Published Oct 20, 2009Ryan Leslie might just be the hardest working man in R&B. Having graduated from Harvard at the age of 19, he's certainly no stranger to the concept. In addition to being an artist, producer and multi-instrumentalist and a budding behind the scenes figure (he ushered coquettish Cassie and her hit single "Me & U" into the spotlight), Leslie is set to release his second, yes second solo album of the year on a major label.
The fact that Transition will be surfacing just nine months after his self-titled debut can be partly attributed to his apparently indefatigable studio lab-rat tendencies (obsessively documented on his YouTube channel), and also to the overwhelming yawn of indifference that greeted the underrated record.
Obviously keen to bridge the chasm between his online popularity and commercial success, Leslie - or R. Les as he prefers to self-invoke – and his label are no doubt keen to ride the momentum of his stellar overseeing of Fabolous' "Everything, Everyday, Everywhere" hit single.
"You're Not My Girl" is littered with the subtle intricacies that have attracted many to Leslie's production and flaunts its 80s influences with its stuttered funk and Bernard Edwards style guitar riffs as Leslie's nasal reading lays out the rules to casual infidelity.
While the attempt to cast Leslie in the video within the mold of the modern R&B artist blueprint fits about as snugly as a square peg in a round hole, (witness the incredibly awkward dance moves), its perhaps ultimately fitting that Leslie's songs rather than his image do much of the heavy lifting.
Watch Ryan Leslie's "You're Not My Girl" here.