500 billion “slush fund” money. The newly-created inspector general is legally required to audit loans and investments made through the fund and report to Congress his/her findings, including any refusal by the executive office to cooperate. In his signing statement, Trump wrote that his understanding of constitutional powers allows him to gag the special IG:
"I do not understand, and my Administration will not treat, this provision as permitting the [inspector general] to issue reports to the Congress without the presidential supervision required" by Article II of the Constitution.
The signing statement further suggests that Trump does not have to comply with a provision requiring that agencies consult with Congress before it spends or reallocates certain funds: "These provisions are impermissible forms of congressional aggrandizement with respect to the execution of the laws," the statement reads. While some have said that Congress fell short in this instance, one Democratic Senate aide told Politico that Congress built in multiple layers of oversight, including “a review of other inspectors general and a congressional review committee charged with overseeing Treasury and the Federal Reserve's efforts to implement the law.” Legal experts have pointed out that a signing statement is “without legal effect.” But that ignores the fact that oversight is not equal to enforcement. The problem, in my opinion, isn’t that Congress won’t be notified of any abuses of power by Trump. The problem is that congressional Republicans and the judiciary have largely failed to hold him accountable and enforce our laws even after learning of his abuses.
Concerns about the IG
Another potential weakness in the oversight structure is the inspector general position itself. The special inspector general for pandemic recovery, known by the acronym S.I.G.P.R., is nominated by the president and confirmed by the Republican-controlled Senate. As we’ve seen from Trump’s previous nominees, particularly judicial, many unqualified individuals have been confirmed. The Democrats will not have the power to stop the president and Mitch McConnell from jamming through a loyalist to fill the SIGPR role.
Former inspector general at the Justice Department Michael Bromwich: “The signing statement threatens to undermine the authority and independence of this new IG. The Senate should extract a commitment from the nominee that Congress will be promptly notified of any Presidential/Administration interference or obstruction.”
You may recall that Trump has already proven that he’s willing to interfere with the legally-mandated work of an inspector general. When the Ukraine whistleblower filed a complaint last year, the IG of the Intelligence Community, Michael Atkinson, investigated and determined the complaint to be “urgent” and “credible.” Atkinson wrote a report and gave it to Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to hand over to Congress. However, the White House and DOJ interfered and instructed Maguire not to transmit the report to the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. Chairman Adam Schiff had to subpoena Maguire to turn over the report and testify before his committee. Further, there are already five IG vacancies in agencies that have a critical role in responding to the pandemic. The Treasury itself has not had a permanent, Senate-confirmed IG for over eight months now, and Trump hasn’t nominated a replacement. The Treasury Dept. has taken a lead role in the coronavirus response, with Secretary Mnuchin handling most of the negotiating with Congress on Trump’s behalf. The fact that the lead agency doesn’t have IG oversight should be troublesome in itself; replicating the situation with a special IG doesn’t seem to be a promising solution.
The other four coronavirus-related agencies without a permanent IG: Department of Health and Human Services’ IG has been vacant for nine months, Department of Defense’s IG has been vacant for four years, Department of Education’s IG has been vacant for one year, and Office of Personnel Management’s IG has been vacant for four years. Overall, there are twelve IG vacancies in the 37) presidentially-appointed offices.
UPDATE: The nation's inspectors general have appointed Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's acting IG, to lead the committee of IGs overseeing the coronavirus relief effort.
This is one of several oversight mechanisms built into the new law. They include: A committee of IGs (now led by Fine), a new special IG (to be nominated by Trump), a congressional review panel (to be appointed by House/Senate leaders)
Included in the stimulus bill is a $1200 one-time direct payment for all Americans who made less than $75,000 in 2019 (less than $150,000 if couples filed jointly). More details can be found here. I have read that the Treasury will use 2018 information for those who have not filed yet this year, but I am not 100% sure that’ll happen. Mnuchin has said that Americans can expect to receive the money within three weeks, but many experts expect that timetable to be pushed into late April. Additionally, that only applies to Americans who included direct deposit information on their 2019 tax returns. Those who did not include their bank’s information will have to be sent a physical check in the mail… which could take anywhere from two to four months. Other options are being discussed, including partnering the Treasury Dept. with MasterCard and Visa to deliver prepaid debit cards. Venmo and Paypal are reportedly lobbying the government to be considered as a disbursement option. Future payments? House Speaker Pelosi is already planning another wave of direct payments to Americans, saying that the $1,200 is not enough to mitigate the economic effects of the pandemic: “I don’t think we’ve seen the end of direct payments.” Republicans, meanwhile, are taking a ‘wait and see’ approach, using the next couple of weeks to measure the impact of the $2 trillion bill passed last week.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy: “What concerns me is when I listen to Nancy Pelosi talk about a fourth package now, it’s because she did not get out of things that she really wanted...I’m not sure you need a fourth package...Let’s let this work ... We have now given the resources to make and solve this problem. We don’t need to be crafting another bill right now.” For the fourth legislative package, Democrats have said they would like to see increased food stamp benefits; increased coverage for coronavirus testing, visits to the doctor and treatment; more money for state and local governments, including Washington, D.C.; expanded family and medical leave; pension fixes; and stronger workplace protections.
Trump’s signature Normally, a civil servant signs federal checks, like the direct payments Americans are set to receive. According to a Wall Street Journal report, Trump has told people that he wants his signature to appear on the stimulus checks.
War on the poor continues
Amid the coronavirus crisis, Trump has defended his continued support of a Republican-led lawsuit to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which would result in 20 million Americans losing health insurance if successful. The Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments in the case this fall. Contrasting with his position that the ACA is illegal, Trump is considering reopening enrollment on HealthCare.gov, allowing millions of uninsured individuals to get coverage before potentially incurring charges and fees related to COVID-19. Joe Biden called on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who is leading the charge against the ACA, and President Trump to drop the lawsuit:
“At a time of national emergency, which is laying bare the existing vulnerabilities in our public health infrastructure, it is unconscionable that you are continuing to pursue a lawsuit designed to strip millions of Americans of their health insurance and protections under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including the ban on insurers denying coverage or raising premiums due to pre-existing conditions.”
