Ryan Leslie - Joan of Arc
Anyone who’s followed Ryan Leslie over the last few years knows that this Harvard alum has more overall talent than a lot of his R&B contemporaries. His new song, Joan of Arc, shows Leslie’s ability to write, produce, sing and rap over a track without completely ruining it, a rarity for one individual to pull off. This isn’t the first time he’s spit a few bars, but I think when he attempts to rap through the majority of a song, as he does here, it doesn’t connect with the listener as well as it could. His smooth and minimalist vocals on the hook ride perfectly over his mildly haunting instrumentation of minor guitar chords and light synthesizers. It actually sounds like something ‘Ye left off MBDTF, and I’m not just talking about the beat. This tale of a misunderstood relationship, complete with a NYPD voicemail left for Leslie, would have fit Mr. West’s storyline perfectly. While this is the first (potential) leak from his upcoming Les Is More, which currently has no release date, I’m not sure it’s enough for me to anticipate the drop just yet. Am I alone?