While he has seen some major label success, Ryan Leslie is now releasing music independently. Leslie is presently preparing his next project, Les is More. The first single off of this album is "Glory" and it finds Leslie showcasing his rapping ability more prominently. After dropping the album on the 4th of July, Leslie will be promoting the album through various concerts including a showing at at Lollapalooza. Recently, Ryan Leslie spoke about his rapping and the move to independent releases in an interview with The Boombox.
"It's a rap album so it's markedly different from the other two and many people think it's a risky move. Here's a guy coming off a Grammy-nominated contemporary R&B album, deciding that he wants to exercise his creative and artist license to make a rap album. I would venture to say that my former distribution company might not have supported that decision. But since it's now my own independent venture, I'm able to do any and everything that I want to do," he noted in the interview.
The video for his latest single, "Glory," is below.
Another independent artist, Cormega, is speaking about the importance of underground emcees collaborating for a greater cause. In an interview with Legal Hustle TV, the emcee noted that it's important to come together.
"Everybody always depending on the mainstream," he said in the interview, before saying some "We Are the World" type of records have been "disgustingly wack, but at least they did it, whereas the underground niggas didn't do nothing. It's like, c'mon. "Self Destruction" was underground niggas that got together and did that. They wasn't waiting on the top niggas. They said, 'Let's do it.'"
"Self Destruction" was a song created in 1989 as part of the Stop the Violence Movement. KRS-One, MC Lyte, Doug E. Fresh and Heavy D were among the artists featured on the song. The throwback video is below.
Finally, the Texas Urban Music Summit 4, which will be held in downtown Houston, Texas, is set to take place August 24 through August 28. The summit, also referred to as Texas U.M.S. will feature appearances by The Core DJs, a book signing by Malice from The Clipse and an artist showcase from T.I.'s Grand Hustle Records. The theme for this year's summit is "Honoring and Respecting the DJ."
Texas U.M.S. will also feature panels like "Knowledge is Power" and "Where Do We Go From Here," to discuss topics important to urban music. In addition, the summit will host a DJ Honors ceremony with a special tribute to DJ Screw and Jam Master J. They will also honor others including DJ Kool Herc, DJ Scratch and more.