The Trump administration is also pushing forward with its plan to kick 700,000 people off federal food stamp assistance, known as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). The USDA announced two weeks ago that the department will appeal Judge Beryl Howell’s recent decision that the USDA’s work mandate rule is “arbitrary and capricious." Additionally: The Social Security Administration has no plans to slow down a rule change set for June that will limit disability benefits, the Department of Health and Human Services still intends to reduce automatic enrollment in health coverage, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development will continue the process to enact a rule that would make it harder for renters to sue landlords for racial discrimination.
Lawmakers’ stock transactions
The Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are beginning to investigate stock transactions made ahead of the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. CNN reports that the inquiry has already reached out to Senator Richard Burr for information. “Under insider trading laws, prosecutors would need to prove the lawmakers traded based on material non-public information they received in violation of a duty to keep it confidential,” a task that won’t be easy. Sen. Burr is facing another consequence of his trades: Alan Jacobson, a shareholder in Wyndham Hotels and Resorts, sued Burr for allegedly using private information to instruct a mass liquidation of his assets. Among the shares he sold were an up to $150,000 stake in Wyndham, whose stock suffered a market-value cut of more than two-thirds since mid-February.
Using the pandemic as cover, the Trump administration has begun to more aggressively roll back regulations meant to protect the environment. These are examples of what Naomi Klein dubbed “the shock doctrine”: the phenomenon wherein polluters and their government allies push through unpopular policy changes under the smokescreen of a public emergency. On Thursday, the EPA announced (non-paywalled) an expansive relaxation of environmental laws and fines, exempting companies from consequences for pollution. Under the new rules, there are basically no rules. Companies are asked to “act responsibly” but are not required to report when their facilities discharge pollution into the air or water. Just five days before abandoning any pollution oversight, the oil industry’s largest trade group implored the administration for assistance, stating that social distancing measures caused a steep drop in demand for gasoline.
Monday morning update: In an interview with Fox News this morning, Trump said he was going to call Putin after the interview to discuss the Saudi-Russia oil fight. A consequence of this "battle" has been plummeting prices in the U.S. making it difficult for domestic companies (like shale extraction) to turn a profit. It's striking that the day after Dr. Fauci told Americans we can expect 100,000 to 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 (if we keep social distancing measures in place), Trump's first action is to talk to Fox News and his second action is to intervene in an international tiff on behalf of the oil and gas industry.
Gina McCarthy, who led the E.P.A. under the Obama administration, called the rollback “an open license to pollute.” Cynthia Giles, who headed the EPA enforcement division during the Obama administration, said “it is so far beyond any reasonable response I am just stunned.” The EPA is also moving forward with a widely-opposed rule to limit the types of scientific studies used when crafting new regulations or revising current ones. Hidden behind claims of increased transparency, the rule would require disclosure of all raw data used in scientific studies. This would disqualify many fields of research that rely on personal health information from individuals that must be kept confidential. For example, studies that show air pollution causes premature deaths or a certain pesticide is linked to birth defects would be rejected under the proposed rule change. Officials and scientists are calling upon the EPA to extend the time for comment on the regulatory changes, arguing that the public is unable to express their opinion while dealing with the pandemic.
“These rollbacks need and deserve the input of our public health community, but right now, they are rightfully focused on responding to the coronavirus,” said Representative Frank Pallone of New Jersey, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Other controversial decisions being made:
A former EPA official who worked on controversial policies returned as Administrator Andrew Wheeler’s chief of staff. Mandy Gunasekara helped write regulations to ease pollution controls for coal-fired power plants and vehicle emissions in her previous role as chief of the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. In a recent interview, Gunasekara, who played a role in the decision to exit the Paris Climate Accord, pushed back on the more dire predictions of climate change, saying, “I don't think it is catastrophic.”
NYT: The plastic bag industry, battered by a wave of bans nationwide, is using the coronavirus crisis to try to block laws prohibiting single-use plastic. “We simply don’t want millions of Americans bringing germ-filled reusable bags into retail establishments putting the public and workers at risk,” an industry campaign that goes by the name Bag the Ban warned on Tuesday. (Also see The Guardian)
Kentucky, South Dakota, and West Virginia passed laws putting new criminal penalties on protests against fossil fuel infrastructure in just the past two weeks.
The Hill: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Friday that it will extend the amount of time that winter gasoline can be sold this year as producers have been facing lower demand due to the coronavirus. It will allow companies to sell the winter-grade gasoline through May 20, whereas companies would have previously been required to stop selling it by May 1 to protect air quality. “In responding to an international health crisis, the last thing the EPA should do is take steps that will worsen air quality and undermine the public’s health,” biofuels expert David DeGennaro said.
NYT: At the Interior Department, employees at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have been under strict orders to complete the rule eliminating some protections for migratory birds within 30 days, according to two people with direct knowledge of the orders. The 45-day comment period on that rule ended on March 19.
WaPo: The Interior Department has received over 230 nominations for oil and gas leases covering more than 150,000 acres across southern Utah, a push that would bring drilling as close as a half-mile from some of the nation’s most famous protected sites, including Arches and Canyonlands National Parks… if all the fossil fuels buried in those sites was extracted and burned, it would translate into between 1 billion and 5.95 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide being released into the air. That upward measure is equal to half the annual carbon output of China
Press freedom case Southern District of New York District Judge Lorna Schofield ruled that a literary advocacy group’s lawsuit against Trump for allegedly violating the First Amendment can move forward. The group, PEN America, is pursuing claims that Trump “has used government power to retaliate against media coverage and reporters he dislikes.” Schofield determined that PEN’s allegation that Trump made threats to chill free speech was valid, providing as an example the White House’s revocation of CNN correspondent Jim Acosta’s press press corps credentials:
”The threats are lent credence by the fact that Defendant has acted on them before, by revoking Mr. Acosta’s credentials and barring reporters from particular press conferences. The Press Secretary indeed e-mailed the entire press corps to inform them of new rules of conduct and to warn of further consequences, citing the incident involving Mr. Acosta… These facts plausibly allege that a motivation for defendant’s actions is controlling and punishing speech he dislikes.”
