If you're looking for a new artist to add to your library, take a close look at rapper Leaf. With brooding yet charismatic music and an emphatic accompanying message, she has managed to create a buzz in the rap and R&B scene.
She's kept busy in 2016, releasing several singles and loose tracks over the past few months. Most recently, she collaborated with rap sensation Lil Yachty for "Nada," a song with an accompanying video featuring the two. "It's about all types of women in New York coming together," Leaf told The FADER about "Nada."
At just 21-years-old, the New York native has shown impressive potential with her artistry. She is able to switch from singing to aggressive rapping in a matter of seconds, all done fluently with her wide-ranging voice. Her vocal variety was on display on "Nada," where slight changes of her airy voice complimented the moody tone of the song.
The song comes a year after her name first hit the public music scene. In February of 2015, after being signed to the renowned Fool's Gold Records label, Leaf dropped a three-track, debut EP titled "Magnet Bitch."
"['Magnet Bitch'] is a short EP of counteractive music," Leaf told Nylon last year. "By that I mean everyone is saying the same thing, degrading women, 'it ain’t nothin to cut that bitch off,' 'these hoes ain’t loyal' ... I created the alternative version of that. 'N*ggas be thinking they slick, that’s why they all on my dick.'”
The EP's title invokes Leaf's larger movement, "MBM." Standing for "Magnetic Bitch Movement" or "Money Before Men," Leaf's goal is to create a positive space of solidarity for women.
"It's a female empowerment lifestyle brand telling girls to magnetize," she told Paper Mag last year. She added that the music video for Slick, a song off "Magnetic Bitch," was shot, produced, and edited entirely by women.
"You don't have to be any specific type of girl to be part of MBM (Magnetic Bitch Movement)," Leaf continued to The Fader. "Just be an independent women."
From her sense of fashion (which she described last year as "pin-up retro goth") to her ongoing message ("I want to continue to expand my sound and spread my message to girls around the globe"), Leaf has a distinctive combination of talent and vision, which should set her up for success in her creative lane.
Keep an eye out for more Leaf coming in the future: "Trinity," her full-length, debut album, is set to drop this fall. We've only heard and seen the mere beginning of Leaf's impact on rap.