Rap goddess Leikeli47 sells press ons at her merch table. True to the theme of her sophomore album, Acrylic, she also displays a colorful array of nail polishes and an “appointment book” filled with praise from her past shows.
The energy on Thursday at Empire Control Room from both Leikeli47 and the audience was incredible from the start. The rapper hit hard with “O.M.C.”, giving the room the feeling that we were included in something very special, Leikeli47’s circle. While this show was a part of the Acrylic tour, Leikeli47 threw out her best from 2017’s Wash & Set with the no bullshit “Miss Me,” the unapologetic “Attitude,” and finished off with favorite “Money.”
As fiercely independent as her music can be, it also contains elements encouraging listeners to celebrate themselves and those around them. Leikeli47 invited audience participation onstage throughout her performance. Shout out to a wonderful stranger, introduced as Dominic, who was brought up first to flash a full acrylic set and then some serious moves for the entirety of “Post That.” The number feels like if Madonna’s “Vogue” were to be updated for Brownsville circa 2019. At one point, she began pointing to individuals in the crowd asking, “Can I celebrate all the looks in here tonight?” And, let me tell you, Austin came out with the looks. As Leikeli47 spit “Look,” a song drenched in a runway beat, arguably the most impressively outfitted in the crowd took to the stage.
Leikeli47 may always don a bandana or balaclava on her face, but she certainly does not hide behind it. Throughout her performance, Leikeli47 offered her fresh point of view with nuggets like “I don’t care what’s in front of me. I’m coming.” and “Invest in yourself. Don’t wait for nobody else.” Thankfully we don’t have to wait any longer for a new flow and sound in hip hop. Leikeli47 has arrived with “a full set, a new style.”