In association with Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, Le1f joins the line-up for Together Festival 2013 performing on Saturday May 18th at Great Scott.
In a world full of rappers claiming to be one of a kind, Khalif Diouf is a real deal original, a fascinatingly complicated personality full of seeming contractions. He’s a Manhattan native who studied ballet and modern dance, and eventually earned a degree in dance from Wesleyan before returning to the city to become a rapper. He’s an out and proud gay MC whose style is rooted in Tunnel bangers from a less socially enlightened era of hip-hop. He’s a producer who’s responsible for the beat behind Das Racist’s “Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell”, a fashion icon promoting a “hoodrat Tumblr aesthetic,” and Internet personality on a transcendental quest to become a living digital avatar.
Le1f has one foot in the glossy Bling Era rap hits that marks his coming of age and one foot in the downtown electronic scene where he developed as an artist. 2012’s breakthrough Dark York is true to both sides of his heritage. The beats (by Le1f, Nguzunguzu, Matt Shadetek, and what Le1f refers to as “Soundcloud guys and Internet friends”) refuse to settle into easy categories like “rap” or “dance”. His muscular, hyperarticulate flow handily disposes of any misconceptions that he’s anything less than a legitimate rapper.
Fly Zone, his full-length followup to Dark York, is an epically audacious record, boiling down to essentially a 13-track demand from Le1f to be allowed access to a mainstream audience. It does not for one minute, sacrifice a shred of the identity that sets him apart from nearly every rapper the mainstream audience has been drawn to.
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DON’T ASK DON’T TELL PRESENT
IN PART WITH TOGETHER BOSTON
9pm-2am/21+/$10 Before 11pm/$15 After