Despite challenges in the Music industry, women in Rap are thriving
The space is bigger than ever and feels oddly similar to how the ’90s were in terms of visibility. The likes of Tierra Whack, Rico Nasty, Kash Doll and more are either on the edge of gaining their moment or have already had their significant “looks” in 2018. Either way, Leikeli47 has failed to maintain a similar buzz over the last few years.
Leikeli, reps B.K (Brooklyn) and gained early co-signs in 2015 when Jay-Z-backed imprint, TIDAL, placed her song, “F The Summer Up”, at the top of one of one of their early rap Playlists. Following this and performances at the likes of EDC, the rapper embarked on attempts at a full-length project. With a recording contract with RCA (in partnership with Hardcover LLC) and support from the likes of Diplo, the MC dropped her debut last year to a lukewarm reception (consumer wise). Resurfacing just under a month ago, the MC boasted about her sophomore set “Acrylic”, which received praise from Pitchfork earlier this week.
However, Acrylic’s larger impact is sparse
The Brooklyn talent possesses all of the tools in the playbook needed to shine; perfected, polished soundscapes that are broad, experimental and convenient (when appropriate), a pen that’ll make industry heavyweight Nicki Minaj fret, and stage presence that leaves audiences in awe every single time.
However, Leikeli47 just hasn’t connected (yet)
In an industry that still subscribes to misogyny, misogynoir, sexism and all the other isms in existence, it is not surprising that a Leikeli47 package hasn’t stuck at this point. For one, she wears a mask and not dresses, leotards, and other figure-hugging items during her sets. As simplistic as this may sound, this could be a contributing factor to her appeal level to male audiences. She refuses to conform to societal norms and hypersexual double standards (whether consciously or not).
However, this isn’t the only mechanism at work. Other explanations lie in the release strategy for the debut album, “Wash & Set” and its follow up. Taking a look at her interview and promotional strategy, one finds inconsistent appearances on the Hot 97’s and Power 106 LA’s. This is nowhere near the force needed for a cohesive PR campaign in the run-up towards an album release.
Social media presence marks one of the final explanations behind Leikeli’s lack of traction.
Her Twitter (although verified), stands at less than 800 followers, and her Instagram has just over 40,000. It may sound superficial to note, but audiences in today’s market like to get acquainted with their celebrity “fave”. Seeing low numbers like this can have a hand in the lack of interaction received.
Fundamentally, Leikeli47 in 2019 needs a complete overhaul where visibility is concerned. To ensure the erection of a stronger and broader fan base, the act should line up re-visits to Hip-hop interviewing platforms. Here, she can put her pen to good use and freestyle for the platforms documenting her lyrical skill. Following this, the rapper should negotiate a spot on the BET yearly Cypher. These routinely go viral on social media (Dreezy, Brianna Perry), and can easily boost both her profile and opportunities if she stands out as an artist featured.
In 2018, talent alone just isn’t enough.
Clout, visibility, and garnering excitement matter; merely being talented won’t pull audiences into your court anymore. The isms can and will still occur, but Leikeli47 is capable of gaining traction within the industry if she continues to prosper and show her worth through the exploitation of both the online and media realms.