Ryan Leslie-Carnival of Venice (Video)

Despite my appreciation of his past works, I’ve distanced myself from R-Les’ recent efforts as his new penchant for rapping seems a waste of his singing talents. Nonetheless, there’s only so long I can sulk.

The lyricism is as ‘bragger rap’ as you’d expect from a relatively mainstream act, but with a better twist as he often focuses on his half-decent intentions for his wealth, whilst also having progression in moving through his day to his evening. It’s not going to lyrically blow anyone’s mind, but is change from the usual fare, and comes packed into an intense flow with a monotony that enhances the beat’s impact. !llmind serves up an excellent backdrop here, arguably the track’s highlight, with dark, moody synths blending with raw, scratchy production and ominous vocal sampling for a beat that will be the envy of many, and would certainly afford more praise had it been given to a more established MC.

The visual has a nice pacing to it, slow with quick scene changes that match up well to the movements of the audio, and does well in tandem with the music. It’s hard to hate this; credit to R-Les for delivering quality in a different lane to his usual style.

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