HHNM: We have seen some fans criticize that you’re only showcasing your expensive lifestyle in the videos for the album. How do you respond to that?
Ryan Leslie: Well, I respond that for me, I can only write about the experiences that I’m having and I do understand that the way that I live is unique to me. I share it with the world in effort to be aspirational and inspirational with this level of work ethic. And with this level of attention to the artistic contribution, anything is possible and so I do it for everybody that actually applauds my work. And I think if you actually dig deeper, you’ll realize that there’s a human undertone to everything. As the series unfolds, like the next record is ‘Maybachs & Diamonds’, you will see that there’s really no substitute to investing the time that is necessary to maintain the most valuable treasures in life which are the relationships we have.
HHNM: Okay makes sense. So are we gonna see a video for each song on the album?
Ryan Leslie: Well there is a “visual”, I wouldn’t say there is a video for each one. ‘Dress You To Undress You’ just dropped, next one is ‘Maybachs & Diamonds’. Then there’s ‘Swiss Francs’, the original version. We actually had to deal with a leak for the French version, our partner in France released the remix prematurely but the video is done for the original version.
HHNM: Yeah, ‘Swiss Francs’ sounds super dope. The ‘Maybachs & Diamonds’ joint that you mentioned, is that gonna be solo or is it the one featuring Rick Ross?
Ryan Leslie: When we made that record, that was specifically for the musical direction and the mind-set Rick was in at that time. If you really look back a few years ago, creatively and musically he has gone in a different direction now but I felt that the record was still fitting for this project so it’s just gonna be me on this one.
HHNM: Cool. My next question is a lil tough one. If you had to pick one between a platinum album and a sold out Madison Square Garden concert, what would it be?
Ryan Leslie: Oh man. It depends how many times we sold it out. If it was like Jay at the Barclays Center 8 nights in a row then you know. Ha. The other interesting aspect of that question is that does the platinum album actually co-relate with that sold out concert? I mean if a million people bought my record, will we be able pack 20k of them into MSG. So yeah, I think going platinum independent would be awesome.
HHNM: Definitely. What’s the status of the super group with Fabolous and Ne-Yo? Is it still a reality?
Ryan Leslie: It is always an option. It’s just gonna depend on scheduling.
HHNM: Okay one last question and this is something we ask everyone we interview here at Hip Hop N More: Prince or Michael Jackson and why?
Ryan Leslie: Well, I will say Prince because I still have the opportunity to collaborate with him.
HHNM: Right. And I see elements of his influence on your music like you write, produce, sing, do everything on your own like he does so I figured you’d be inclined towards him.
Ryan Leslie: Yeah, definitely. But in terms of just explosiveness, for me it’s just a different level when you talk of Michael.
HHNM: I get that. Thanks again for talking to me today, I really enjoyed.
Ryan Leslie: Same here. Thanks for all the support.