Ryan Leslie - Glory
Though Ryan Leslie‘s last single, Joan of Arc, met a positive reception in the Booth, the praise was tempered with some ambivalence in regard to the R&B heavyweight’s decision to try his hand at rhyming. Even our own DJ Z judged the cut “...a little too rappy.” As it turns out, though, Leslie’s not really in the mood for constructive criticism – on his latest selection, the even rappy-er Glory, the artist makes clear that he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks. R.L. takes the record to church on the production tip, layering screaming electric guitar riffage and choral vocals over grandiose organ chords as he gets a few things off his chest, illuminating the frustrations surrounding his departure from Universal Motown last year, as well as providing a (non-)answer to the question that’s been on everyone’s lips and fingertips: “You ask me why I’m rappin, well I’ll give the reason: the same reason you’re hatin’ when you should be believin’.” Looks like Ryan Leslie-the-disillusioned-rapper is here to stay; only question is, do you approve of his transformation? If so, you’ll undoubtedly find more to like on senior set Les Is More, due out in July.