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Leif in 2013
Leif in 2013
Background information
Birth nameKhalif Diouf
Born (1989-04-06) April 6, 1989 (age 33)
New York City, U.S.
  • Rapper
  • producer
Years active2008–present

Khalif Diouf, known by his stage name Le1f (/lf/), is an American rapper and producer. He also founded the record label Camp & Street, with Boody, DonChristian, and Chaz Requina. As a gay rapper he's garnered attention for his musical and performance styles.[1][2][3][4] Following a series of well-received mixtapes and EPs, his debut studio album, Riot Boi, was released in November 2015.


Born in Manhattan, Diouf studied ballet and modern dance, attended the Concord Academy with the class of 2007 and earned his degree in dance from Wesleyan University before returning to the city to become a rapper.[5]


Initially known for producing tracks for Brooklyn-based alternative hip-hop group Das Racist, such as their popular debut single "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell",[6] he became known as a solo artist with the release of his debut mixtape Dark York,[7] released in April 2012. Its lead single, the 5kinAndBone5-produced "Wut" garnered attention as the standout track from the project and manifested into a music video in June 2012.[8][9]

In November 2012, Le1f was featured on the song "Fuckin the DJ" by Mykki Blanco (which he also co-produced with collaborator, Boody) from his Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss mixtape.[10] Later that month, Le1f released a joint EP with Boody, titled Liquid, which was followed by an accompanying video for the promotional single, "Soda".[11] His second mixtape Fly Zone was released to generally favorable reviews in January 2013 and later spawned a video for the successful "Spa Day". The mixtape featured guest appearances from artists such as Heems, DonChristian and Kitty.[12]

In August 2013, Le1f publicly criticised the rapper Macklemore for the latter's song "Thrift Shop", claiming that it borrowed its beat extensively from Le1f's own earlier song, "Wut", and proceeded to criticise Macklemore for another of his songs, "Same Love", claiming that it was not appropriate for a heterosexual to exploit an LGBT rights issue for financial gain.[1][13][14]

"Tree House is all these love songs over experimental trap beats. Every song on it is about love -- I want people to have sex to it."

—Diouf, on the theme of Tree House[15]

In September 2013, Diouf released his third full-length mixtape Tree House and later accompanied it with a music video for the second single "Hush Bb" directed by conceptual artist Alex Da Corte.[16][17]

In February 2013, Terrible Records announced Diouf's record deal as well as his latest EP, a five-track project titled Hey, which was later released on March 11, 2014.[18] On March 13, 2014, Diouf made his debut appearance on national television with a performance on the Late Show with David Letterman.[19]

In November 2015, Diouf released his first full-length studio album on XL and Terrible Records. The album features contributions and production work from artists such as Evian Christ, Junglepussy, Balam Acab, Lunice, Boody, Sophie, Dev Hynes, and Dubbel Dutch, among others. In 2017, Le1f was part of the line up for the 17th edition of the Sonic Acts Festival in Amsterdam, which explored The Noise of Being. He has also performed several times at Sonic Acts club night called Progress Bar.


Studio albums[edit]


  • Liquid (2012, Boysnoize Records) – Le1f & Boody
  • Hey (2014, XL/Terrible Records)
  • Blue Dream (2018, Self-released)[20][21]



Music videos[edit]

List of music videos, showing year released and director
Title Year Director(s) Ref.
"Wut" 2012 Sam B. Jones [22][23]
"Soda" (with Boody) [23]
"Spa Day" 2013 Jesse Miller-Gordon [24]
"Hush Bb" Alex Da Corte [25]
"Boom" 2014 Sam B. Jones [26]
"Sup" Jesse Miller-Gordon [27]
"Koi" 2015 Simon Ward [28]
"Umami / Water" 2017 Le1f [29]


Year Title Role Notes
2014 Late Show with David Letterman Musical guest Season 21, episode 115

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Nichols, James Michael (August 29, 2013). "Le1f, Gay Rapper, Blasts Macklemore For 'Same Love' Success". The Huffington Post.
  2. ^ Natalie Hope McDonald (July 24, 2012). "America's Next Top Gay Rapper?". Philadelphia. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  3. ^ Rich Juzwiak (July 23, 2012). "Rapper Le1f Is Very Good and Very Gay". Gawker. Archived from the original on July 25, 2012. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  4. ^ Ian S. Port (July 24, 2012). "The Unflinching, Bold (and Gay) Rapper Le1f Asks "Wut"". Artinfo. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  5. ^ "The Windish Agency: Le1f". Archived from the original on June 27, 2014. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  6. ^ Brandon Soderberg (December 12, 2012). "Le1f: New York Rap Deconstructionist Boasts Tricky Skills". Spin Magazine. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  7. ^ Hari Ashurst (April 30, 2012). "Le1f: Dark York – Album Review". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  8. ^ "Le1f - Wut (Official Video)". YouTube. June 19, 2012. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  9. ^ Larry Fitzmaurice (July 19, 2012). "Le1f: "Wut"". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved March 21, 2012.
  10. ^ "Download Mykki Blanco's Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss mixtape". FACT. November 9, 2012. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  11. ^ Miles Raymer (November 28, 2012). "Boody & LE1F Liquid EP". Pitchfork. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  12. ^ "Fly Zone - Le1f". Metacritic. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  13. ^ Tharrett, Matthew (August 27, 2013). "That Time Macklemore Stole "Thrift Shop" From A Queer New York Rapper". Queerty.
  14. ^ Higbee, Jonathan (August 27, 2013). "Queer Rapper Le1f Lashes Out At Macklemore, Claims "Thrift Shop" Is His Stolen Song". Instinct. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 10, 2015.
  15. ^ "NYC Rapper Le1f Wants You to Have Sex to His Next Mixtape". Fuse. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  16. ^ Claire Lobenfeld (September 18, 2013). "Download Le1f's Tree House Mixtape". Stereogum. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  17. ^ Tom Breihan (October 10, 2013). "Le1f - Hush Bb Video". Stereogum. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  18. ^ Reggie Ugwu (July 19, 2012). "Le1f Signs to Terrible Records". Billboard. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  19. ^ Jacob Brown (March 7, 2014). "Le1f—New York's Hottest Underground Rapper—Gets a Record Deal and Talks to Vogue About Macklemore and Letterman". Vogue. Archived from the original on March 13, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.
  20. ^ Kristin Corry (April 20, 2018). "Le1f's Surprise New EP 'Blue Dream' Is Like a Contact High". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  21. ^ Michael Love Michael (April 20, 2018). "How Appropriate That Le1f Surprise Drops 'Blue Dream' EP on 4/20". Retrieved April 20, 2018.
  22. ^ "Leif - Wut (Music Video)". Acclaim Magazine. July 20, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  23. ^ a b "VFILES: Le1f and Boody, 'Soda' (Video)". The Huffington Post. November 20, 2012. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  24. ^ "Video: Le1f, "Spa Day"". The Fader. Retrieved August 25, 2013.
  25. ^ "Le1f - Hush Bb - Art + Music - MOCAtv". YouTube. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  26. ^ "New Video: Le1f 'Boom'". Vibe. Retrieved March 20, 2014.
  27. ^ Bobby Z (May 14, 2014). "Le1f says "Sup"". Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  28. ^ "Le1f Teams With Sophie for Crazy "Koi" Video". Pitchfork. August 28, 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  29. ^ Brian Josephs (February 17, 2017). "Video: Le1f – "Umami / Water"". Retrieved April 20, 2018.

External links[edit]