Are Ryan Leslie’s Rhymes Fresh Enough On ‘5 Minute Freshen Up’?

Admittedly, I slept on Ryan Leslie for a minute. As the dude behind Cassie's mind-boggling "singing" career, I quickly wrote him off as someone as equally devoid of actual talent as his protege. It wasn't until he released his third album, Transitions, that I finally decided to see what all the hoopla was about. While his singing (and dancing) abilities were debatable, it was hard to deny the infectiousness of his tracks. So when he announced his fourth album was in the works, I added it to my list of things to check for. After several delays, Leslie is finally ready to deliver Les Is More to his ever-growing fanbase. Billed as a "visual album," he has been releasing a new video each month. The most recent video to hit the net is "5 Minute Freshen Up." Although he'd drop a few bars here and there in the past, "5 Minute Freshen Up" finds R. Les tapping into his Drizzy Drake side by rapping the entire song. I mean really, even down to the mannerisms, he comes across like a slighter, flashier version of Aubrey. And as someone who thinks Drake's lyrical ability is nothing to write home about, I found Leslie's raps equally as bland as he goes on and on about his money, his cars and everything else that mainstream rappers love to talk about these days. He even makes reference to the recent OCCUPY Wall Street movement, taking care to point out that he's part of the elite 1%. Not for nothing though, the beat, as usual is pretty tight. Despite my feelings about it, I'm sure there'll be more than a few of his loyal fans who will eagerly drink up this kool-aid. Unfortunately, this is just one drink I'll be passing on.

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