Ryan Leslie Q&A (Pg. 3)


I wouldn’t say that he influenced it; I would say that he validated it. I spent the last week and a half in the studio every night soaking up whatever I could soak up from the entire thing. From him doing his film to doing the G.O.O.D Fridays thing to being there for the collaboration on the Lloyd Banks new single “Start It Up” to—I did all of that in addition to doing two records with Jasmine Villegas to doing another independent project to actually doing all the stuff that I’m doing to set up my musical tracks for my tour. I just did it all. So he’s probably one person who I would say shares the sensibility and the passion for exactly what I was feeling, and to see that actually manifested was validating and reassuring and encouraging. I believe that my experiences in the studio over the last week and a half doing all of these projects and at six o’clock in the morning, when my studio [session] is over, I could still hit ‘Ye and be like, ‘Yo! Where are you at’ and he’s at his edit then I know that there are other people in the world that are that committed and that passionate.

Have you heard Kanye’s album?

Yeah, I heard the album. I think that he should speak on his own album. He should be the person that really is the messenger. First of all, I think the music should speak for itself, and if he does choose to speak about it, he can speak about it. But I’ve heard it, I’m really excited about it and I’ve seen the work he’s put into it—the revisions and what everyone knows and expects from Kanye. The perfectionist and someone that’s really, really passionate about his artistic and creative vision.

You said you played some of your material for Swizz and Kanye. What’s been the feedback and how did it help you?

It was really good feedback. I’m very sparing with feedback because, at the end of the day, I’ve never really done music for… As an artist, we all do music because we want to entertain people and we want to make peple feel good. We appreciate the adulation. For me, I was a nerd growing up. Straight up. Coke-bottle glasses, retainer, head gear, the whole nine yards, but when I got on stage rapping and singing, that’s when it was like, ‘Oh, okay. Well, Ryan’s actually cool. He’s entertaining us.’ So I am very cognizant that that’s the root of it and at this point now, you have to grow up because you’re not doing it for that reason anymore. That’s what you did it for when you were a child. Now you've matured, so now you have to do it for reasons beyond that very surface reason. So it’s just very encouraging when other artists can appreciate it and validate it by even listening to it and giving feedback or constructive feedback. But even still, for the new music, I really want the music to speak for itself. The stuff that you’ve heard already, we’ve had a really good response to it.

Have you worked with Nicki Minaj at all or plan to?

No, I would love to work with her. If you have a contact or if she reads this or hears this interview or whatever and she wants to reach out to me, I’m on Twitter, I’m on Facebook, it’s easy to reach me. It’s very easy to reach me if somebody wants to work, so I would love to work with Nicki. I like what she’s doing, and I think we could make records that are relevant for pop culture, or we could just do a fun record. Whatever she wants to do. I think we could have a fun time collaborating.

Kanye said Lloyd Banks is underrated and should be top 5 rappers. Do you agree? 

I really, really, really like Banks. When I think about Nas, when I was really getting introduced to hip-hop—I really got introduced around Tribe Called Quest, Nas, DJ Premier, Gang Starr. When I listen to Nas and then I listen to Banks’ flow, I really hear echoes of that time and how excited I was about hip-hop when I first heard those records. I’m not gonna sit here and say that I’m some sort of hip-hop documentarian or historian, I just know the records that I really liked. And I listen to Banks’ flow and I can hear echoes of those records and that sort of rhyme sensibility, so I had a really enlightening and enriching time working with him in the studio, and I’m really excited to see how this “Start It Up” record is gonna do for him. He came off with “Beamer, Benz Or Bentley.” It went gold digitally, but I’m really excited to see… He has a great line-up around him on this next single. Between ‘Ye, Swizz, Fab [and] myself there’s just a lot of integrity right there. There’s a lot of strong, real artistic contribution historically just in those names. I like that for him and I’m excited for him. 

You mentioned leaving Universal. Are you unsigned right now?

