In a recent music video by producer and rapper LE1F (watch below) the camera pans from a larger-than-life ice cream sundae to what could be the crooning lovers of LE1F and his beau (they’re actually best friends), behind them a kaleidoscope of candy-colored Gotham City lights. Singing from a high-rise apartment in Manhattan, the two could be at a birthday party at Def Jam studios or perhaps just broke in to celebrate by themselves, leaving mixtapes as evidence.
Listening to the Future, or 2011, will sound a lot like LE1F. A senior at Weslyan University, LE1F makes rap music that is as educated in hip-hop aesthetics as it is a complete departure from them. Situated partly in the gothic, brooding work of Three 6 Mafia’s DJ Paul or rapping with the morose weight of Z-Ro, LE1F draws on the gravity of crunk’s best while infusing it with his own brand of banjee queerness that blends, melts, and makes multi-flavored ice cream sundaes of 21st-century club music.
Amongst work for Das Racist and Spank Rock, LE1F is preparing his first official mixtape for release at the beginning of the year entitled Dark York. Limited to 100 physical copies, Dark York will be packaged in fully recycled material, and feature a combination of LE1F’s own productions, raps, and collaborations. To help fund this project LE1F is doing what future, next-level artists like himself should be doing—raising money from fans and supporters to subsidize projects. Check out a video he produced in honor of the fundraising, and then head over to Kickstarter where you can donate as little as a $1 to the fund. You’ll no doubt be tempted to contribute more though, as donations of $100 or more get the privilege of naming a track and a handmade wood pendant.
Also, download a LE1F collaboration from the Dark York mixtape with L.A. duo NGUZUNGUZU called “hate2wait,” which begins as a love song dedicated to internet-rap phenom and BASED GOD Lil’ B.