Twitter case The president suffered another First Amendment defeat last week when the full 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals declined to review a previous ruling that prevents Trump from blocking users on the Twitter account he uses to communicate with the public. Judge Barrington D. Parker, a Nixon-appointee, wrote: “Excluding people from an otherwise public forum such as this by blocking those who express views critical of a public official is, we concluded, unconstitutional.” Trump-appointees Michael Parker and Richard Sullivan authored a dissent, arguing the free speech “does not include a right to post on other people’s personal social media accounts, even if those other people happen to be public officials.” Park warned that the ruling will allow the social media pages of public officials to be “overrun with harassment, trolling, and hate speech, which officials will be powerless to filter.” Florida’s felon voting U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ripped into Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s administration for failing to come up with a process to determine which felons are genuinely unable to pay court-ordered fees and fines, which are otherwise required to be paid before having their voting rights restored. “If the state is not going to fix it, I will,” Hinkle warned. He had given the state five months to come up with an administrative process for felons to prove they’re unable to pay financial obligations, but Florida officials did not do so. The case is set to be heard on April 28 (notwithstanding any coronavirus-related delays).
ICE, Jails, and COVID-19
ICE One of the most overlooked populations with an increased risk of death from coronavirus are those in detention facilities, which keep people in close quarters with little sanitation or protective measures (including for staff). Last week, U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ordered the federal government to “make continuous efforts” to release migrant children from detention centers across the country. Numerous advocacy groups asked for the release after reports that four children being held in New York had tested positive for the virus:
“The threat of irreparable injury to their health and safety is palpable,” the plaintiffs’ lawyers said in their petition… both of the agencies operating migrant children detention facilities must by April 6 provide an accounting of their efforts to release those in custody… “Her order will undoubtedly speed up releases,” said Peter Schey, co-counsel for the plaintiffs in the court case.
On Tuesday, 13 immigrants held at ICE facilities in California filed a lawsuit demanding to be released because their health conditions make them particularly vulnerable to dying if infected by the coronavirus. An ACLU statement says the detainees are “confined in crowded and unsanitary conditions where social distancing is not possible.” The 13 individuals are all over the age of 50 and/or suffering from serious underlying medical issues like high blood pressure.
“From all the evidence we have seen, ICE is failing to fulfill its constitutional obligation to protect the health and safety of individuals in its custody. ICE should exercise its existing discretion to release people with serious medical conditions from detention for humanitarian reasons,” said William Freeman, senior counsel at the ACLU of Northern California.
Meanwhile, ICE is under fire for continuing to shuttle detainees across the country, with one even being forced to take nine different flights bouncing from Louisiana to Texas to New Jersey less than two weeks ago. That man is Dr. Sirous Asgari, a materials science and engineering professor from Iran, who was acquitted last year on federal charges of stealing trade secrets. The government lost its case against him, yet ICE has had him in indefinite detention since November.
Asgari, 59, told the Guardian that his Ice holding facility in Alexandria, Louisiana, had no basic cleaning practices in place and continued to bring in new detainees from across the country with no strategy to minimize the threat of Covid-19...Detainees have no hand sanitizer, and the facility is not regularly cleaning bathrooms or sleeping areas…Detainees lack access to masks… Detainees struggle to stay clean, and the facility has an awful stench.
Jails State jails are making a better effort to release detained individuals, as both New York and New Jersey ordered a thousand people in each state be let out of jail. The order applied only to low-level offenders sentenced to less than a year in jail and those held on technical probation violations. In Los Angeles County, officials released over 1,700 people from its jails. A judge in Alabama took similar steps last week, ordering roughly 500 people jailed for minor offenses to be released to lessen crowding in facilities. Unlike in New York and New Jersey, however, local officials reacted in an uproar, led in part by the state executive committee for the Alabama Republican Party and Assistant District Attorney C.J. Robinson. Using angry Facebook messages as the barometer of the community’s feelings, Robinson worked “frantically” to block inmates from being released.
Reuters: As of Saturday, at least 132 inmates and 104 staff at jails across New York City had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus… Since March 22, jails have reported 226 inmates and 131 staff with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to a Reuters survey of cities and counties that run America’s 20 largest jails. The numbers are almost certainly an undercount given the fast spread of the virus.
Tribe opposed by Trump loses land
On Wednesday, The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs announced the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe’s reservation would be "disestablished" and its land trust status removed. Tribal Chairman Cedric Cromwell called the move "cruel" and "unnecessary,” particularly coming in the midst of a pandemic crisis. Rep. Bill Keating (D-Mass.), who last year introduced legislation to protect the tribe's reservation as trust land in Massachusetts, said the order “is one of the most cruel and nonsensical acts I have seen since coming to Congress.” The administration’s decision is especially suspicious as just last year Trump attacked the tribe’s plan to build a casino on its land, tweeting that allowing the construction would be “unfair” and treat Native Americans unequally. As a former casino owner, Trump has spent decades attacking Native American casinos as unfair competition. At a 1993 congressional hearing Trump said that tribal owners “don’t look like Indians to me” and claimed: “I might have more Indian blood than a lot of the so-called Indians that are trying to open up the reservations” to gambling. More than his past history, however, Trump has current interests at play in the Mashpee Wampanoag’s planned casino: it would have competed for business with nearby Rhode Island casinos owned by Twin River Worldwide Holdings, whose president, George Papanier, was a finance executive at the Trump Plaza casino hotel in Atlantic City.
In the Mashpee case, Twin River, the operator of the two Rhode Island casinos, has hired Matthew Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union and a vocal Trump supporter, to lobby for it on the land issue. Schlapp’s wife, Mercedes, is director of strategic communications at the White House.
