Leikeli47 has released Shape Up, via Hardcover/RCA Records, the finale to the beauty trilogy that started in 2017 with her debut album, Wash & Set. The second of the three-album run, Acrylic, was released just a year later. But between that project and Shape Up, Leikeli took her foot off the gas and instead focused on personal growth, health, and refining a positive mental makeup. The result is her strongest album to date, a stunning proclamation of individual self-love and general Black love, an exclamation point on one of the strongest three-album runs in modern rap.
“Shape Up truly feels like my first album. It’s the craziest feeling,” says Leikeli on the new project. “I feel like this is my first time out and no one knows me. I’m finally about to embark on a journey where I’m diving into my fans and they’re diving into me. It’s a fun process.”
After Acrylic, Leikeli couldn’t see where she belonged both in her community and within the music industry. The self-reflection was hard, and the work wore on her, but Leikeli emerged from this hibernation with a newfound joy that bounces off every note of Shape Up.
“When you’re going through it, you don’t have the mindset to just look up and appreciate the work. It took me a while to realize this, but Acrylic was my celebration of the struggle, but I only know that now,” explains the LA-based multi-hyphenate. “Shape Up is the defining moment where it just all made sense. I looked at the things that didn’t fold me and I just said, ‘I’m here.’”
Shape Up is a celebration of the work while the work is still happening. It’s what makes the album so tremendous. There’s a passion for the struggle that is never exploitative. The album was executive produced by Harold Lilly and features the previously released tracks “Chitty Bang”, “Zoom”, “BITM”, and “LL Cool J”.
SHAPE UP TRACKLISTING:
LL Cool J
Free to Love
Jay Walk feat. Miss J Alexander
Hold My Hand
Get the Riches
Instant Classic (Bonus Track)
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