For two decades now, hip hop has ruled American pop music. To rule in hip hop is to rule the pop culture. The heirs to Quincy Jones are Diddy and Jay-Z. And maybe next, Ryan Leslie, a hitmaker.
His first big pop creation is Cassie, with her hit “Me & U.” Behind him is the remarkable story of a striver son of Salvation Army parents, Harvard at 15, the company of Beyonce and Usher and Sean Diddy Combs. Ahead, a shot at hip hop royalty.
This hour On Point: Ryan Leslie and the run for the pop culture crown.
Ryan Leslie, he has collaborated as a producer and songwriter with Usher, Diddy, Beyonce and Britney Spears. He launched the singer Cassie to the No. 3 spot on the billboard chart this summer with her song “Me & U.”
Cassie Ventura, her single “Me & U” reached No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
Tommy Mottola, former chairman of Sony Music. He is now co-owner of Casablanca Records.
Sean “Diddy” Combs, one of the most successful entertainers and entrepreneurs. He is head of the media empire Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group.