Le1f (Khalif Diouf ’11) releases new mixtape

[Khalif Diouf’11] Rapper Khalif “Le1f” Diouf ’11 released a new mixtape last month on Greedhead Music, a record label started by Das Racist’s Himanshu Suri ’07. Stereogum writer Tom Breihan reviews the new tape, Fly Zone, and writes, “it already feels like a landmark moment for a very particular club-rap hybrid that feels very exciting.”

The New York rapper Le1f delivers all of his lines in a quasi-mumbly back-of-the-throat snarlpurr, to the point where it can be tough to tell what he’s saying. But on first listen to his new tape Fly Zone, this one bit, from “Airbending,” immediately jumps out: “I am whatever you say I am / Stop worrying about how gay I am / Or how gay I’m not / Does my shit not knock? Are my people getting tipsy till they piss the pot?”

Le1f, then, is a gay rapper, who, like every other gay rapper, does not want to be pigeonholed as just a gay rapper. I completely get that. But, to an outside observer, it’s pretty incredible the way Le1f and a select few other New Yorkers (Mykki Blanco, Cakes Da Killa) are rewriting the rules, putting vogue-ball culture out in front of their music in ways that both invite and confront. This stuff is pretty far out on rap’s periphery; it’s not like these guys are crashing the BET Awards right now. But Le1f, in particular, is making music that’s getting more and more undeniable...

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Image: via Stereogum.

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