Not yet obsessed with Le1F? We can fix that.
IDK what you've been doing all day, but if it hasn't included listening to Khalif Diouf, aka Le1f's, Hey EP, you needa siddowwwwwwwn. The New York rapper's first EP release after his 2012 Liquid collab with Boody, Hey is a swirling fantasy of jaw-dropping flow, flawless wordplay, clever production casual brattitude, queer-positive party vibes, and '90s kid-culture references galore.
In other words, everything we love about Le1f.
On the title track, the 2014 Hangout Fest performer cheekily mixes intersectional identity politics with references to Pokémon types ("Fire type, I flame throw, and it's over... Ask a gay question, here's a black answer/ Purple panther, he's using all his Pokéballs but no capture").
Over on "Boom," meanwhile, he delivers an epic lyrical LOL BYE ("Welcome to Banjee Burger, I cannot take your order") that will have any "All That" fan screaming.
Le1f's speaking truth to power and shutting you down, all with a wink and a smile.
For the uninitiated, this five-track set is probably as good a place as any to dive headfirst into Le1f's catalog, never looking back. Compared to Liquid or his past mixtapes (Dark York, Fly Zone, Tree House), Hey is probably his most accessible release to date. Look no further than the insanely catchy, horn-assisted "Wut" for proof.
If you need us... Don't. We're busy listening to this flawless EP.
Now, before you start drawing the "Thrift Shop" comparisons, let the record show that "Wut," which originally appeared on Dark York, dates back as early as 2012. (To quote Madonna, "Look it up.") Speaking of Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, it's great to have a queer-identified rapper craft the queer party jams for a change.
Obviously, don't get us wrong -- we are always here for anyone who wants to use their platform to further civil rights legislation and stage mass, same-sex weddings on national TV. (A big "HDU!" to anyone who would think otherwise.)
But, hearing an artist like Le1f (or "A Tribe Called Red" rapper Angel Haze, or House Of Ladosha, or Cakes Da Killa, or Mykki Blanco, or...) say queer-positive things like "I'm a man's man... literally" or dedicate a song to the "LGBT cuties all over the world" (on "Boom") is just something else entirely.
Our obsession with Le1f? Carry on.