As a rapper, gem-sweater museum curator, children's-television star and overall Internet phenom, Leslie Hall covers quite a few bases. But when flanked by her crew, the LYs, the Iowa-bred diva becomes an audience-commanding, plus-size powerhouse, unfurling tales of Maury Povich not-the-fathers, minivan rides to the club and other facets of a Midwestern existence atop her own basement beats. Breaking out with 2005's Gold Pants, Hall introduced the viral world to her strip-mall-maven humor and love for all things bejeweled, using YouTube as the successful vehicle for her audiovisual art pieces. Over the last half-decade, she's managed to shoot far beyond her twentysomething social-networking fan base, making appearances on both the televised and touring renditions of eccentric children's show Yo Gabba Gabba! Whether Leslie & the LYs are churning their butter or showing off their body rolls, their performances emphasize fun, including the importance of a sense of humor in a world of disillusioned pop-culture norms and Internet-meme sensationalism.
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