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
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”
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