The mask stayed on, Leikeli47 went off
In front of a packed crowd at Le Belmont, a masked figure took the stage. Those who know Leikeli47 knew what to expect. Those unfamiliar with the rising artist might have been taken aback to see that the rapper had a balaclava on her face during her entire performance.
Since 2010, the mysterious rapper has yet to show her face. The level of secrecy behind Leikeli47 is not unlike that of MF DOOM’s. The only difference here is that we know who MF DOOM is; Leikeli47’s entire existence remains an enigma.
Her sophomore album, Acrylic, was released to positive critic and fan reception, and her performance largely consisted of songs off the new project as well as her debut effort Wash & Set.
Before 47 got on, the opening act, Yung Baby Tate put on an electric performance beaming with personality, charisma and a powerful voice that commandeered her overtly sexual songs. The young rapper had a short set, but the energy she built up prepared the crowd for what would turn into a wild show.
As the crowd started piling in after Tate’s performance, the lights dimmed and the crowd began roaring. 47’s DJ prepared the crowd to welcome the headlining act and moments later she appeared on stage starting her performance.
A small venue and a tight crowd made it no issue for fans to lose control as Leikeli47 performed her biggest songs such as “Girl Blunt,” “Top Down” and “Attitude.” All around me were a myriad of girls and guys dancing and chanting lyrics as if their lives depended on it. It was a concert, sure, but at the heart of the event was a community of like-minded fans looking to release all their stress in a night that shook the building more than a soon-to-be-divorced couple rigorously bickering at 2 a.m.
The show took a sharp turn when 47 began her performance of “Post That,” a rap song shrouded by a bounce-heavy instrumental that could prompt anyone to bust a move in the most inappropriate setting. Aware of the effect this song has, 47 invited a man in the crowd to strike a pose and show off his best dance moves. Following that, she started letting more people storm the stage so they could dance their heart out to what might have been the most communal concert of all time.
A good performer can be seen from a mile away. You can tell by their energy, charisma, and effort put into the flow of the show. Leikeli47 has all of that, bar none. When she wasn’t rapping, she spoke words of wisdom and peace to the crowd. Her voice could easily be that of a preacher leading an early Sunday morning sermon.
Leikeli47’s concert consisted of building a small community within the small spaces of the dark bar, thumping bass that had my ears ringing for days after and a largely charismatic performer who knows exactly what makes her crowd tick. Despite all the craziness, there was still a sense of warmth to be found. As 47 closed her concert with “Money,” she informed the crowd that she would be back before they answered with Olympic-esque chants and cheers.