Thursday, February 29, 2024




Ryan Leslie has recently become one of my favorite RnB singers/producers. I wasn’t really a fan of his until I listed to his second album “Transition”. That is what I can consider a perfect album. All the songs are written, produced, arranged and engineered by Mr. Leslie himself. The album is said to be inspired by a lady whom he met during a rehearsal for a show at New York’s S.O.B nightclub.




The album that got me

Transition review


Stand out track: Something that I like

If you have never listened Ryan Leslie I would suggest you listen to “something that I like”. Leslie shows some diversity in this song, by both rapping and singing. That’s not say he is the best rapper, but merely tells listeners not to put him in a box. It has a smooth mid tempo beat and a funky baseline. Pasha t comes in with the third verse adding that extra something to the song.
What really stands out on this album is his production and arrangement, as the album to flow nicely from track to track. “You’re not my girl” is radio friendly and was made for the dance floor with its 80’s synths and harps.
His lyrics may seem simple and straight to the point, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. In “All my love“, lyrics like “I want to give u all my love/ even if I don’t have all your trust” are simple but so effective.
The bonus track could have been left off the album as “I choose you”, while somewhat mediocre, is a perfect way to end the album.

Brief history of the man

At the age of 14, Leslie got a perfect score on his SAT’s. He applied to prestigious universities such as Stanford, Yale and Harvard. He was accepted to Harvard where he graduated at the age of 19 with a degree in Political science and macroeconomics. During his stay at Harvard he devoted a lot of time to creating and developing music. He spent many hours perfecting his craft.

Sometime after his graduation, as he continued working on his music, he got a 30 day internship with a producer named Younglord. Within a week a produced a song that would be performed by Beyonce, called “Keep giving your love to me”. Sean “Diddy” Combs was impressed with his production and offered him a management contract.

He was later offered the chance to have his own imprint under Universal music group. It is called Next Selection and his first artist was Cassie. Leslie wrote and produced Cassies break out record “Me & u”.

Leslie plays a number of instruments and produces all of his own song. Here is a video of the making of one of his hits “Addiction”

Making of Addiction





What’s he doing now?

Leslie has worked with and produced hits for a number of artists such as Fabolous, Lloyd Banks, Britney spears, Mary j Blige, and numerous others.

He is currently working on his third album tentatively titled les is more. The lead single for the project is “Glory”. He raps about how he is underrated but is determined to “…spill my guts so I could get my glory”

Glory Video




Other notable songs that may appear on the album are, “beautiful lie” and “Joan of arc”

Early this year Leslie performed “beautiful lie” in Paris.

Beautiful Lie Performance



By Kapa187


  1. his been around for time. his had a huge following on youtube since 06. its good that people appreciate real talent. 

  2. I nvr used to like Ryan Leslie bt i think i nw like him coz of what i have jus read i didnt knw that he is the one who wrote and produced Cassies’s song me and u i love that song big time , i also didnt know that Ryan produces his own songs thts so cool i think i wl buy his new albm Transition . Thnx 2 Kapa187 and Lusaka Times…..

  3. I thought you were talking about artists and I wanted to see the art exhibits of the artists only to find artists and I am appalled that I had to click on artists to try to see art only to find myself staring at artists instead of the art!

  4. Why not showcase Zambian artists lsktimes? these american get enough press anyway . Ryan leslie is a better producer than artist 

  5. Slumdog Shalapungu #6  well spoken. Africans don’t know how to focus on themselves because of self hate. Self hate arose out of colonialism. The whites told africans they were sub human or primitive and the Africans believed this until today. That’s why  africans with inferiority complexes would rather focus on american artistes rather than JK. Its out of their desire to be something else rather han African. Even the artistes want to imitate Americans Read Steve biko

  6. Marvellous Mabel you are so illuminating! However even we the fans are a little to blame because we like American and European acts more than our own. This is because the media gives us these as the real superstars and ours are only fit for the bin. Lets have some authentic Zambian music-not the trash of copying a beat from New York and then singing lyrics on it in Chibemba. Cant we invent our own pop brand?

  7. KK once declared radio stations must play 90 percent Zambian music. Brainwashed Zambian DJs resigned. Just goes to show mental enslavement is difficult to erase

  8. WOW  Ryan Leslie is the man, i like the fact that all his songs are  Written, arranged, produced & performed by himself. he spills his guts in that song Glory.
    Looking forward to Les is More.

  9. Zambia Union of Musicians please speak to Lusaka Times and tell them to give equal if not more prominence to ZAMBIAN musicians. Try and conscientise them. They are neo-colonialists.

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