Like Leikeli 47 growls in the opening bar in Chitty Bang, she is “Back up again in this mutha fucka” with some fire. Her new record Shape Up marks her first studio record since 2018 when she released Acrylic to much critical and listener praise. The track itself has an interesting history as a track on the Madden 22 video game before finding its permanent home as the opening track on there new record. In a lot of ways this track showcases Leikeli’s new hip hop weapons in her arsenal, while leaning heavily into what she does really well.
First of all, let’s look at what’s new. She starts the track with a looped vocal, which I cannot find a credit for, which is a new magic trick for Leikeli 47. She is not new to sparse track openings, Iron Mike for example has some synth flute and snaps as its opening hook, but the use of a looped vocal is an interesting artistic touch. When you hear it, you are immediately thrown off and lean in to get a better listen…until she drops the bass and blows your mind. Moreover, this is a track of musical contrasts, as opposed to a straight hip hop track. Much like Nirvana song structure she will go quiet and drop all the bass and percussion off the track during verses in lieu of solely the looped vocal, but will drop all the bass in the world on the bridge / chorus. This quiet / loud / quiet track structure is well known in indie and rock music, but works extremely effectively in this track.
Lyrically, this track leans into what Leikeli 47 does best…which is make some fire bangers. Even though some loops and song structures are new, her ability to make a perfect hook is in full display. Similar to the breakthrough track Tic Boom, the hook in Chitty Bang takes residence in your mind and refuses to move out. You will find yourself listening to the track over and over in order to reach that soul fulfilling “OOOhhh, Chitty chitty bang / chitty chitty bang” hook. You can see how this track got so much buzz off of the Madden game and how this hook took over people’s lives. Moreover, Leikeli 47 is back with her aggressive delivery and lyrical fire. I mean, to start the record’s opening track with “Back again up in this mutha fucka / Entertainment for you mutha fuckas” is a bold move. You quickly understand that you are at Leikeli 47’s mercy and you are all for it.
It is great to get new music from Leikeli 47 and Shape Up is not just an eclectic mix of hip hop / R&B / soul / funk, but it is some of her best work. If you have not heard Leikeli 47 before, you best be checking out this record…because the east coast has a new queen of hip hop and she is taking no prisoners.
Listen to Chitty Bang
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