Text: Aimee Cliff
Photography: Dmitry Serostanov
Click on any of the photos below to launch the gallery.
Throughout his seamless set at Shoreditch’s Concrete, there’s barely a second in which Le1f is not rapping that he doesn’t spend dancing, and the room responds by sweating profusely. Dressed in bright orange and moving with an effortless, almost offhand ability, there’s not a moment in which he’s not engaging the crowd in front of him (not to mention physically getting in amongst them). And they love him.
It’s this energy that defines the rising New York rapper’s set. I’m left underwhelmed by the rapping itself, which seems deft and cutting (he launches straight into a fast-paced and hard-hitting verse on the very first beat of his set) but which is mostly lost under the surge of his production. The production, though, is a world in itself. The highlights are, unsurprisingly and undeniably, the singles Spa Day and Wut – the former overwhelming its audience in an industrial swoon, and the latter bursting onto the dancefloor like the giant drop of water it had thirstily been waiting for. No matter what’s going on with the sound levels, Le1f as a performer embodies the moment, and on Thursday this London crowd were right there with him.