So I’m in midtown Manhattan on February 10th 2009 and today is finally the day! I’ve been a fan of Ryan Leslie for a couple of years now and have much respect for this man. That being said, being a fan of Ryan hasn’t been a easy task. From leaked tracks, to video snippets from his then NS4Life.com site, I’ve always had a craving for more. Then there was finally a couple singles but on iTunes, which at the time I was highly against anything iPod/iPhone/iTunes related and still am due to wanting not to have something everyone else had.
Now with a new site RyanLeslie.com, and finally a debut album, it is time for Ryan to shine. He has already been a star; since masterminding Cassie’s career with only MySpace, YouTube and other Web 2.0 platforms. It was this avenue, this method of how he connected and interacted with his fans and supporters that drew me to Ryan. Then I heard the music! In a time where Hip Hop was said to be dead and where the music industry was having a difficult time trying to adapt to this digital era, Ryan just made good music. Ryan’s music was high energy, captivating, fresh, something new. His production was on point and original, lyrics heartfelt, moving, upbeat, and soul touching all together. And his story was different. Ryan wasn’t some on the street, made it now type. Ryan is from a good home, Harvard educated! Like Barack Obama (and we don’t want to get all political) he showed that a educated Black man can be something in this world. That a Black man didn’t have to be a product of the streets, but could come from a good home, be educated, follow his dream and succeed at it. Today has to be a great day for Ryan as was November 5th for Barack. And as a Black man myself, this is a victory!
Ok now for the album. I purchased my copy from the Amazon MP3 Music Store. It starts off with "Diamond Girl" and just jumps right in to it. I wish Ryan had a intro here, some kind of after all this time today is the day, it has happen kind of thing like his video on his site. This is followed by "Addiction" which is a favorite amongst fans, The production on this is great and as someone who hasn’t danced in awhile this song makes me want to dance like Will from his video on YouTube of the same song.
Highlights would be "Quicksand", "Valentine", "How It Was Suppose to Be", "Irina", and "Shouldn’t Have To Wait". Overall the album was good. It was not great as I hoped, and there wasn’t tracks I had hope it made it onto the album, tracks like "Rescue Me" and " Taste 4 Ur Love" which I love and was waiting to get to listen to them when I wanted outside of just on YouTube. Overall I didn’t come off feeling like "Wow, this was hot", which isn’t really a bad thing. Just after waiting so long, I expected the end all be all, so the feeling could just me.
From doing a quick Twitter search earlier, Ryan was definitely being talked about and there fan reports that people who attempted to buy it from Best Buy, were finding sold out selves. Then there is the claim by Ryan from his Twitter channel that the Virgin Record store was sold out in 7 minutes, so Ryan has definitely hit the ground running and I hope and expect his next one to be even better.
Should you go out and buy the album? I say yes, it is a good album and has good music and he literally was the first album I’ve brought in years, so I kept my word! So if you don’t want to support cause of the music, support cause of the way he connects and interacts with his fans. He has the correct blueprint and is doing it right. There are others who are trying to copy and either doing it half assed or just don’t fully understand to try to replicate what he is doing. He is at the forefront of what this music industry needs to do to reinvent it!
Ryan Leslie album can be picked up at record stores, iTunes, Amazon MP3 Store, and various other outlets, ranging in price from $8.99 and up.