Jabbari Weekes is protected by a Mansard roof.
The mysterious Leikeli47, was once asked by a curious fan what occupation she’d have done if not for music. True to form she answered simply, “A professional Tinker Hatfield stan.” With shoe-laced odes to the Air Jordan’s famed designer scattered across her wall, this came as no surprise. It’s one of the remarkably few things we know about the rapper behind the ski mask.
With long flowing braids hidden under a multitude of “guerilla-like” masks, Brooklyn rapper/singer, LeiKeli47 (Pronounced as lah-KAY-lee), has remained hidden under a veil of anonymity. Since 2012, the eclectic artist has let off a self-titled mixtape and most recently, LK-47 Pt.II. Sonically, LeiKeli sounds like a mangled conduit between Missy Elliot and M.I.A. with colourful lyrical barbs like, “I don’t celebrate, I accelerate, I shake things up like an earthquake/ I bet it hurts they can’t see, the look I got on my face/ Humble pie, your taste.” When paired against the pulpy basslines on tracks like,“Elian’s Theme” or the torrent of murmurs on standout track, “C&C,” her tirades hit hard..
“I don’t walk like a model, I won’t sell my coke bottle,” sings LeiKeli over her quasi manifesto, “Miss America.” Although the sentiment isn’t new, the message is clear- LeiKeli refuses to sacrifice her integrity at the cost of success. At the same time, she seems very aware that the mask isn’t anything more than a gimmick so, the question remains, why continue the charade? Utilizing a soundbyte of Bane from the film, The Dark Knight Rises, LeiKeli’s answer, again, is deceptively simple, “No one cared who I was until I put on the mask.”