You may not know Leikeli47 by her name. However, you probably heard her 2015 single, “F$#% The Summer Up”, which Jay Z featured on his Tidal playlist. Plus, her feisty, uptempo track, “Attitude”, is on an episode of this season’s Insecure series on HBO. Leikeli47’s image is as elusive as her footprints in the music industry for the last couple of years. Her debut album, Wash & Set, features her sitting on a red couch with most of her face covered. Her couch companion, a teddy bear, dons a blue ski mask over his own head as well. A clear box filled with different colored ski masks sits directly in front of her on the floor.
Nevertheless, Leikeli47 has the music to back up the buzz surrounding her unorthodox look. The Brooklyn native is one of the freshest faces the music industry has seen (or not seen). Her 42 minute debut LP starts off with a bang on “2nd Fiddle”. Leikeli47 boldly rhymes about her hard earned road to success. She fluidly weaves in and out of singing and rapping; both of which she does quite well. “Miss Me” drives in like a bulldozer with its thumping bass drums, coupled with her witty and animated raps.
The southern swamp drawl, “Bags”, is a club ready romper. This is one of the lyrically less intense songs on the album, but it still packs a mean punch. Although this is her first album, she has the wisdom of a veteran on “O.M.C.”. The song details how she is not quick to trust many people. “Money” is reminiscent of the Ying Yang Twins’ “Wait (The Whisper Song)”, but with more polished vocal arrangements and lyrical content. She is a self proclaimed introvert who isn’t looking for new friends.
“M I L K” finds the rapper flaunting her glowing skin and physical attributes. She’s not shy to show off on this infectious track. “Don’t Do It” picks up where fellow Brooklyn MC Foxy Brown left off in her hey day. This song is the perfect contrast to “M I L K”. It serves as a warning to anyone who tried to cross her. She tries her hand at a reggae influenced sound (that she pulls off very well) on the memorable “Bubblegum”.
Just when you think you’ve got Leikeli47, think again. “Look” speaks to a high class way of life and being, over an edgy, jagged track. She admits that she almost fell for a guy who juggles between Keisha and Pam (and anyone else) on the comical “Ho”. She drives this knife in deeper on “Elian’s Revenge”. This R&B infused track finds her laughing at guys who try to reach out to her she has changed her number. Perhaps an underlying reason for Leikeli47’s mystique is to show young girls that talent still exists without selling sex. Her covered up persona actually gives her a sexy edge. Something tells me Leikeli47 will be around for years to come, mask on or not.