By Charlie Maybee
This Alchemical Records article is read by the author to provide a multimedia experience for our audience while increasing the accessibility of our content to persons with hearing loss, low vision, dyslexia, physical or motor disabilities, or are on the autism spectrum.
Without warning, the DMV-based rapper Leek Mali drops us right into a flowing river of complex rhythms and lyrics with his new single “Summer Forever.” While the overall hook of the song is both catchy and riveting, it doesn’t feature any repetition, so the division between verses and choruses is blurred and amorphous; constantly shape-shifting from one set of lyrics to the next.
These thematic (and seemingly schizophrenic) transformations are also highlighted in the accompanying music video, as we see Leek shifting between two distinct looks and scenery. One where he is wearing a white tank top with his hair down featuring the fancy greenery of a country club, while, in the other, he’s shirtless with braided hair in more industrial setting that looks like a skate park. The only constants between the two looks feel like signatures: grillz on his teeth and a large cross hanging from his neck.
In his rapping, he dreams of living in a constant state of good summer vibes, while recognizing that he will need to brave the summer storms to reap the rewards of the summer sun. He boasts a big game by comparing himself to contemporary rappers, “the Drakes, Coles, and Kendricks” noting “my idols have become my rivals.”
Humbleness is not as much of a virtue in this track, but perhaps it is necessary for a field that is often considered to be competitive and cutthroat. Time will tell if this survival tactic brings him a crown, but for the time being we’ll be keeping an eye on Leek Mali’s future releases because, much like his teeth, they are lined with gold.
“Summer Forever” can be streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and Deezer. The accompanying music video is also available on YouTube.
Charlie Maybee is a dancer, musician, educator, and writer based in Winchester, Virginia who currently teaches in the Dance Division of the Shenandoah Conservatory. His primary work as an artist is with his performing collective, Polymath Performance Project, through which he makes interdisciplinary performance art that centers tap dance as the primary medium of expression. He also currently fronts local hard rock band, The Aftershakes, and releases music as a solo artist under the name Nox Eterna.
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