Meeting with Jay Z was a great experience. He is my favorite rapper, so it was like a dream come true to me. When we met he acknowledged me and told me to keep working hard and doing my thing. It was one of the most memorable things in my life, period.
It seems like you have a passion real passion for artistry. How long have you been making music, and why did you decide to start?
I’ve been making music since I was 12 years old and now I’m 25. It’s been over 10 years I’ve been working on my skills. I decided to start making music because it’s something that has always touched me. I have always loved making music.
Often times people of Haitian decent have parents that want them to enter a profession like medicine or law. When you made the decision to pursue a music career, what was it like telling your parents?
My mom has always been supportive. She was the first person to put me in the studio actually. She is one of my biggest fans.
Congratulations on signing with Epic Records. How did you go about meeting L.A. Reid and attaining a record deal?
Well, my brother Future was the one who put together the meeting for me to make that happen, he made my dreams come true. Meeting LA Reid was great.
For the full interview visit The Hype Magazine where my article was originally published.
By Valerie Victor
The Bad Boy Family Reunion Tour is one of the biggest concerts that ever hit Brooklyn, NY. The tour was put together to celebrate 20 years of Bad Boy Entertainment making quality music, and the influence the label has had on the industry to date.
Sean “Diddy” Combs, the CEO of Bad Boy, brought together his label’s most renowned talents such as Lil Kim, Mase, 112, Faith Evans, and French Montana to name a few. Combs also added acts such as DMX, Desiigner, Usher, Busta Rhymes, and even Jay Z to the list of acts creating an evening of musical mayhem.
As the Barclay’s Center slowly filled for a sold out show, one of New York City’s most notable DJ’s, Funk Master Flex, engaged the crowd and truly rocked the stadium before the show’s start. Spinning a number of Brooklyn felt records and Bad Boy hits, Flex definitely set the mood for one of the greatest Hip-Hop evenings in New York.
To start the show, a short montage of highlights from the best Bad Boy moments, and footage of none other than Bad Boy’s angel, Biggie Smalls, played for a stadium of thousands. At the real’s end, Diddy opened the show rhyming over a instrumental with Biggie’s voice playing and speaking in unison with Combs. Shortly after this opening act, Combs assured the crowd that he was, “just getting warmed up, and we have a lot in store for you. We have to do it right for Big.”
The first day of the concert was the night before what would’ve been the Notorious B.I.G.’s 44th birthday. Like Combs, throughout the evening, the entire Bad Boy line-up paid homage to Biggie and his legacy.
The entire evening was full of surprises. The crowd never knew who was coming on the stage next, which seemed to heighten the crowds reactions to each talent. The entire crowd recited song after song for every talent on stage.
To end the show, the entire team dressed in white Bad Boy labeled clothing. For their he final number, “Missing You,” the family was accompanied by a live choir using the end of the show to again, pay all final respects to the late Notorious BIG. To top it off, balloons and confetti filled the stadium while they performed the last song.
This concert, is undeniably one of the greatest concerts and celebrations around. What really makes the concert, is that it’s designed to be an experience. Due to the high demand of this show, and speedy ticket sales, the tour has been extended to a 24 city tour. The multi-city tour is scheduled to begin August 25, 2016, and end October 8, 2016, touching destinations such as Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, and Los Angeles to name a few.
To be a part of the Bad Boy Family experience, ticket details and tour dates can be found by visiting Live Nation.
This article was published in The Hype Magazine.
Arsonal: Well back at my college, Kean University in Jersey, a intern at BET used to throw this competition every Wednesday. The prize would be a chance to battle on 106 and Park. This was back in 2004 when AJ and Free were hosting. I won the college show that Wednesday, and ended up battling on 106 and Park for five weeks straight because no one could beat me.
HHW: How did the success of 106 and Park help take you to the next level?
Arsonal: Well I wasn’t truly into it until 2008, that’s when I got serious. I met Loaded Lux, and MOP, and we started getting a cypher going . Lux said how he believed in me, and that I had something special. Lux introduced me to battle rap, and said he wanted to put me into it. The very first battle I did changed my whole life. I embarrassed my opponent so bad, that he called himself a bitch. When I battled Tech 9 and won, the fight club wanted me after that. I never got paid to rap until then. All I knew was that I was just doing something I loved. I never expected to make money for my talent. That’s what really made me take things to another level, but I always pay homage to Lux for giving me the opportunity.
