By Jack M. Angelo, managing editor
Ever since image became an important part of a musical artist’s repertoire, there have been those who have chosen to resist such vanity. EDM artists like Deadmau5 and Marshmello have made a name for themselves with their helmets as well as their music. Even in hip-hop, where larger-than-life imagery and lavish lifestyles are the norm, there are artists who choose to hide their faces to separate their real life from their artist life in a way many celebrities cannot. Rappers like MF Doom and the Insane Clown Posse cover their faces in masks and makeup, which have become just as iconic as their musical creations.
Even in the era of clout, relatability, and social media tearing down the walls between artistry and real life, there are rappers who refuse to be associated with their own face. The unique rapper and singer Leikeli47 follows in this tradition by always wearing a (differently colored) bandana with holes cut in it to facilitate being worn as a balaclava. Of course, like any talent, her skill and charisma bursts through the mask like her earrings that she stabs through the side of her bandana. Her incredible music and unique style have garnered her quite a ravenous fan base, which showed up and nearly sold out MilkBoy ArtHouse for Leikeli47’s show on March 30, 2019.
The concert began with a short opening set from Yung Baby Tate, a small statured 22-year-old rapper from Georgia. The young performer took over the venue with her stage presence, presenting a larger than life persona to contrast her physical appearance. Young Baby Tate has a clever and humorous side to her, bolstered by her boisterous personality. In her final song, she plays off of the common fuckboy DM line “Can I build with you,” calling them, “Bob,” as in Bob the Builder, demonstrating her quick wit. Yung Baby Tate also brought up a handful of fans on stage to dance with her, a theme that would run throughout the night. As she announced that her set was over, the crowd showered her with cheers, to which she repeatedly responded with “I love you guys.”
Following a somewhat lengthy break, Leikeli47’s DJ came out to very successfully hype up the crowd. Much credit should be given to this DJ, who spent the entire set hyping up the crowd and Leikeli’s lyrics to the point where he was an integrated part of the show. Leikeli47’s entrance on stage was followed by immediate electricity in the room, with the nearly sold out crowd erupting into hysterics.
Leikeli’s performance was energetic on both sides. From her movements to her emphatic rapping, it seems she’s been doing this for years. She spends much of her set pulling people on stage, celebrating her fans, often those with the best looks of the evening. She uses these moments as transitions between songs in her set, often revealing what the next song will be to the more attentive fans. Each fan was ecstatic upon acknowledgment from Leikeli, and danced their heart out on the stage throughout their entire designated songs.
Leikeli47 spent her set interacting with the crowd in a deeply personal way, even offering motivational speeches at points. “I am you,” she reassured everyone, indicating her success could be anybody’s. She thanked her fans and reminded them that there is no her without them. “If you don’t [listen], I don’t have a job.” Despite covering her face at all times, Leikeli47 has a revealing personality, and her fans love her for it.