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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The Jehovah's Witness community is reportedly being investigated for allegedly keeping a secret database that listed thousands of "undocumented" child molesters within the community, The Atlantic reports.

According to the latest report, the information was obtained after the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, which serves as the head of the Jehovah's Witness organization, sent a survey to its 10,883 U.S. Kingdom Halls seeking information about members of the community accused of sexual abuse in 1997. The survey was reportedly comprised of 12 questions, including how the community viewed the alleged abusers, whether the abuse was a one-time occurrence, and more.

The responses were then mailed back to the Watchtower in a blue envelope and scanned into a Microsoft SharePoint. It was never shared with the police, however.

In 2014, a man filed a lawsuit against the Watchtower, claiming he was molested by a Jehovah's Witness leader in 1986. During that case, the Watchtower disclosed that its U.S. headquarters had received 775 blue envelopes from 1997 to 2001.

In 2012, Candace Conti, a former member of the community, was awarded $28 million by a jury after claiming a man she worked with for a community service project sexually abused her when she was nine and group leaders ignored her because of the  "two-witness rule."

According to The Atlantic, the organization's "two-witness rule" requests that two people bare witness to the crime being alleged. "Barring a confession, no member of the organization can be officially accused of committing a sin without two credible eyewitnesses who are willing to corroborate the accusation," the rule states. Critics have said that the rule makes it easier for child molesters to abuse kids.  

According to estimates, the number of accused Jehovah's Witness child molesters listed in the secret database could range from 18,000 to 23,000. It's unclear how police are proceeding in light of the new report.

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Report: Streaming Services Account For 93 Percent Of Latin Music's Revenue

A new report by the Record Industry Association of America (RIAA) found that streaming is now making up 93 percent of Latin music’s total revenue in the U.S., Billboard reports. This amount is in comparison to the 75 percent made of all other genres in total in the U.S. by the various streaming platforms available. It’s estimated that now Latin music currently accounts for 4.2 percent of the total $9.8 billion dollars of the music business in the U.S. The figure has increased since last year, which stood at 4 percent.

"Latin music’s transformation from a physical-based business to a streaming driven one is even faster than the overall U.S. music market’s turnaround," reads the 2018 Latin music revenue report. Most of the revenue comes from paid subscriptions, which make up a total of 58 percent of the genre’s revenue.

These paid subscriptions all come from music/content streaming services like Amazon Unlimited, Spotify Premium, Apple Music, which all grew 48 percent year by year. Ultimately, the growth generated a cool $239 million. Revenue from other ad-driven platforms like YouTube and Vevo garnered a total of 34 percent, which made $93 million. The sub-category made Latin music 24 percent in revenue, which is three times larger than the average eight percent made off the U.S. general market.

The artists whom helped push forward the genre digitally within the last year have been: Ozuna, Daddy Yankee, J.Balvin and Karol G, among others. "Overall, the Latin music market is showing signs of strength again," the report stated. "We are excited for the next chapter of this comeback story."

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Tone Loc Detained After Confronting Family Over Confederate Flag Hat

West Coast rapper Tone Loc was reportedly detained at the Midland International Air & Space Port in Texas on Sunday (Mar. 24). He was reportedly handcuffed by airport security after aggressively confronting the parents of a teenage boy who was wearing a Confederate flag hat, CBS7 reports.

The incident reportedly started when the 53-year-old– born Anthony Terrell Smith– confronted a teenager who was wearing the controversial hat at baggage claim.

"How are you going to wear that in front of a black man?" Loc asked the boy, according to witnesses.

The teenage boy's parents reportedly stepped in and reprimanded the rapper for talking to their son in such an aggressive tone. The rapper apologized but continued to state that the boy should not be wearing the hat.

The argument didn't stop there though. The family and Loc continued the heated altercation outside. In a video obtained by an NBC affiliate, the "Wild Thing" artist could be heard shouting: "F**k all that Confederate sh*t."

Authorities were later called to the scene where they separated both parties and detained Loc. Once the situation de-escalated, the handcuffs were removed, and Loc was permitted to leave. No criminal charges were filed.

Watch a clip of the incident below.


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