Written By: Ethan Griggs
My Music: ethangriggsmusic.virb.com
Although the track originally came out in November of 2015, New York rapper Le1f has created what seems to be an unofficial video for “Umami/Water”, a single off his 2015 album Riot Boi. The video opens with Le1f himself in a warehouse with some of his dancer buddies, and they perform interesting, feminine interpretive dances (Le1f is openly gay), juxtaposed with a pseudo-fashion show of blacks and whites in extravagant clothing – it’s a celebration of sexuality and the freedom of choice that comes with it. The song then abruptly shifts from its spine-tingling trap beat to a more mystic, foreign sounding hip-hop, and Le1f is seen clad in a clear shawl and silver body paint by an ocean shore. The idea of “Umami” or “water” in the song may correlate with the fluidity of gender that many young people are discovering. Le1f himself said of the track, “This song was the most challenging for me as a songwriter because I’m not trans but I wanted to make a song that honored the trans movement and all my trans friends…” The message is made loud and clear in this blood-thickening track from the rappers debut album.