[UNEDITED] I saw that many of you non-swedes wanted to be able to enjoy the recent interview he did in Swedish. I have not had time to edit the text yet so it will be filled with spelling mistakes and such but if I have time later on I might fix that. The interviewer is called Mats Nileskär and he alternates between asking questions and explaining stuff so that's why sometimes it's just him retelling things that lean said earlier. Anyways here is the transcript: Mats: There was once a sixteenyearold full of love for screw, drill and Florida trap. Full of fascination for fantasy figures and the cinematic. He rapped honest, drowsy, tentatively and almost apathetic to strange, mind expanding beats. Music that didnt exist in reality. Yung leans journey from his laptop in his room in Södermalm, to sold out shows and rock star dreams in the country of Hip Hop. It is one of the most beautiful stories in the history of Swedish music. And like all beautiful stories it holds plentiful of darkness. Yung Lean could have ruined everything and been scarified on the emo rap scene. Instead he became the influential survivor. Yung Lean and the producer friends in Sad Boys changed the world and intertwined with something beyond their own existence. Lean: I usually don’t sit and count who my influences are. Because I have always had a lot of my own influences that I have payed homage to. But sometimes I don’t think about stuff and then I get a dm on Instagram. Like I got a dm from Trippie Redd that read like “Shoutout to one of my biggest influences.” Music break Ugly God. Like lots of rappers that I wouldn’t think were fans of me. Then there are these that are a bit more obvious like maybe suicide boys, Pouya. When they meet me at festivals, they are fans. And I don’t want to come off as bragging, it is the same way when, like I met young thug once in New York, and then I get star struck, I am a fan of him, nothing weird about that. But there is like, you know, group from group, it goes back. If you look at Wu Tang, and then it goes down, it gets weirder, like Odd Future and Asap Mob. And when we started, there was probably more people that thought like, like Yung Sherman, Yung Gud, Bladee, and all in Drain Gang and Sad boys and this is what we look like, we can also do this. I think we made it even more easy to access. And even more like, you only need a computer and internet. And less of, like maybe you don’t even have to skate, maybe you don’t even have to live in New York. More of like, you have a concept, and we were strict with that concept, we had a clear aesthetic, a clear way of making music videos, a clear message. It was easy to take things from that goth aspect, or the sad aspect, or like, people had purple hair like Ecco had. People dressed exactly like Bladee or Sherman, or rapped like me. And I still think that I see that today. And I’m proud, and I’m happy. I don’t see it as something negative, like, shit these boys are stealing or all these rappers are stealing, it’s more like, in that case I have also stolen. Everyone has been influenced by something, and as long as you are not ashamed about that, it’s okay, because that is how it goes. People can be like, I’ve never listened to Yung Lean, And I can see that they obviously have, and like… Music break (Unreleased Lean) Lean: We got a lot of the autotune aspect from, like Bladee and Whitearmor started using it a lot, and me and Micke (Gud) used it a lot. For us that was inspired by Future and Atlanta. And Casino and the first FBG mixtapes with young scooter and all those. Like those were using autotune. But we were from Europe, like, we are from The Knife country, Håkan Hellström, Broder Daniel (Swedish artists), it is more like Kraftwerk when we do it. It is more monotone, a bit more dead, maybe a bit more ABBA english. It is a bit more depressing I think. And that is not something you try to do, it just ends up like that. And then I think that, a mix of that, we we got big during 2013, Hip Hop went more Nihilistic, dark, it was grim. The way Chief Keef rapped, everything after Finally Rich, Bang 2, Almighty So, it was like melodies but dark mumbling about killing people. Hip Hop was going that way. You no longer had to have a hook like “Woke up in a new Ferrari”. The whole song could be the same melody. Mats: The bored and monotone mumbling turned into an anxiety lowering melody. And a manic flow of words. Yung Lean and sad boys, deeply uninterested in conventional song structures landed in the beginning of the start of a new era. Post Hip Hops surrealistic and psychedelic era. The new era was open for people that had not belong before. People that looked and sounded like Lean. A new sound, a new way to experience and listen to music. It was perplex and fascinating. Something Sad Boys happily utilized. Lean: Yeah, it’s true. As long as you, like for us it was the natural thing to do. For us it wasn’t that we were exploiting this style of music or what they were doing in the US. For us it was more like, I have rapped since I was a kid, same for making beats for Micke. Drain Gang had a punk band. All of us made music. And when the time came it was just logical for us to take part. Same with rapping in English, it just came naturally. I actually lived in Vietnam three years before that. My mom is a diplomat so I was in the English school and spoke English so rapping in English came naturally. That the beats were slowed down, that, like everything was a bit weird, it came naturally to us. And of course the timing was perfect, it wouldn’t have been able to come at a different time. I think I’ve said that before. That if that had happened in 2009 it would have felt fake. I would have had to be more of a Paul Wall character or like Petter (Swedish Rapper). I was very lucky with coming up during that time. But after all I was just being myself to 100%. I think that if I hadn’t been, it wouldn’t have worked out. Music break Lean: Except for you and some others it was typically Swedish, a prime example of how it is in Sweden. A Swedish artist comes up, something they don’t recognise. They think it’s embarrassing. A Swedish sixteen year old boy from Södermalm, a middle class boy. He shouldn’t be doing this, it’s embarrassing. They wouldn’t want to touch me with a ten foot pole. He can’t be included here blah blah blah. But the second that the US started appreciating it and when he was in the New York Times or when he collaborates with Frank Ocean or other big names. Then they are ashamed of themselves. Like “Oh shit, he is Swedish, he is with us now…” It’s typical for Sweden, the law of Jante, like you shouldn’t think that you are somebody. That was basically what I witnessed since I was sixteen. It’s sad that we can’t trust each other and support everyone. I really believe that there is room for everyone to make it in Sweden. Mats: What did it do to you, experiencing this? The Journey from hate to understanding and in the end to love. Lean: I think that it might have been easier with hate. To be completely honest, if you look back at a lot of rappers, when they were hungry, when they were still hated or underground, they had so much to give. And I had that kind of idea in my head. That it was more exciting when Sweden hated me and I was only famous in the US. I really thought it was interesting. But I have matured now, time has passed, six seven years since we talked. The music I make now is different. If I had not been loved and was still hated, it would have been a bit perverse. Maybe then I had only been provoking just to provoke. I don’t like that. Right now I think I deserve to be where I am. I wouldn’t want to be in any other position. Music break Mats: What happened when you got to the US for the first time, as an unlikely star? Lean: What happened? I can’t say I remember a lot. We were very young. Suddenly we were sitting in limousines. Lots of drugs, lots of illegal substances. We were very young, you know almost like a Metallica documentary, suddenly someone is sitting there with a knife in some group or something. No but a lot of things went downhill, but all the gigs were so much fun. It was some kind of friendship, like a family. You can’t take away all the gigs and the touring we did in the start. When we arrived in the US, it’s like, you know Femi, Emilios girlfriend, that has been with us since day one. She says it’s like we were all a part of Lost. Like the airplane crashed and when we meet each other now all of us know that we were part of that. Character wise I don’t remember anything that was any special. I remember us playing at Röda Sten in Gothenburg for 150 people. And when we got to New York we sold out Webster Hall twice, back to back. And rappers were contacting us, we were hanging out with artists. It was another level of respect. I guess I’m a bit like you there. I’m a hip hop nerd, always have been. When I started expressing myself through this music it was easier for Americans to understand what the fuck I was doing than for like a 40 year old Swedish man. So there’s nothing weird about that. But I wish I remembered more from the first tours (laughing). Music break Lean: You are sixteen, you go to the US, you are living in some hotel, you get to meet some drug dealers from Florida whom are also promoters, they have a Cadillac, and someone is backstage and lots of different rappers are coming in and suddenly Travis Scott is there and blah blah blah. Things are happening all the time. You wake up in a bed there are people around and then you have to go on stage. (Lean starts talking about something else) Is that David Lynch? Sorry we are watching a movie, we are watching Dumbo. (Back to interview) I wasn’t really ready for that. That it was going to be so much work. You don’t think that but there is so much work. Now I can do many shows. Like the last tour that I did sober I was able to do like 70-80 shows and been able to do that but you are still tired. Like you have to workout and sleep. But back then, where did all the energy come from? Including all the drugs and the shitty sleep and all partying. I don’t understand it at all. Mats: Let’s talk some more about Florida. How was it to meet spaceghostpurrp who sort of created the foundation for what you got your inspiration from, the do it yourself attitude, punk, the south, three six mafia meets other genres in Florida. How was it to meet him? Lean: I-I have to be completely honest. Spaceghostpurrp is insane you know. He is crazy as a human being. I think he is bipolar and doesn’t take his meds. And the people who actually met him, I met Denzel Curry, Travis Scott and some other people from raider klan, while all the rest of Sad Boys met Spaceghostpurrp. Because I had a bad comedown. So I didn’t meet him that time but our old manager was a good friend of him and he is a misunderstood legend, he really is. But the whole thing about him is like Rocky, the pretty artist and the genius ugly duckling. We both know that Asap Rocky got more famous because he is prettier and it just fit better. The picture was prettier to give to the people than that of spaceghostpurrp who was kind of wacky. But yeah I hope that everything is good with him. I have no contact and don’t know how he is doing nowadays, I don’t. But blacklander was some of the best. I remember when that was released and I was in eight or ninth grade. First I was so into MF DOOM and madvillain and then suddenly I saw a picture of Odd Future and then spaceghostpurrp came and then that was what I wanted to listen to all the time. And via spaceghostpurrp, I remember he linked a lot of good artist that I started listening to. So then came Waka Flocka. Mats: It must have been like heaven, but as time would tell also hell. Landing in Florida. Lean: It feels good. We were there a bit too long but it’s such a special feeling. You can go to Everglade and see alligators and you really feel all that in fort lauderdale that is it like a swamp. We recorded at a place called pink house, pink mansion. They had a lot of brick that they had thrown down so that it became pink. Rick Ross had recorded there and it’s really Florida. People run around with machetes and it’s voodoo and all of that Haiti thing. Music break Lean: And then we were there in the pink mansion and recorded all of Warlord. It was insanely creative and it was like, I guess like when you read about Black Sabbath recording it feels like you have like a demon in you and you just make so much music and don’t realise what’s happening and yeah it ended up bad. It ended up with me at the psych ward, smashing a balcony and covering myself in the blood and the same night my manager died and then I got back to Sweden and was in convalescence, like at the psych ward. After that trip a lot of things changed in my life. I remember after a while when Hoover was released, maybe two months after. All the boys, I remember Axel and Benjamin, Bladee and Sherman was like, this might be Jonathans last video ever. And I was sure of that as well for a while. My mom helped me write a CV and I walked around with that and was thinking about working at a kindergarten. Music break Lean: I was so fucking tired, of all that had to do with music, and all that shit. Music break Lean: It went down like this. Barron, may his soul rest in peace, me and Benjamin and Hunter lived in an apartment that was owned by Barrons father, who’s a lawyer named Stephen Machat. Stephen was a lawyer for Ozzy Osborne, Nate Dogg and his father, Barrons grandfather, was the lawyer that cheated Leonard Cohen out of a lot of money. So it’s a lawyer family. I had started to go into psychosis, or like drug related psychosis or an overdose for some days and I wasn’t feeling any good. Barron and Hunter was out to buy some paper, paper and soda. And while that’s happening, at the same time that Barron crashes, I’m smashing this balcony without knowing what had happened. And Benjamin calls 911. I was not in the car with him and the car did not catch on fire either. He crashed into a tree. There are a lot of weird versions of that story. But I have also heard a lot of terrible things from family members and people around that were sure that I was the devil and that I had evil powers and all that. If you think about it, I was seventeen eighteen how the fuck can you put the blame on a seventeen year old. It was tough for me as well. But I have no magic powers. Unfortunately. If I had I would use them for good things. Mats: It was the father of the manager, Stephen, that accused you of being pure evil. Lean: I wonder why it was me that got that since he has worked with like Ozzy Osborne and have told stories about when Nate Dogg ran into his office with an AK-47. Music break Lean: Yeah I wonder how I ended up being pure evil. But I guess there was something there, Swedish folklore