As Le1f, producer and rapper Khalif Diouf makes playful, bold hip hop amalgams, often presented in conjunction with distinctive music videos. He is also known as a style icon, radical performer, and flag-bearer in the ever-expanding queer rap genre. He runs the label Camp & Street.
Diouf grew up in Manhattan. He studied classical ballet and modern dance as a child and went on to earn a degree in dance at Wesleyan University. His first solo mixtape, Dark York, was released in 2012 and contained the celebrated hit “Wut”. On the EP Liquid, Le1f collaborated with both Boody and LA producer team Nguzunguzu. “Soda”, Liquid’s standout track, was bolstered by a music video with a neon, saccharinely consumerist aesthetic that tipped its hat to the visual components of London’s PC Music imprint (one of whose star members, SOPHIE, went on to contribute to Le1f’s latest album). Diouf released the mixtapes and EPs FlyZone and Tree House (both in 2013), Hey (2014), and in November 2015, the LP Riot Boi on Terrible/XL. This LP also included collaborations with producers Blood Diamonds, Evian Christ, and Lunice.
Le1f has carved out a particular place for himself as a QTPOC rapper alongside like-minded musicians Mykki Blanco, Azealia Banks, Brooke Candy, Zebra Katz, and Angel Haze, and is an active spokesperson for the queer community.