Friday, April 22, 2011
Ryan Leslie Solo Rap Album Coming Soon
Random news outlets are reporting that Ryan Leslie's upcoming album -- titled Les is More -- will be a Hiphop opus, an unexpected switch of genre from a singer who has cultivated a cult-like following from a successful career writing, singing and producing pop and R&B music.
Ryan Leslie has always been a fan and an active participant in both singing and rapping, and after being labeled a child prodigy and achieving a perfect score on his SATs, he attended and graduated from Harvard with a degree in Government -- all before he was 20 years old.
That's just a bit of background information to help put Leslie's rhyming endeavor in a bit of a better context. Because this guy is talented beyond belief, and, much like Pharrell, his vast range as a producer and songwriter is enough of a reason for me to give this album a serious listen.
But after listening to him sing years' worth of songs about his prowess with women, the new experience of hearing him spit a bunch of verses is surprisingly a let down. After all, he's had success with his rhyming on his own songs in the past. And his subject matter remains primarily the same as before -- women.
So what's different?
Well, it's one thing for a singer to kick an occasional hot 16 on one of his or her songs. But it's a completely different thing for that format to be reversed, with a singer rapping three verses while only singing on the hook -- on each and every track.
Maybe it's because of my dedication to Hiphop that I have such a hard time accepting a career R&B singer crossing over to make a rap album. Of course, this has been done before. But never by an artist whom I have such a great level of musical respect for.
And so I'm torn.
Hopefully, since the album is Hiphop in nature, it's more You Be Killin Em and less of the slower tracks. But hey, I guess since "Les is More," the jury will be out until I can hear the final product.
Until then, here are a couple of new songs from his album that is scheduled to be released on July 4, 2011:
Joan of Arc