with midsummer powers. Mats: The troll syndrome or something like that? Lean: Yeah haha, exactly, the big monster, Näcken (Water spirit) haha. Mats: But there is something provoking about it still right? Lean: When it is about peoples lives. I knew Barron, we were with each other every day. It is not fun to be called the Devil or pure evil when I was just seventeen and ended up at the psych ward. It’s about real peoples lifes. You can’t just call young people those things. And of course I understand that someone is scared and upset because their child died, but you can’t put the blame on people or call them things like that, it’s sick. But if it had been in a completely different scenario I would probably have been more proud of being called that. If it had to do with my music. But when it’s about real things it’s just scary. Music break Mats: Yung Lean took drugs, dressed up as a nurse and wrote an unreadable book about his life. Everything got out of control around the making of the dark album Warlord. Where Sweden and Florida in songs like the Billy Bragg sampled song Miami Ultras. Yung Lean took an overdose, experienced psychosis and ended up at a mental hospital. At the same time he lost his American manager in a car accident. Barrons father, the well known show business lawyer with ambitions to reach the American senate put the blame on Yung Lean. He planned to release an unfinished version of Warlord. Back in Sweden, Sad Boys could see how a version of the album had leaked. Lean: Yeah shit I remember that. Yung Sherman was celebrating his birthday and we were out bowling, or maybe it was his old girlfriend who was celebrated and suddenly everyone was on their phone like shit, Stephen has released it all. Directly on band camp connected to his account. Unfinished versions of the songs, the song names were wrong. We had been working on that album since we got back home, it was all we had. Leaks can be the worst things. If you have been quiet for so long and so much has happened and you just want to release Warlord the right way, with the correct videos and artwork and then something like that happens. It’s like a fucking punch to your face. We lost a lot of hope that day. Music break Lean: I think that the most crazy, for me, was a while ago, the had been at Fort Lauderdale at a large fair and I had bought a costume that was made for nurses and I wore that all the time. We were going to a hotel with an artist and he was buying weed from a stripper. And when we are at this hotel a man in there is arguing with the workers there and he has a large entourage and I recognise the voice. I’m like it’s Jim Jones, Jim Jones from dipset. I did not realise It by then but I had started living a little in my own world. I was begging to enter the psychosis. I was wearing the nurse outfit and took a picture with Jim Jones and we talk for a while. When I have looked at that picture years later I’ve been like what the fuck is this shit. Music break Lean: Who was it, I think it was The Who, who met in a clothing store, and a guy was like you should make music. And then they made music. And it kinda felt that way, like yeah you guys should make this music. Music break Lean: Sad rap, haha. Sad rap is quite a sickening term. It shouldn’t exist. We don’t make sad music. When you start going into the dark water you just want to go deeper and deeper. And you can only get back up when you are really hit by the waves. It was a mixture of destructivity, teenage anxiousness, and yeah, just how I felt back then. Music break Mats: What for some appeared like a smart joke in the beginning, and for others like INAUDIBLE (he speaks danish accent Swedish) entertainment had in the middle of the 20th century attracted a dedicated fan base in the US. Something that no Swedish rapper had dreamt about. Yung Lean saw the opportunity to create surrealistic art and shabby rap. And history was written when Yung Lean was the first swede to enter the top 40 American R&B list. A list whose history goes back to Harlem Hit parade, 1942, where leaders like Louis Jordan and Lionel Hampton ruled. Yung Leans Unknown Memory entered at 36th place on the album list, right above Kanye West and under Migos. It was October 2014. Lean: It sounds like a lot of fun now that you say it but the most fun was just if the songs and the album were great for me, like it goes so far. Prices and stuff comes but it’s so temporary compared to creating it, what you have gone through to create the music. Mats: Yung Lean was a a part of the drug cult. The cough syrup drinking and pill popping that defined a depressed generation. Lil Peep with Swedish roots had just started building his emo vision, related (musically) to Yung Lean, and Juice WRLD stopped breathing after just a couple of albums. Lean: The death that affected me the most among those is a person that I didn’t know that well. But it was when I met Fredo Santana and we were in the studio. Me, Fredo, Axel and some of his boys. He was the kindest. We were listening to get rich or die trying and made a song together. He was a really good guy. And the day after I got a message that he was dead. It’s not more than that. In the US and in Sweden. I have friends that have died from benzodiazepines in Sweden as well. I think that it has a lot to do with, like lean, it goes hand in hand with the sales. Lean, Codeine. First Actavis, and then it gets so expensive and after a while completely banned. Then people start drinking red, and it costs like a thousand dollars a pint. You can’t pay that much unless you are a rapper. If you are a rapper you get special prizes. And then you want to get cheaper stuff, you want to take the same things as the rappers you look up to. I guess that once everything was very weird. Around 2013-2014, there was ILoveMakonnen there was, like mushrooms and that stuff. Before it was all opioid based with Percocets. Music break Lean: It felt like, I don’t want to be that guy but, the music often gets very interesting when people are trying different stuff. I think that’s the sad reality. Maybe not with my music. I feel as I can create more when I’m sober. I have tried most of the drugs so if I feel I want to channel some type of drug I can go back in my memories to get the feeling if I want to sound a special way. If you think about like Young Thug when he made I came from nothing, you could hear he was all fucked up. You can’t do that sober. Gucci Mane is also an example. But now Gucci mane is also an example because now he’s skinny, he looks good, he has a great body, he has his wife, I wanna give him that. I don’t want him to be fat and have a codeine belly, be constipated and on the brink of dying all the time. I want him to look like he does now. I will sacrifice the music for that. His music is not good any more. But fuck that I can listen to the old songs. I’d rather have him healthy. And with Future as well. That he is afraid of going public with having quit lean because his fans wouldn’t trust him no more. That’s sad. But the music is explosive now. There is more hip hop being created now than ever before. It used to be kind of a mainstream genre with Lil Wayne and people thought it was a joke and the underground stuff was much cooler. But hip hop now, the biggest artists, it is the most experimental genre right now. It is more experimental than experimental indie pop. They use more drugs than those who do experimental jazz. It is weirder than punk. It is the weirdest there is right now. And people just have to live with that. That so many people die on the way doesn’t have to be a part of that. It could continue to be this special without people dying. Music break Lean: Much of the trap you listened to in the beginning was like, more voices, almost choirs, Siberian choirs. Gucci Manes adlibs are louder than the main track. One of Chief Keefs biggest hits, Citgo, you can’t even hear the instrumental. There’s like six different layers of “smoking on the gas, gas citgo citgo”. It’s amazing. It’s weirder than anything else and I think I saw it from my own perspective. For me, all the elements of hip hop ant trap, and the clothing, has been art. And my way of expressing myself, minimalistic, if it’s with an iPhone camera or if I get to direct a whole video, it will always be done my way. It’s a mix of movies I’ve seen, experiences I’ve had, colours I think about that day. I think that this timing. Luck doesn’t exist to put it that way. If I am allowed to leave it at that. Haha. Music break Mats: When you got back to Sweden from Florida. Your dad picked you up right? Lean: Yeah, I think both my parents were at the airport. You mean that my dad came to Florida and I walked around the mental hospital and I called my dad the king of California, because I didn’t recognise him. I just told him several times, “Are you the king of California?”. He became quite sad, but he has also been able to joke about it a lot now. There was one story that was quite scary actually. I kept saying that there was a doctor that was coming in and fucking things up for me. He was threatening me that I was gonna go to juvie and things like that, threatening me. And my dad asked me what the doctor looked like and I explained it to him. And he was like, that is not a doctor, it’s the guy who comes in to clean. He just came in to provoke me. And I was told that months later. It was quite scary. I have actually been at the psych ward in Sweden as well, much longer than in the US. 2017 I was at Danderyds (place outside of stockholm) closed section for a month. For psychosis as well, but not drug induced. But I have been sober now for two almost three years. I work out, I do boxing. I’m really happy and I’m more creative than ever. I think that everything that we’ve been talking about, me being a part of drug culture. Kids that say like, Yung Lean, I smoked my first joint for you, I took my first E for you. They would have done it to someone else’s music as well. I promise that. I’ve never pushed anyone to do drugs, I promise. I’ve just told it how it is, from my perspective. And you can do exactly the same thing and be sober as well. It is as much fun if not more fun. If I go out to club now, I can be out all night, I don’t get tired. I have much better relations now with everyone around me. I’m just a happier person. I think it’s much more fun for me to do this interview now compared to last time. (They put in a clip from the interview they did way back) Lean: It sucks to be in school but that’s also a way to be down to earth and not feel so like I’m so fucking special, which I’m not. In a way it’s nice to be in school. Like, I’m no superstar. I have a normal life. It’s nice to live out my teenage life before something crazy happens. Mats: How old are you right now? Lean: I turn eighteen this summer. (Back to the interview again) I was at the Mount Sinai (Medical Centre) in Miami. And I found out Avicii was also there when I watched his documentary. And when at the hospital in Danderyd. It was very nice I must say. I was fucked up, completely manic, but it was a very nice place. Big up to the Swedish health care. That they put up with all the people there. Music break. Lean: Those hours. All the people who are there, who try to break out, or try to commit suicide, or are screaming. You are laying there and you hear screams all night. It’s like being in a nightmare 24/7, plus that your own head is a nightmare 24/7. I had plans of escaping, I had a map of the hospital that I took a copy of and hid under my pillow. It was like One flew over the cuckoo's nest. You walk around there. Mats: Do you remember when you started making music after all this? The first attempts at getting back there musically. Lean: I was still a bit manic and when I was allowed to leave for some hours I chose to go to the studio. So I was driven to the studio from Danderyds hospital. I recorded six songs and then had to go back. When I finally left and was convalescent and quite low because of all the medication I just chose to never listen to those songs) Music break (Lean starting singing I’d rather go blind by Etta James) Lean: I have no idea what I’m talking about there. I don’t really want to know. I just remember that I made a listen to your heart cover and I made a version of Etta James song because I had listened to that so much when I was at the hospital. Music break (Lean continue to sing I’d rather go blind by Etta James) Lean: In the beginning you just try. You are like Bambi on the ice, trembling. But then I finished Stranger. We had made that album before I ended up at the hospital. Me and Micke finished it in the studio and then Whitearmor and I did our own tape. We went out to Mariefred where a guy named Pontus has a studio. He produced Britney Spears Toxic. And there we were making Poison Ivy. It felt very nice to just clear my head and the music turned out great. Those days were nice. Music break Mats: (talking about the upcoming album) The adventure continues. The new album that follows up the anxiety filled milestone, Stranger, is punky millennium R&B, that can only be made by Yung Lean. Lean: It’s everywhere. Some of the songs are almost like ballads and some are more to the classical witch house, others sound like some, you know SVT Play (Swedish national TV) intro with piano haha, it’s everywhere. But I’m very inspired by The Stooges, I wanna be your dog. That song, and R&B. Music break Mats: Jonathan spend the first time of his childhood in Belarus. Lean: You know you have some fake memories. You have a picture of an apartment. But I have one memory that I’ve been told so many times that It’s like I can see it. It’s when I was at kindergarten and my dad comes to pick me up. He asks for me and I’m not with the other kids. I had been bad so I was put in the corner with a large cone on my head. My dad walks over there and since he is Swedish he gets super mad and wanted me to quit going there. My mom was calmer and explained that that’s what they do, nothing weird about that, just some discipline. My mom is grown up in Soviet you know and went to a Russian school. Two different worlds. But I have lots of nice memories from there. I went to a school theatre and danced in snow and that stuff. I must have been a Pinocchio, somewhere around there I turned into a donkey. The cigar came. (Referring to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCBjfgXg8A4) I had a very nice childhood, middle class, Södermalm. My dad’s a writer, raised in Söder as well. My moms raised in Russia, she’s a real boss. She has had a crazy life. One time she told me that she was a cleaner at an embassy, and that one day she would be in those rooms. Now she is becoming an ambassador in Albania. She has worked her way up. I’m very proud of her. We lived in Söder. I have been to a lot of