Yeah, I’m signed to myself, which is Next Selection. I’m enjoying the freedom of being totally independent. I appreciate that I’ve built enough respect and goodwill that I can still collaborate with the people that I’ve been collaborating with without any sort of stigma attached. I’m very, very thankful, humbled, honored that I’ve been able to build a reputation for myself musically that I’m still able to freely work with folks and produce and rap can continue to do what I do which is make the best music I know how to make.

Any chance of a G.O.O.D. Music signing?

There really hasn’t been any discussion or an offer or anything made. I mean, right now it’s been really music driven. I think signings are very business-driven: ‘Hey, we can make money with somebody. Let’s make the investment. Let’s put the loan. Let’s make the advances and then let’s rock.’ If those conversations occur and I feel like talking about them and an announcement gets made, I’m sure you’ll hear about it. 

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Twitter Users Make #SurvivingCardiB Trend After Claims Of Drugging And Robbing Men

What started out as Cardi B addressing critics who believe she doesn't deserve the accolades she's received swiftly turned into a controversial revelation. The "Money" rapper went on Instagram Live to address the detractors but caused a stir for reportedly stating that she used to drug and rob men.

"Ni**as must've forgot, my ni**a, the sh*t that I did to motherf*cking survive. I had to go strip. I had to go, ‘Oh yeah, you wanna f**k me?' Yeah yeah yeah, let’s go back to this hotel," Cardi said. "And I drugged ni**as up and I robbed them. That’s what I used to do. Nothing was motherf**king handed to me, my ni**a. Nothing!”

Rapper #CardiB admits to using sex to DRUG men and ROB them of their money.

— 24/7 HipHop News (@BenjaminEnfield) March 25, 2019

The mother-of-one's revelation spawned more criticism and resulted in the hashtag #SurvivingCardiB. A few Twitter users claimed that the Bronx native should be regarded in the same light as Bill Cosby and R. Kelly due to her admission, while others even called for the "Bodak Yellow" rapper to be removed from Hustlers, an upcoming film with Jennifer Lopez.

I’m sorry @JLo but if @iamcardib is in your new movie than I will NOT be watching! She admitted to drugging men and robbing them, if you are okay with that than you are part of the problem! #MeToo #SurvivingCardiB

— CoreyDLikeMe (@GodAmongYouAz1) March 26, 2019

I’m done with my @iamcardib commentary. I’ve been saying this since she came out she represents the worst in popular culture is a horrible example for girls and women and should not be put up on a pedestal. #survivingCardiB

— Kwesi 🇬🇭 (@thejollofking) March 26, 2019

@iamcardib this isn’t about ruining your career. This is about holding you accountable for your actions. You started this, we need to end it. The artist and the art can no longer be separate. #survivingCardi #TimesUp

— ceara (@cearablue) March 26, 2019

The 26-year-old artist has yet to specifically address the situation, but her recent tweets seemingly speak to the incident in question.


When they try to cancel me on Twitter and instagram 🤪🤪🤪😊😊😊😊😊😊

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) March 24, 2019


— iamcardib (@iamcardib) March 26, 2019

I never claim to be a angel I always been a street bitch Ya be glorifying this street rappers that talk and do that grimmey street shit but they can’t stand a street bitch!

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) March 24, 2019

Don’t come harrasing me on my page and when I reply back ya get upset .GTFOH! If you not BARDIGANG then why the fuck you here ?

