Le1f released a new track called “Umami/Water” on Monday, just ahead of the release of his anticipated debut album, Riot Boi.
The song, inspired by his friend and New York DJ Juliana Huxtable. Le1f said his friendship with Huxtable, along with the growing media coverage of transgender issues, led to him researching the struggles and abuse the trans community, and other assorted, but intersecting, minority communities have suffered. When asked about “queer representation” in hip-hop in a recent interview with Complex surrounding the release of the track, he expanded the question in his answer:
I think that there’s underrepresentation across the board for so many obviously underrepresented people. Whether it be transgender people, other queer people—especially queer people of color—Latino Americans, Latino people at large. I think, in general, the conversation about race in the states has been so bilateral and black and white, and doesn’t fully encompass the gradient situation and classism and the spectrums of immigration that have all these different multi-faceted issues… The culture can change and have a different appreciation of different aesthetics and different ideas of beauty. I think that will affect a lot, including privilege and how people respond to people of different identities.
Riot Boi will be available on iTunes and other platforms Friday.
Listen to “Umami/Water”: