Published Mar 31, 2020Rap group the Sorority — the one-time foursome turned threesome — made Cancon stars out of Polaris Music Prize-winning MC Haviah Mighty, Keysha Freshh and Lex Leosis. The ladies spent a little over two years immersed in the group's unlikely success, which saw them hit stages across the nation. But ultimately, they were all solo artists from the jump, having put themselves on pause to roll with the punches.
With the group in amicable limbo, they've individually been spreading their wings, testing the waters from their new plateau. First came Haviah's critically acclaimed 13th Floor, followed by Keysha's Field Trip. Now, Lex Leosis is finally letting the world into the culmination of a three-year journey with Mythologies, which hit digital shelves on March 27.
For Lex, this project is a more realized version of herself than her first collection of music, 2017's Tomboy. "I'm a cipher MC, that's how I grew up," Lex tells Exclaim! "I grew up ciphering on the streets and in competitions... producing bodies of work was not essential for us." As she explains, she came into her own as a rapper during the YouTube competition era. "At the time, [creating] Tomboy was new for me. I look back and think to myself, 'You had no idea what you were doing,'" she admits now.
Coming straight from the DIY mentality of her first project to the Sorority was an understandable culture shock of sorts. "It made me level up," she explains. "[Pledge] was the first thing that I was a part of that was legit. I had no idea what marketing looked like. I wasn't used to being in the studio with a producer, not recording in my bedroom. That was insane for me. The Sorority were significant in that regard."
With an evolved creation process, she was still a piece of a whole; now Mythologies is her first real foray — having evolved from Lex the rapper to Lex the artist.
"This is my first real project in which I controlled every single thing," she says. "So, it was a huge accomplishment for me. It took me three years to kind of figure it all out and level up every aspect of what I was doing."
What stands out most on the project is how truly revealing it gets. One song, in particular, was especially important to her, "Gemini." On the track, she discusses her bisexuality, using astrology as a metaphor. The only issue was, she hadn't yet come out to anyone — not even her family.
"I was very nervous about releasing that track," she admits. "I had to come out to my whole family; my mom and my brother were very supportive."
That cathartic release is ultimately what the true spirit of this project is: Leosis being her whole and true self. It's not just a random collection of songs, but a culmination of her entire journey up to this point — and all the special people she's built with along the way.
"I used to take buses to the United States and compete in all these rap tournaments," she recalls. "I used to go to New York and Chicago, and I remember using my OSAP money in university to buy a flight to California to just try to connect with anybody who would give me a mic out there."
She describes herself as getting extremely close to the circle of artists she connected with via the YouTube community. "We used to sleep at the airport and buy a large pizza and share it between like five of us. Those were good times; during this era, I met a lot of people that had something to do with this album.
"Everybody was intentionally picked to be part of this. It's the most personal and important thing that I've ever put out."
With Lex catching her footing as a solo act, the question lingers as to the future of her group.
"I don't know what's going to happen, because everybody's in a very different place," she says. "I'm just eager for people to hear what I can come up with, too — and not just rapping. I'm writing for other people. I'm working on producing for theatre, commercials and stuff like that. So I'm excited to dive into my future. And I know Haviah and Keysha feel the same way.
"We were all making our albums while working full-time jobs, touring and doing music with the Sorority. It was hectic," she explains. "So I think everybody's cool with taking some time, but I don't want to say it could never happen again."