Ryan_Leslie2 Ryan_Leslie2

Ryan Leslie Q&A (Pg. 2)

Yeah, and I’ve learned life lessons from all the things that we talk about in our music, especially Black music. Why are so concerned with luxury? Why are we concerned with exclusivity? Why are we concerned with the things that make other people jealous? You know what I mean? These are the type of issues that I really wanna tackle on this album and make it an album about just my own humanity and hopefully through that actually reach out and talk to people. Maybe they are going through these things because they have the dream and the aspiration. ‘I want that life. I want a Maybach. I want a super fly girl. I want the Louis Vuitton bag. I want the Dior shades. That’s all I want.’ Then they actually feel a sense of worthlessness or they feel a sense of desperation or hopelessness when they realize it’s really way outside of what they can achieve through their traditional means, so they start dreaming of ‘Oh, I just wanna be an entertainer or an athlete ‘cause then I ain’t gotta worry about my credit right now.’

So these are all things just in life. I’ve spoken at schools. I have gone and looked at the hope in the eyes of an audience of entertainment hopefuls at Berkeley College of Music and understanding that they may not really get what it takes to be successful in anything, so if you wanna be successful at dating models, you wanna be successful at being a musician, you wanna be successful being an athlete, you wanna be successful being an instrumentalist or a rapper—the people that are really, really successful, and not necessarily the ones that have the talent, are relentless in the pursuit of the goal that they have. It’s absolutely much more multi-layered and real, and I’m really passionate about it. Honestly, I didn’t even really wanna do interviews because I feel like it detracts from what message I wanna convey in the music.

That sounds like a progressive artistic direction. You’re rapping on the “Christian Dior Denim Flow.” Does rapping lend itself more to talking about those deeper topics?

I’m just gonna do whatever I feel in the studio. I appreciate Kanye, Pusha, Fab. But I mean, Pusha jumped on a rap recoerd that I did on my last album. Even when I listen to that record, and I really think about it, I think to myself [that] I wasn’t bringing my super A game. When you grow up your whole life and people tell you, ‘Oh, you’re talented’ and you go to Harvard, like I did, and people are like, ‘Oh, you’re really smart,’ because a lot of folks just don’t work hard you realize that you can get over. You know what I mean? So I feel like in a lot of ways with my first two records, just because I could, I made records and I put them out. Because it may have been more musically sophisticated than something else that was out or anything else that people could compare it to, I was able to get whatever respect and be embraced the way that I was. I listened to those records and I realized to myself that I’m shortchanging myself and my audience and my legacy if I don’t really dig deeper. So I could write you a song and sing you a song right now on the phone about, ‘Hey, I walked down the street and I saw this girl and she’s the most beautiful girl in the world and my heart opened up and now it sings for her’ and I create a metaphor about it, but I feel as though that’s an artistic cop-out. I think people are relative and they compare stuff, so I feel that’s the reason why I’m still on the up. I’m still on an upward trajectory. I haven’t peaked yet.

But there are very well composed songs on those two albums as far as the song structures. You definitely stamped your own sound. Are you working on a new sound?

No, I’m just talking about an evolution. Like, a sophistication. I'm gonna be really frank with you. I feel like I did a disservice to my audience with those albums because I was really able to do those records. I appreciate what you’re saying about them, but I was able to do each one of those records was like a 20-minute record. That’s the thing. If I walk in the studio and order some Chinese food, touch the keyboards and that’s what I can do... Like I said, I can sit down in my apartment right now, sit down at the piano and give you a fully structured song right now just off the top of my head. What I’m saying is that’s a disservice to myself artistically, so what I wanna do with this record is really evolve the art of making records. So if you liked what we did and you thought they were sophisticated and you appreciated it then I feel like what I’m gonna do now is just gonna be completely over everyone’s head or you’ll appreciate it more because I’m going to put 10 times as much attention to really executing my creative vision.

Did Kanye influence that at all? He has a similar mentality of going deeper.

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Michael Jordan Pledges $100 Million Towards Racial Equality Organizations

Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand are committed to “improving the lives of Black people.” The basketball legend and his company pledged to donate $100 million to organizations working to end racal injustice.

Jordan Brand announced a 10-year plan on social media on Friday (June 5). “Black lives matter. This isn’t a controversial statement. Until the ingrained racism that allows our countr'y institutions to fail is completely eradicated, we will remain committed to protecting and improving the lives of Black people,” the statement reads in part.

“Today, we are announcing the Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand will be donating $100 million over the next 10 years to organizations dedicated to ensuring racial equality, social justice and greater access to education.”

