Le1f - Riot Boi - LP Vinyl

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Info

SKU:c0006455 ,UPC:

Info

SKU:
c0006455
UPC:
634904704612

Specifications

Batch, Album, Artist, Format,

Specifications

Album:
Riot Boi
Artist:
Le1f
Format:
12" Vinyl
UPC:
634904704612

Description

Le1f is on the cusp of something close to trailblazer status on his debut, Riot Boi (Terrible Records). Making no secret of his sexuality, he could exist purely as a niche gay artist, and yet he doesn't pander exclusively to the queer community: he spreads positivity and love for all. He's here to spit about gender, sexuality, race politics, and social justice. With a dash of sass, a mellifluous lisp, and a throaty rasp, he vacillates between tongue-twisting bars and slinky come-hither teases. Combined with schizophrenic production (Evian Christ, Boody, Balam Acab, Lunice) that leaps from horny trap to frantic electroclash, Riot Boi overwhelms with twists, turns, and surprises, all of which are exhilarating. De facto opener "Rage" starts sweet and glittery before crashing down into an abrasive, defiant stomp that Saul Williams would be very proud of. This zigzag is indicative of the album as a whole. As a burgeoning icon, Le1f does a good job representing without being preachy. He is defiant on "Grace Alek Naomi" and the filthy "Swirl," proud of his complexion and unapologetic about his sexual proclivities. Guest spots by femcee Junglepussy and duo House of Ladosha on the latter track create a whirl of topics as kaleidoscopic as the production on this album: reparations, jungle fever, oral sex, and sexual fetishizing of blacks. Le1f returns to that topic on "Koi," the poppiest offering on Riot Boi. Fans of that single be warned: it's the lightest track here (the melody on "Taxi" comes in at a close second, but is more hypnotic jam than rave-up), the single breather in a dark, snarling, and icy-hot mix of defiance, pride, and racial and sexual reclamation. Album centerpiece "Umami/Water" sprawls like Frank Ocean's "Pyramids," starting spooky and hazy before evaporating into a borderline spiritual experience. However, the true highlight comes at the end ("Change"), when the sarcastic kiss-offs fade to the background and Le1f gets down with some serious examination and introspection. He's young, black, gay, and proud, but reality takes its toll. Starting with a shout-out to Trayvon Martin, he reminds listeners that he's strong, but he's just one man against a whole lot of hate. The vulnerable track is packed with issues to ponder, but it remains heartfelt and endearing, with a gorgeous chorus provided by Dev Hynes (Blood Orange) and a transcendent closing provided by his mother, Miss Geri. It's a beautiful way to end his debut. Through the cloud of pain and frustration, she provides comfort, wisdom, and hope to her son and his listeners, encouraging all to find a voice in the dark. Le1f has made a bold declaration with Riot Boi: he is who he is, haters be damned. He's taken the pain, hate, and rejection and turned it into a message of truth, a statement of allegiance for anyone struggling with one or all of the same problems. He's got issues to deal with; everyone does. It's never too late to change.