Brian Wilson's bandmate Scott Bennett wrote the lyrics for this song. He told Mojo November 2008 that Wilson's original idea for this number was that it would be about a guy who lives abroad and goes back to his hometown, "but I wanted to make it more existential. To say, 'I checked out of the world for a while and now I'm coming home, and my home is California and it's music and it's being alive.'"
"Lean On" was originally sent by Major Lazer to both Rihanna and Nicki Minaj's camps as a slower reggae track. After both parties rejected the tune, Major Lazer recruited Danish singer MØ to supply vocals and recorded it themselves.
Carla Thomas became the first woman to achieve a Top 10 hit on the Hot 100 with a song she wrote herself when "Gee Whiz (Look At His Eyes)" reached the chart's top tier in 1961. Thomas was just 16-years-old when she penned it.