Leikeli47 translates her music into jazz masterpieces on NPR Tiny Desk feature
From NPR Music’s Rodney Carmichael:
[Leikeli47] came masked up, as always, the better to catch a glimpse of her soul. And there was so much soul to bare. Backed by a four-piece band of bruhs dressed as uniformed TSA agents (introduced as "the TSA Band, taking flight with me"), Leikeli47 and her working-class crew proceeded to transform Bob Boilen's Tiny Desk into something akin to a pulpit or a mid-century parlor room. Portier sat hunched over the upright piano, while Justus West plucked guitar strings, Simba Scott tapped out bass lines and Timmy Manson Jr. kept everything in sync on drums.
They traversed the entirety of black music, translating her hip-hop and afro-electro empowerment anthems to live instruments by jazzing up songs like "Attitude," from her 2017 Wash & Set major-label debut, and laying down the vamps on "Girl Blunt" from her 2018 LP Acrylic. It wasn't genre-bending as much as it was a musical remembering of the blues that brought her here — from the hoods of Brooklyn to down-south Virginia and everywhere else she's called home.
In an era when women are no longer the anomaly but rap's new standard bearers, Leikeli47 deserves all the praise for pushing the genre forward with both feet steeped firmly in tradition.
Stream the full NPR Tiny Desk video below and catch Leikeli47 and Yung Baby Tate live in San Diego with us on April 26th. Purchase tickets here.