NEW YORK — For any girl who takes her style seriously — like, blow the rent on a striped concoction from Prada's spring/summer 2011 collection serious — 2010 was a good year for primpin'-ain't-easy rap. Big, tag-flaunting singles like Drake's "Fancy" and Rick Ross' "Super High" expressed shock, awe and appreciation for girls and their fashion. And, for coining the word "shoe-icide" alone, the Ryan Leslie-produced Fabolous single "You Be Killin' 'Em" earned monster status on that playlist.
Now, Leslie is aiming to follow up the radio smash with another heater. We ventured downtown last week and caught up with R.Les just before he headed out for his Coachella festival debut. He gave us a preview of Les Is More, his first post-Universal, indie release due July 4, teased his much-discussed supergroup and let us in on "You Be Killin' 'Em" — the sequel.
"We just did a 'You Be Killin' 'Em,' part 2 called 'Look at Her,' " he said just minutes after the remix hit the Net last Tuesday. "I remember the night that we did it, we did it in-studio and then took it to Greenhouse and had [DJ] Suss-One bring it back like four, five times," Leslie smiled, reliving that night at the Soho nightspot. "I was about to leave and Suss-One was like, " 'Yo, I'mma bring it back two more times!' It's an event; it sounds like an event."
Leslie has considerably slowed the driving bassline on Funeral Fab's There Is No Competition 2 original, in favor of a synthy, sultry, top-down remix that has Ne-Yo "wailing on the chorus" and Loso spitting his "usual piercing and interrupting raps." Though R.Les has been rocking his MC hat lately, Harvard-educated singer/songwriter/producer stays mainly behind the boards on this one, save for a few adlibs.
Fans of the trio likely know that Ne-Yo's cameo is no accident. At least as far back as 2009, the musical threesome have been teasing a supergroup that would spawn an official release.
"It's something that we've been announcing and talking about for years, I guess, now," R.Les laughed. "There's just a really great chemistry. I mean, all three [of us are] super talented, passionate, really awesome creative people, and so we're just taking our time. It needs to be organic and it needs to feel honest," he added. "When we have a body of work that we feel reflects everything that we can bring to the table collectively then I don't think it'll be a problem. I think the demand will be there and I think the music will speak for itself.
Sensing they're already onto something, a confident Leslie told us, "I think if that collaboration is any indication, it's definitely gonna be a monumental project."
Meanwhile, R.Les has his hands in a range of projects, including Kanye West and Jay-Z's Watch the Throne, a trilogy of cinema-style videos from Les Is More and, up next, the video for "Glory."
What do you think of the remix of "You Be Killin' 'Em"? Tell us in the comments!