Jordan has become more vocal about social issues as of late. In 2016, he donated $1 million to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the International Association of Chiefs of Police's Institute for Community-Police Relations and called  for “solutions that ensure people of color receive fair and equal treatment AND that police officers — who put their lives on the line every day to protect us all — are respected and supported.”

Read's the Jordan's Brands full statement on the $100 million initiative below.

Black lives matter. This isn't a controversial statement. We are you. We are a family. We are a community. pic.twitter.com/cGH8bJl1GQ

— Jordan (@Jumpman23) June 5, 2020

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Man Who Killed Ahmaud Arbery Called Him The N-Word, Investigator Says

A special agent investigating the murder of Ahmaud Arbery revealed details of the aftermath of the fatal shooting. Travis McMichael  called Arbery a “fu**ing ni**er” after shooting and killing him, Richard Dial, of Georgia's Bureau of Investigation, revealed during a preliminary hearing in a Brunswick court on Thursday (June 4).

Dial testified that Travis used the n-word on at least two other occasions. “One particular one that comes to mind was he made the statement that he loved his job because he’s out on a boat and there aren’t any n-words anywhere,” Dial said per NBC News.

Travis, 34, and his father, Gregory McMichaels, 54, attended Thursday’s hearing via video phone from jail. William “Roddie” Bryan, the third man arrested for Arbery’s murder, did not attend the hearing, where a judge ruled that there was enough evidence to for a trial. Bryan reportedly told police about Travis using the n-word after killing Arbery, which the McMichaels deny. The use of a racial slur won't affect the case since Georgia has no hate crime laws.

The McMichaels are charged with felony murder and aggravated assault, for killing 25-year-old Arbery while he was out for a run in February. According to Dial, Bryan admitted to trying to block Arbery with his truck before hitting him with the vehicle. “The victim was chased, hunted down and and ultimately executed at the hands of these men,” Cobb County Chief Assistant D.A. Jesse Evans said in court.

Bryan, the McMichaels’ neighbor who recorded Arbery’s murder on his cell phone, faces felony murder, criminal contempt, and false imprisonment. All three men were arrested last month.

Grizzly footage of the deadly incident was played in court. In Bryan’s leaked cell phone recording, the men are seen surrounding Arbery, who attempts to wrestle a gun away from Travis while fighting for his life despite being shot in the chest. Travis admitted to firing three times, hitting Arbery in the middle of his chest, as well as the upper left chest area near his armpit, and in the wrist.

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Trina Apologizes For Comments About Protestors After Receiving Backlash

After catching backlash for her controversial rant about protesters, Trina apologized and clarified her comments via her Trick 'N Trina Morning Show with Trick Daddy on Miami’s 99 Jamz on Thursday (June 4).

“I just want to say I apologize sincerely to everybody I offended by what I said. I spoke passionately about how I felt about people destroying our community here in Miami,” said Trina.

Trina takes full responsibility for her comments and apologizes on the #TrickAndTrinaMorningShow pic.twitter.com/qG9A5OVe0y

— Female Rap Room (@FemaleRapRoom) June 4, 2020

The Diamond Princess explained that her previous comments seemingly likening protestors to “animals,” weren't directed at Black people who are working to bring about change. “I'm not going to say ‘Black people are animals. But I didn't say ‘Hey all of my people I'm not talking to you.’”

The Miami native went on to reveal that she has educated herself on the goal of Black Lives Matter protests. “When we spoke to the commissioner, I said to Trick [Daddy], ‘I learned a lot more about what's really happening,’ because I'm trying to get what’s the solution, what is the answer to everything that is happening? It’s more than just people in the streets doing whatever, it’s the commissioners, it’s the governor, it’s the mayor, the chief of police, I had no idea of that and now I’m understanding that. These are the people that has to protect the cities. These are the people that you want answers from, you want change.”

Trina Apologizes After Controversial Comments: I Would Never Call Black People Animals Or Any Name pic.twitter.com/y3fMWw3OiH

— theJasmineBRAND (@thejasminebrand) June 4, 2020

On Tuesday, Trick and Trina were discussing the recent uprisings in Miami when she began ranting about looters. “They need to make the curfew at 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. Keep everybody off the street, these animals off the streets, that are running around Miami-Dade County acting like they have escaped from a zoo. Lock them up at 5 p.m. so the streets can be nice and clean.”

Trina on radio calling on extending the curfew and to “keep everybody off the streets, these animals off the streets” pic.twitter.com/khdWunSNrE

— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) June 3, 2020

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