Is Le1f Clearing A Mainstream Lane For Gay Rappers?
Le1f – the openly homosexual rapper from New York – is growing increasingly influential. We have to ask: is there a mainstream lane being cleared for gay rappers?
After garnering attention with his Fly Zone mixtape, the very flamboyant “Wut” track and a guest appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman, Le1f (pronounced “leaf”) is catching the media’s attention, even before dropping a proper solo full-length LP. “I’ve already cleared my own lane,” said the 25-year-old rapper over Twitter. “I’m driving now. Bye bitches.”
In March, Le1f liberated his first commercial EP Hey under Brooklyn indie label, Terrible Records (in partnership with XL Recordings). The off-kilter lyricist, who’s been quite the staple in the underground nightclub/gay scene, is becoming more and more relevant in popular culture.
“There isn’t a blueprint for Le1f,” Terrible founder Ethan Silverman told the New York Times. “He can write, produce, sing, dance and entertain. And he looks incredible while doing it.”
But pop culture is one thing and Hip-Hop culture, in essence, is another. Pitchfork, Vogue and the like might flock to the eccentric spirit that is Le1f, but will he (and current and future homosexual rappers) be embraced by the Hip-Hop community? Sound off in the comments.