By Tiffany Lewars
Harvard alum Ryan Leslie made his mark on the music industry as a record producer and singer/songwriter. Although Leslie has been credited for producing tracks for rappers such as Fabolous, his music presence is heavier in the genre of contemporary R&B. Leslie introduced himself to fans as a contemporary R&B artist with his debut album, Ryan Leslie, which featured tracks such as “I-R-I-N-A” and “Addicted.” His sophomore album, Transition, kept up with Leslie’s signature sound: a mix of R&B, funk, and hip-hop melodies. Leslie’s third album, however, will take a turn in another direction.
Les Is More, Leslie’s upcoming album, is the artist’s first rap album. The 14-track album will hit stores Oct. 22, and its content is already raising a few eyebrows. Some R. Les fans may be confused as to why Leslie chose to approach his next project as a rapper, but the musician believes his new direction isn’t that far off from the music his fans already know and love. “With this record, I’m not really departing too much from what I’ve already done,” said Leslie in an interview with Cash Rap Entertainment. “If you listen to the cadence of “Diamond Girl”…I mean it’s just taking a little bit of the melody out and delivering it the same way.”
Leslie tapped his longtime friend, rapper Fabolous, to help him with this project, and he’s the only other artist featured on the album. Each track on the album will have its own music video, because Leslie feels giving his fans that multimedia experience is a huge part of his brand. Though Leslie isn’t predominantly singing on this next project, he’s still producing and composing the contents of the album, which is something his true fans can still appreciate. I’m not sold on this transition, but I look forward to seeing what this multi-talented artist will produce. Will you be listening?