Review: Leroy Jelks' "Shadow Boxing With The Lights Off" Mixtape

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Bringing us vibes from North Hollywood, we hear Leeroy Jelks divergent sound in “Shadow Boxing With The Lights Off” where we hear about Jelks experience with mental illness, shadowboxing, and his relationships with the people around him. Immediately you are thrown into a city soundscape enveloping you into a thickly discordant theme, a window into his life. 

‘Boxing’ begins with a slightly disjointed neo-soul melody with a certain swagger, a rhythm Jelks adopts throughout the entirety of the mixtape. He describes himself like a “scarecrow” that goes where the wind blow, almost as if to say that people would not expect someone with his frame to box.

Set to a loop of someone sighing disinterestedly, ‘Lights Off’ talks about a relationship with an estranged individual and his assured desire to move towards a better relationships while recounting the times he’s made mistakes much to the hinderance of the other individual. A soft jazz piano melody can be heard behind the sighs, with drums (no bass) eased in.

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“Get it how you live it, and spread it how you live it”, a mantra repeated in ‘Midas Touch’ as Jelks recalls advice given to him by mentors as he made his cross-country move from New York to California. Set to a jagged, uneven, propulsive melody of synthesizers, bells, and drums Jelks reminds us that “all that glitters isn’t gold”. 

Throughout the mixtape Leeroy Jelks we hear his lyrics voiced tenaciously and candidly, making him a very memorable rapper. Jelks combines a variety of genres of music to create the multilayered release that is “Shadow Boxing With The Lights Off”. 

Album features Ra Power, Mason Dean, Solo, Amante
Songs produced by Makotoh Thovo, ‘96, OKVSHO, D’Unkown, August Henrickson
Mixed by Marcosdavid Manuel, Leeroy Jelks

Stream/Download "Shadow Boxing With The Lights Off" Mixtape