Album Review: Le1f - Riot Boi

6 November 2015 | 4:31 pm | Sevana Ohandjanian

"Sexy, one-of-a-kind and definitely too cool for us mere mortals."

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Le1f mixes hard house and dance rhythms with tongue-in-cheek lyricism making music that is ready-made for vogueing at parties. Being an openly gay rapper makes him a unique entity in the hip hop landscape; after all, how often do you hear male rappers talking about dicks that aren't their own?

On Riot Boi, Le1f is all ease and style. Whether he's pulling the seduction routine on Swirl or enlisting the always excellent Dev Hynes on closer Change, this is a record that drips with self-aware sexual energy. For those who've followed Le1f's career through multiple EP releases, the music doesn't diverge entirely from what he's done in the past, and that's a compliment. There's the banging bass, and the thrumming electronic rhythms that make it impossible to stand still, but there's always grit, a real edge, like on Rage where he moves between soft, hypnotic beats before screaming his way through the chorus.

If there ever were a song to epitomise everything Le1f is about, it's Koi. Futuristic club music for a place that's so cool we haven't found it yet, Le1f riffs on the flirt and chase of a night out singing, "You wanna get to know me/Wanna be my homie/I just came to party/Not here for you boy." With SOPHIE's robotic vocals on the bridge and a simmering beat that ebbs and flows in perfect measure, it's Le1f in a nutshell: sexy, one-of-a-kind and definitely too cool for us mere mortals.