schools, Södermalmskolan, Gamla Maria, Katarina Norra, Kärrtorp… Music break Lean: When I got back to Sweden from Belarus I started going to a kindergarten. It is one of my first memories. I was still speaking Russian and I so badly wanted to be understood. I walked around speaking in Russian Swedish, can I have milk and bread, can I have milk and bread. I really wanted to learn Swedish so I forbid my parents to speak Russian with me. That was very stupid, I really wish I hadn’t said that. I wish I had learnt Russian as well. Music came into my life early. It was what made my life fun. It was always my thing and what I was good at. I think I said that last time we talked. When I was young I got a little bit famous with a song called Söder Söder. I was opening for Adam Tensta (Swedish rapper) when I was in fourth grade. Then I made a mixtape with a friend during a summer, and I made a lot of music with my sister. I dressed up and put on makeup. Went to school and listened to Green Day. You know, you wanted to, I basically dressed up the way I do today. I did the same thing back then as I do now. The only difference is that I make money now. I think that they were worried a lot. I guess the drug aspect of it. When you get so interested in things, those things comes with it. When I was I seventh grade I was caught with some weed, petty shit, and yeah they were worried about all that. But in the end they have been very proud and they will come tonight to my show. They have been to so many of my shows and they are very proud. If I make a good song I want to show it to my mom. If she likes it then it will be released. Same with my dad. I don’t know if they understood if they that there was always something extra or something special that I wanted to do. I guess you will have to ask them about that. But I know that they are proud. Music break Lean: I think it’s so much fun. That I’m Swedish and that there are not that many Swedes that like me. I means that I’ve made it. I remember when I went out to eat with my mom, she had got us Indian food, I told her that I had gotten a gig in Gothenburg. And she asked like for who, for yourself or what? She was just laughing at me. I had to convince her, showing the event. And she asked like, Yung Lean, is that you? And I showed her videos and she still didn’t get it. I finally had to call Emilio on speaker and have him explain it to her. My dad didn’t get any of it either. It was quite tough because someone had written an article where it said that I was the son of Kristoffer Leandoer, the horror writer. He was so mad, I came home from school and he was furious. He was like “What’s all this? My name, and this song, greygoose?”. But afterwards when he understood it he was proud. But no one ever understood how big it was. I was at my room all the time. We remade the basement into a small studio and I was always there. I was smart with that shit. I got like Lofty 305 and people from Miami and small underground people that I kept sending my songs to. I just sat home and we had this Tumblr that Axel created and we were like dolphins, we communicated directly to the fans, even if I had like 3 fans, and suddenly I had ten thousand fans, and we still communicated directly to them. They got to know all about us. They knew exactly what we were doing. Music break (Again a clip from the older interview when Lean was seventeen) Lean: I do not claim that I do all the things I sing about in my songs. I’ve never said that. That would be completely crazy. I wouldn’t be a good seventeen year old then. It would be insane. But I guess you should believe that Yung Lean doesn’t exist. That he is just some fucking seventeen year old that’s completely crazy, and then the real me comes in and say things and have real emotions and real lyrics. I guess the mix between those things are Yung Lean, that’s what Sad boys are. The mix of what’s real and what’s not. That’s what the listeners have to think about themselves, and decide what they want to believe and now. And what they like, is it the music or the person. Mats: And it is when you balance that where everything becomes interesting. Lean: It’s exactly that. And it’s so nice because you get to do that, while really you are not allowed to do it, it’s completely wrong, but if you really want to do it, do it, and then you do it. Everything that’s written should have to be thought of several times, nothing should be just straight forward. I get it, that’s good, now I won’t listen to it again. That’s no good. If it’s an album or a song where you get everything there’s no fun in it. It’s like watching a bad film. You want to see something that leaves an impression. It’s much more fun that people talk about me. Rather than that they just say like he’s such a good rapper. It’s not like I’m trying to be a weird rapper, I guess that what I feel like doing, that’s real. I make things from myself. I don’t rap about these crazy things because I want to be like that or because I want to build up an image. I do it because it’s what I feel like doing. I do it because it’s what I want. Music break (Back to the new interview again) Lean: I remember Charlie XCX saying that her and Robyn had been in the studio and she had shown her Ginseng strip and they had been like turn it off, turn it off. They hated it. And then some days passed and both of them had listened to it by themselves. And when they came back to the studio the just kept on listening to it. It’s like you have to hate it at first. It’s so provocative. Like he looks this way, or it’s so honest, or it’s just something. It’s too close, or I don’t know. Like it’s still a meme on all my YouTube videos. Listened first time, hated it, listened tenth time, my favourite song. It’s the Yung Lean effect. Music break Lean: I would love to make film when I get older. I would like to make film of greek tales. There is a tale of a man called Geryon, he is completely red and has a red dog and lives on a red island. He is killed by Hercules. I would like to make a film about that but more of a psychological thriller. Kinda like pusher, Snabba Cash (Swedish movie) meets Greek mythology. Mats: You have the John Ausonius (Swedish serial killer) project, you are drawn to darkness. Lean: Yeah, yes I do. It’s natural and not at all an image. I remember my dad joking about that when I was small. I always wanted the orchs to win in the lord of the rings, and that Voldemort was much cooler than Harry Potter. I think it’s quite simple psychology really. That it’s just more interesting. If I had a history of real darkness. Like growing up in war or torture. I think I would be very interested in happy stuff. But now I am not. You are attracted to what you are not from, where you don’t think you belong. But where I am is where I belong the best. I am privileged where I do not belong any more. I think everyone wants to find a world where they don’t naturally belong. For me that has been music. No one in my family had anything to do with music. No one has been a rapper. I have always felt at home in front on a microphone. Mats: When you found the darkness in Florida and managed to get out of it, was it mission completed? Lean: I don’t know if it was mission completed really. Barron died so I would want to take back a lot of what happened there. I think I had the darkness within me before that. It is inside of you.
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