— iamcardib (@iamcardib) March 24, 2019

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Michael Avenatti, the former lawyer for adult film actress Stormy Daniels' and a fierce critic of President Donald Trump, speaks to the media after being arrested for allegedly trying to extort Nike for $15-$25 million on March 25, 2019 in New York City. The counts against Avenatti are to include conspiracy to transmit interstate communications with intent to extort, conspiracy to commit extortion and more. Avenatti is expected to answer to the charges later Monday.(Photo by Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Michael Avenatti's Extortion Scandal Might Help R. Kelly Avoid Criminal Case

R. Kelly might evade another sexual misconduct trial again thanks to Michael Avenatti's extortion case.

The prosecutor, who has claimed to have multiple tapes of the singer engaging in sexual acts with underage girls, was indicted Monday (March 25) on a wire fraud scheme against Nike. The 48-year-old reportedly threatened to expose the company for paying college basketball players and their families. Avenatti tried to convince Nike to hire him to launch an internal investigation for $15 to $25 million. Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos was also named as a co-conspirator.

The very messy case has allowed R. Kelly's legal team to question how Avenatti retrieved the tapes for his case against the singer. Speaking to TMZ Tuesday (March 26), Kelly's lawyer Steve Greenberg believes Avenatti's credibility is shot. The unidentified man who was handed the tape over to Avenatti reportedly had a history with Kelly–he recently shared with prosecutors how he was paid upwards of a million dollars by Kelly's camp to keep the tape from the public.

Greenberg believes Avenatti might've used unlawful practices to get his hands on the tape. This might mean the troublesome case could be thrown out thanks to Avenatti's behavior.

This hasn't stopped the prosecutor from his battle against Nike. After he was released from police custody Monday, Avenatti took to Twitter to drop names in the alleged Nike funneling scandal and claimed the company orchestrated his arrest as a distraction. “We never attempted to extort Nike & when the evidence is disclosed, the public will learn the truth about Nike’s crime & coverup,” he wrote on Twitter. 

Nike said in a statement they have been cooperated with officials in the NCAA investigation for over a year.

Either way, the rights and justices for black girls have been overshadowed by greed and corruption.

This hasn't affected Geragos' latest client Jussie Smollett. It was reported this morning that all charges against the Empire actor in relation to his alleged staged attack have been dropped.

See Twitter reactions from Avenatti's case below.

So uhhh, y'all couldn't tell/didn't realize #MichaelAvenatti was an "ain't sh**" mofo?

— Ms. Williams (@MsWilliamsWorld) March 25, 2019

And to think--some folks ACTUALLY thought #MichaelAvenatti cared about the young women attached to the R. Kelly case...

— Ms. Williams (@MsWilliamsWorld) March 25, 2019

Mark Garagos is scum. He represented Michael Jackson, wife killer Scott Peterson and Cameron Brown, who was accused of killing his 4 y/o daughter by throwing her off a cliff.

— Nasty Woman (@HandToForehead) March 25, 2019

OPPSCNN - Having a really bad dayAvenatti - Having a REALLY bad day

Now, Jussie Smollett is having a really bad day.Mark Garagos co-conspirator w/Michael Avenatti.

Garagos works for CNN AND Jussie Smollett.

Celebs are awfully quiet today.Trump - Having a great day as POTUS

— Charlene Worley (@cworley2007) March 25, 2019

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Scott Eells/Getty Images

Barbados' 2019 Reggae Festival To Feature Buju Banton, Barrington Levy And More

On the heels of its 15th installment, Barbados is gearing up for the return of its Reggae Festival from April 27-30. The concert will be attended by Splash Band, Judy Boucher, Barrington Levy, plus more prominent voices in the genre.

To kick-off the festivities, Buju Banton will hit the stage on April 27 at Kensington Oval. According to a press release, the last time the "Hills And Valleys" artist performed in Barbados was at the country's 2006 edition of the same festival. Artists set to perform as well include Spragga Benz, Wayne Wonder and more.

On day two (April 28), Pirates Cove will serve as a temporary performing space for another iconic musician, Sizzla. Busy Signal will also rock the mic ahead of the festival's finale at Kensington Oval. The location will be home to the Vintage Reggae Show and Dance (April 30), that'll host performances by Admiral Tibet, George Nooks, and the pioneering Barrington Levy.

Tickets for the event are available here.

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