Pronounced “leh kay lee,” as noted on her Twitter, or LK 47 for short, the Brooklynite is on a hot path to mainstream love as of late. She performed at Hot 97’s Who’s Next concert with Troy Ave, Meyhem Lauren, and YFame on the bill. Leikeli47 is onto something different from a lot of artists. Her beat selection runs the gamut from Trap to ominous Gangsta Rap to futuristic synth driven melody. (Editor’s Note: Personally I feel like the synth could easily be paired against a few scales from an old school piano. Someone let Meyhem know that finding a Steinway for sale is not difficult at all these days) And often you’ll get a taste of all three in one track. To make things more interesting, she switches between rapping and singing. Unfortunately, for the most part the EP is a fresh coat of ice cream paint over a 1965 El Camino-a different approach to look at the typical, heard it before themes in Hip-Hop.
If the new Chris Brown who likes to think he can rap grew a pair and tried bolder production on/didn’t whine on Instagram, you would get Leikeli47. Their bravado, flows, and themes are very similar on the mic. Unfortunately she doesn’t quite yet have the star power of Chris Breezy to get away with mildly creative comparisons between herself and her competitors like “You’re like a synonym/Wanting everybody to know you’re name,” “I am the party/You’re merely the confetti,” and “I am the number before the comma/And you? Huh! One of them zeroes.”
And then you have a line like, “We all shoot/Dikembe/I kiss the rim like MJ.” Even the average person now knows due to Geico’s ad campaign that Dikembe was known as a premier blocker in the NBA and not an offensive threat. So we have a case of RSCI (Rhyme Scheme Completion Indolence) or a mysterious stat for Dikembe I am unaware of. Maybe if the line was, “We all shoot/NO Dikembe/I kiss the rim like MJ,” then I could understand that no one can block her crew’s shots. I’ve been corrected that the line is “WHEN YA’LL shoot/Dikembe/I kiss the rim like MJ,” and not “WE ALL shoot/Dikembe…” And I’m glad I was corrected because that’s actually a clever basketball reference you don’t get often. Usually you get a metaphor about having shooters on your team or a reference to the Miami Heat.
“Tarzan & Jane” and “Ho” are the silver linings of this EP. Both tracks deal with the tricky details of certain guys who front, one way or another. On “Tarzan & Jane,” Leikeli47 tackles the fear of spending time with a guy that she feels passionately about in two extremes. She hates him, loves him, knows she shouldn’t but still wants to. She risks getting hurt by putting herself out there and making the demand for “L-O-V-E” if he wants to be with her. Leikeli47 reminds us over a tribal beat that love is a risk that makes you vulnerable but could still end right, if it’s on the right terms. “Ho” is a great, funky jam that the Neptunes could have produced, where Leikeli47 calls out a player at the club who fools other girls into falling into his traps. The song makes timely transitions into smoother parts with piano chords back into the staccato, bass line that keep you caught in the lyrics.
This EP is a conflicting mix of old and new elements. It sounds so progressive in the sense of experimentation with styles and presentation but falls a bit flat on the originality of the core substance. There are bright spots and evidence that a lot can come from the young artist. I don’t want her to lose her obsession with international currency and the finer things in life because it’s part of her steez. What I do want is something Leikeli47 lives and feels everyday that no one else does, but can vividly imagine what it’s like. That’s the beauty of an emcee.
3.5 / 5 bars