Anybody besides me wondering where Leikeli47 has been lately? Patrick Taylor first wrote about her in 2018, and not long after her song “Attitude” was featured in a national T-Mobile commercial. Despite her viral success there hasn’t been a new Leikeli album since “Acrylic,” which came out the same year as her FIRST studio album. If you know any song from “Acrylic” it’s probably “Girl Blunt,” a song where Leikeli confidently states “I stand five three and I’m real feisty […] got my own money bitches, nothing you can buy me.”
Part of Leikeli’s appeal has always been the air of mystery she keeps around herself. She purposefully wears a mask in all of her videos and for all live appearances, and even her real name is not a matter of public record. For those who follow the lucha libre style of pro wrestling this is quite normal, but other people might wonder what she’s trying so hard to hide. The thing is Leikeli has already explained it if you were paying attention — she’s a naturally shy person so the mask enabled her to come out of her shell and embrace being an artist musically and visually. Given the confidence on display in “Tic Boom” you can’t dispute that choice.
Leikeli has also described herself as “hands on” when it comes to her presentation — producing her own music, her own videos, her own wardrobe. If she’s manufactured it’s not by a major record label, even though RCA Records is her current distributor, it’s by her own choice. Listening to “Iron Mike” you can’t possibly imagine anybody else calling her shots. “This that album number two/project number ten, and I’m not I’m not I’m not even through/just got my second wind/When you when you see me bopping through, keep it very zen.”
The bass hits thump hard, while the music is a uniquely Leikeli combination of techno, industrial and grime that makes her absolutely unlike anyone else in the rap scene. Leikeli doesn’t follow trends, she CREATES them. The stripped down minimalism and patois chatter of “Bad Gyal Flex” manages to be both old school and POST-rap at the same time. It’s incredibly mesmerizing to listen to her combination of beat and chat. You can almost picture the strobing lights of a neon filled night club in your head just listening to her rap, and then she suddenly changes it up and sings the breakdown. It’s as fresh as it is unexpected.
“This is a bad gyal flex. When it comes, I pick up the check.” In case it wasn’t already obvious, Leikeli47 doesn’t need any man/woman/other to take care of her. She’s also ready to throw down at a moment’s notice on “Full Set.” “I’m from the hood hood/we don’t back down, I wish a nigga would would.” She might be only five foot three but she’s got a warning for anybody who steps up: “Don’t try me, try luck.”
If that wasn’t clear enough I think “No Reload” should settle ALL debate.
So much about Leikeli47 is a mystery, and yet when it comes to what really matters on “Acrylic,” you know just as much as you need to know. She’s a boss bitch who sets her own agenda, does exactly what she wants to how she wants to, and doesn’t rely on anybody but herself to achieve her goals. For that very reason she can take a three year hiatus from putting out new albums — nobody’s going to pressure her to put out another. Not her fans, not her label, not even the advertising executives who put her music in commercials for T-Mobile and Spotify. If you can’t accept that Leikeli sets the agenda, then her music is definitely not for you. She doesn’t play by anyone else’s rules — she writes her own.