Khalif Diouf, known by his stage name Le1f (/liːf/), is an American rapper and producer from New York City. He runs the hip hop label Camp & Street, a subsidiary of Greedhead Music. As a gay rapper he's garnered attention for his unique and subversive musical and performance styles. Following a series of well-received mixtapes and EPs, his debut studio album Riot Boi was released in November 2015.
Born in Manhattan, New York, Diouf studied ballet and modern dance, attended the Concord Academy with the class of 2007 and earned his degree in dance from Wesleyan University before returning to the city to become a rapper.
Initially known for producing tracks for hip-hop group Das Racist, such as their popular debut single "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell", he became known as a solo artist with the release of his debut mixtape Dark York, released in April 2012. Its lead single, the 5kinAndBone5-produced "Wut" garnered attention as the standout track from the project and manifested into a music video in June 2012.
In November 2012, Diouf was featured on the song "Fuckin the DJ" by Mykki Blanco (which he also co-produced with collaborator, Boody) from his Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Prince/ss mixtape. Later that month, Diouf released a joint EP with Boody, titled Liquid, which was followed by an accompanying video for the promotional single, "Soda". His second mixtape Fly Zone was released to generally favorable reviews in January 2013 and later spawned a video for the successful "Spa Day". The mixtape featured guest appearances from artists such as Heems, DonChristian, and Kitty.
In August 2013, Le1f publicly criticised the rapper Macklemore for the latter's song "Thrift Shop", claiming that it borrowed its beat extensively from Le1f's own earlier song, "Wut". Le1f, who is African-American and gay, proceeded to criticise Macklemore for another of his songs, "Same Love", claiming that it was not appropriate for a heterosexual to exploit an LGBT rights issue for financial gain.
"Tree House is all these love songs over experimental trap beats. Every song on it is about love -- I want people to have sex to it."
--Diouf, on the theme of Tree House
In September 2013, Diouf released his third full length mixtape Tree House and later accompanied it with a music video for the second single "Hush Bb".
In February 2013, Terrible Records announced Diouf's record deal as well as his latest EP, a five-track project titled Hey, which was later released on March 11, 2014. On March 13, 2014, Diouf made his debut appearance on national television with a performance on the Late Show with David Letterman.
Le1f is connected to other QTPOC artists such as Junglepussy, Princess Nokia, and Dai Burger.