HHW: You have a very close relationship with Snoop Dogg. How did that come about?
Arsonal: Working with snoop, that was crazy! It was like favor for favor to be honest. In 2014 I was a part of the Live Cypher at the BET awards when snoop was hosting. Snoop had a battle that he wanted me involved in and I did it, I kept my word. So I told him I was trying to get in the live cypher for so long, and he told me to come rehearsals and that he would put me in the cypher. That year, I did the live cypher, the pre-show, post show, and parties as well. Since then, our relationship has been very cool. He also promised me a verse as a result of all of that. He kept his word and so I also have a song with Snoop where Sammy did the hook. He also took me on season seven of Nick Cannon’s, “Wildin’ Out.” The crazy thing is, Snoop was always one of my idols growing up.
For the full article visit Hip-Hop Weekly Magazine.
Post By Valerie Victor
Although Ryan Leslie’ has been working under the radar, his music is still reaching thousands of listener. His decision to maintain an independent music career has not slowed down his success as a musician and renowned producer.
Leslie recently performed for a packed house at the, “Highline Ballroom,” in New York City. His performance engaged the entire crowd and afterward Leslie held a private meet and greet for a few of his fans that purchased VIP passes. Read the exclusive one on one with Leslie below.
HHW: Tell me a little about the new technology you’re using to connect with your fans.
Ryan Leslie: “SuperPhone” is really a simple concept. Imagine having a phone number on every single one of your social followers. So for me, I have over 220,000 Instagram followers, and I have a phone number on over roughly 50,000 of them, a direct phone number. So in order to do that, you need a technology platform that’s intelligent, and that’s what Super Phone is. It’s an intelligence layer on my messages. That’s my real cell phone number, the same one my mom, my girl and everyone reaches me on. It’s a platform that allows me to organize all of these inbound requests.
HHW: What was it like transitioning from being on a music label to having an independent music career?
Ryan Leslie: It was exciting. And it continues to be exciting every day. I am learning every day. Technology is changing every day, and the world is changing every day.
HHW: I’ve noticed that as soon as someone follows you on social media, the telephone number is automatically provided to your new follower. The technology is so advanced. What would you say the about the relationship between having that intimate connection with your fans is and being a successful artist?
Ryan Leslie: It’s intrinsically linked. That’s how I would describe it. There is no the story of Ryan Leslie. It’s currently under ridden by the conversations that I’m having. Right now I’m having 48,000 conversations. 48, 276 conversations to be exact, and I’m enjoying it
HHW: I haven’t heard a Ryan Leslie single on the radio in a very long time. So, seeing your fans recite your music word for word was surprising. Going independent and taking control of your career doesn’t seem to have affected your fan base.
Ryan Leslie: The independent pathway, and being an independent artist is changing every day. I feel really fortunate to be able to draw an blueprint, so that other artists can follow. And if anybody has any questions, and really wants to learn more about it, my personal telephone number is published. You can just text me.
HHW: Tell me about the new project you’re working on.
Ryan Leslie: Me and Weezy are executive producing Rich Homie Quan’s album. I already took Quan out to Jamaica which was featured in the documentary I played at A3C. I already heard a couple of records that he’s done with Weezy that sounds amazing.
And then on my side, right now it’s about mentorship. When I look around, even in this room tonight, it’s like the next generation of that next wave. Young people who understand technology, understand social media, and truly understand the way it’s changing the world. They understand the way that their message can be further distributed, and make an impact. I’m interested in surrounding myself with that next wave. People that know the game is changing, and people who want to be positioned to win and be ahead of the game. That’s really all the projects that I am working on now. You can look in the room, Look at Pat, you can look at Luther, you can look at Destiny; these are folks that even at such a young age, are already game changers. I’m honored to be able to just be in that circle.
For the full article visit Hip-Hop Weekly Magazine where my article was originally published.