Leikeli47 Loads The Ammo And Fires Off A Dope Sophomore Album ‘Acrylic' That You Need To Get Into
The rapper's sophomore album tells the glam tale of a Brooklyn dame.
January 02, 2019 at 8:36 pm
Not all heroes wear capes — some wear ski masks. Leikeli47's elusive profile is not to be mistaken for the lack of an identity.
According to an article by Nat Tencic, she once told Triple J' s Gen and Lewis that she'd "rather be heard than seen." However, her appearance makes her quite a vision. She opts to sport bandanas and ski masks to hide her face; a symbolic toughness akin to the way she spits her rhymes. Don't be mistaken, though — she doesn't shy from simultaneously sporting laid edges, flashy accessories and, of course, a pretty nail design. A woman who takes 100-percent control of her narrative as a creative, Leikeli47 declared her debut album Wash & Set a "celebration of new growth," a clever, Black double entendre. Now 47's sophomore album Acrylic further proves that the Brooklyn-born rapper has a lot to say. The second album carries the eclectic sonic range often associated with rappers like Azealia Banks, Kodie Shane or Kamaiyah, and it includes elements of house, neo-soul, R&B, pop, dance-hall and hip-hop. There's a multidimensional approach to telling the story of Black womanhood; the strong, the vulnerable, the independent and everything in between.
The intro skit, appropriately titled “Walk-Ins Welcome,” opens up the world of Black womanhood at the nail salon. A caustic man shouts commands to a silent woman as he drops her off at the salon. We hear nothing from her but the sound of her heels clicking away as she steps out of the car. It's probably safe to assume this is a routine for these characters, and the woman is in no way phased by the man's harsh tone. The nail salon sounds as busy as they generally are in real life, even after others present in the salon break into song.
On “Girl Blunt,” Leikeli47 makes financial dependence and the need for male companionship two mutually exclusive concepts. "What I need? Pretty n***a, palm trees ? Got my own money b***h. It's nothing you can buy me — nope," she raps.
YouTube | Leikeli47
47's tenacity is similar to that of her hip-hop predecessors also originally hailing from Brooklyn. Her skill allows her to draw upon the similarities between herself and the greats, as she's done with Biggie in previous songs. However, she’s also unafraid to tap into a softness that broadens her fan base and increases her relatability. In the track ”Top Down,” she croons poetically as she confesses her unconditional love for someone she shares a deep history with. "Protector of my heart, captain of my soul. Never made me regret giving up control," she sings.
The album draws in the sass and gravitas so closely associated with NYC’s ballroom culture, as it samples legends Kelly Mizrahi and Mc Debra on the track ”Full Set (A New Style)." It’s evident that Leikeli47’s influences range from Jay-Z, to N.E.R.D, to Red Hot Chili Peppers, and she manages to touch various cultural touch points simultaneously throughout her platform.
“Hoyt and Schermerhorn” is a nod to the Brooklyn subway station and hood love stories wrapped up in one."We're riding all the way — downtown or uptown. You got me all the way. As long as you're down, ride with me all the way. This train is love bound," she sings to a melody that lends itself to The Jackson 5. 47's ability to beautify the hood by attaching the most endearing stories to landmarks like the Hoyt-Schermerhorn station gives her pen that much more power.
The rapper's profound self-awareness has been reintroduced on Acrylic. When this is juxtaposed with an idiosyncratic, dual characterization that involves being both totally recognizable yet completely unpinned, it gives Leikeli47 a huge advantage that will ultimately play into a long and fruitful career. If this album is any indication of her trajectory, then there’s a lot more in store for us.