Openly gay rappers are as rare as openly gay footballers and both fields are all the poorer for the forces that preserve their prejudices. New Yorker, Le1f, is one artist and producer trying to correct this imbalance, and making progress, judging from his recent appearance on Letterman two weeks ago.
His most recent release (following the success of the 2012 track performed in the clip above) is the EP “Hey”, put out on Terrible Records on 11 March. His latest video effort is for the track “Boom” taken from that EP. Set in a diner (in New Jersey according to one youtube commenter who claims to have worked there) it features the kind of high-gloss feel you might expect from the genre, although the content is anything but standard. Although Le1f begins the track smoking a joint infront of the restaurant, it soon cuts to him dancing behind the counter filing his nails and smoking again in an SUV with another man, while rapping “Papichulo got his hot paws all over my boy-culo”. It’s hard not to see a challenge to the likes of noted homophobe Buju Banton when Le1f reggaes it up for the line “how many batty boys can you fit in a jeep ?”. Elsewhere he’s in a more celebratory vein:
“New World Order
LGBT cuties all over the world are diamonds and pearls
Team Cocoa Butter, baby I feel sexy
Batty man time now, batty man century”
In fairness, I can’t vouch for the total accuracy of the lyrics – he has a relatively quiet delivery and it’s often hard to make out the lyrics above the thumping music which leans towards the dancier edge of rap backing tracks.
Le1f is on the rise – and part of a change that we should all get behind. Here is “Boom”: