Ever since last year, music review/hipster rant/legitimate journalism website Pitchfork has been all over Le1f aka Khalif Diouf ’11. They gave a solid review to his 2012 mixtape Dark York, saying “there’s a lot of fun to be had listening to Diouf take on rap taboos with a glint of mischief.” Because, of course, no conversation can be had without somewherementioning Le1f’s sexualpreferences. And, yes, those sort of themes and jokes pop up throughout his videos and mixtapes, but underneath all of the discussion about “queer rap” are some high-quality club-ready tracks— and more and more, that’s becoming the focus of all this hype.
Le1f, receiving much loveand coveragefrom this blog, just dropped another mixtape, and not surprisingly, the Internet is all over it. Fly Zoneis 13 tracks produced by 13 different producers, but Le1f is always the star of the show. “Spa Day” feels like Le1f is having the most fun, and he dodges in and out of quick, sharp-tongued rapping, even slipping in a “mazel tov.” On “Coins,” he laughs, messes with rhythms, and drops references to the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Sex Pistols. But throughout Fly Zone, Le1f and his lyrics are in charge: “My jokes are funny, but my money’s not.”
After the jump, read a few critics’ words on the mixtape, and then listen to the whole thing yourself—Fly Zone is streaming on Soundcloud and free to download.
Le1f (Khalif Diouf ’11) just released a music video for “Soda,” a track off his new EP Liquid. After garnering high praise last spring for his Dark York mixtape and releasing his booty-shaking debut video for “Wut,” Le1f made some music with NYC-based long time collaborator Boody. BNR describes the new EP as “a story of the natural becoming unnatural – of purity assimilating into baseness– a story of the submerged rising up, just to sink again into something new,” whatever that means (it’s moisture-themed).
The “Soda” video was directed by Sam Jones ’10(who also directed“Wut”) and Ben Bernstein ’10 produced it. Highlights include slow-mos of Le1f’s soda being poured into people’s mouths and the crazy early-aughts outfits including these plastic and denim crop tops:
Listen to previews of the tracks on Liquid after the jump:
To preemptively answer your question: I am indeed a bit self-conscious about linking to Pitchfork in two successive posts, but it needed to be done. Wesleyan alum Khalif Diouf ’11, aka LE1F, produced a Spank Rock track that was recently BNM’d by the illustrious reviewing site. He’s in remarkable company, too; NoLa bounce luminary Big Freedia (click here to get back to basics) lends her superhype vocals to the energetic raunchfest, and they complement Diouf’s beat to frenzied effect. It’s a raw grind, and y’all would be well advised to check it out: