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Lex Leosis Plays With Fire on “Dangerous”

The Toronto rapper’s latest single finds her acknowledging her power at the top of her game. 

by Ben Boddez

Photo by Sydney Robertson

If you’ve ever been to one of her shows and witnessed her impressive flows and towering stage presence live, you know just how “Dangerous” Lex Leosis can be.

The Toronto hip-hop artist and former member of The Sorority’s latest track of the same name is meant to accompany the months getting warmer and the kind of outdoor scene where she thrives being ushered into view. As Leosis says, “I want women and non-binary folk to FEEL themselves when they hear this. I wrote this to be a ‘scream-the-lyrics-in-your-face’ type jam,” adding that the track is about “Stepping into your power as a woman, knowing that you are a threat to the patriarchy and being loud, confident and DANGEROUS in the open.”  

Leosis has been racking up quite a few collaborations lately, but “Dangerous” represents her first solo material since the 2021 Terracotta EP and previews an upcoming album set to be released this summer. Leosis’ beats have always leant into the jazz and funk area, and this one is no exception as she rhymes over a skittering beat and a synth-bass groove. Talking about attracting everyone in the room and peppering the track with some fun pop culture references, as formidable as the beat is, the mix still puts her voice front and centre and she seemingly never stops to take a breath.

We caught up with Leosis below to talk about her new track, her hip-hop origins and becoming truly dangerous. 

What was your first introduction to hip-hop?

My first introduction to Hip Hop that I remember was when I was 7 and my older cousin showed me A Tribe Called Quest. From that day on I was in love with Hip Hop. I knew I wanted to be a rapper in Grade 11. I had already been doing Spoken Word and it just felt like a natural progression to me.

You mention that you wrote this song in response to feeling like you had to “stay humble and not take up too much space” for too long – what was the moment that you became truly dangerous?

I had already connected to that dangerous feeling every time I was on stage, but it wasn’t until recently during the pandemic that I decided I wasn’t going to waste time being small anymore. Life is short. 

Where did the ideas behind all of the neon, psychedelic artwork in the visualizer and cover art come from? Can we expect a video at some point?
I wanted the visualizer to embody a space that felt light and funky. A place to be confident and free. We went with neon colours because we wanted the video to feel loud like the confidence on the track. You can expect a lot more content and videos down the line!

You drop quite a few impressive punchlines, internal rhyme schemes and one-liners on this one – do you have a favourite bar or set of bars?

I love the scheme in the second verse that goes “They Clueless, Silverstone, wish they would leave me alone, jealous of my deals but they’d blow it like a saxophone.” The flow is really fun for me to rap in that part too. 

You’ve always embodied a kind of old-school attitude that isn’t as present in the modern-day hip-hop landscape, from the “no music” breakdown on this track to your speedier flows. What do you love most about this sound?

I love the rawness of old school Hip Hop vocals. Technology has obviously come a long way and done a lot of cool things for music…but old school rappers really had to master their voices. From the tone, inflection, flow, delivery…To me, it’s also made for a beautiful connection to the artists from that era. 

What have you been listening to lately?

My music tastes are all over the place, I like a wide variety of music. Lately, I’ve been bumping Omar Apollo, Lana Lubany, CKay, Daniel Johns, and Chlöe.

What can we expect from the upcoming album?

My next project is full of funky bangers. I wrote some great music when I was on tour last year and brought that energy to the recording process! I’ll be playing some of the new unreleased stuff at SXSW.