“The Rap Weasel” @RyanLeslie shed some crocodile tears during a performance at Long Island University. If you’ve been out the loop, R. Les has been in an ongoing legal battle over reward money he promised to whomever returned the laptop he lost in Germany 2 years ago. We reported that the judge and jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff. In response, Ryan had something to say to the crowd in attendance at a LIU’s homecoming show he rocked in upstate New York. Through the tears he speaks to the audience. Read the transcript and watch the footage below.
“As you may or may not know – in 2010, somebody stole all my music from me out the back of a black Mercedes-Benz when I was in Cologne, Germany. Initially I put a reward of $20,000 if they’d just give my backpack back – and when it never returned, I upped the reward to $1MM because that music was absolutely everything to me, it was everything, it was my life, it was everything, I upped it to $1MM.
Eventually, somebody did actually return my backpack to me – and when I plugged in that hard drive to access everything that I had lost, the music just wasn’t there. The hard drive wouldn’t mount. I couldn’t access anything – and a year later, that same gentleman (I don’t know if it’s because he misunderstood what the million dollars was for) … he filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in New York City, demanding that I pay $1MM for music that I never got back.
And yesterday (and the reason why I’m on the front page of the news today) everyone thought I was just a cheapskate or something like that – a jury of my peers, 8 people, they looked me in my face and told me I had to pay this man $1MM for music I never got back.
And so I woke up today to get me some orange juice, man, and the lady who works at the deli was like ‘aw man – you’re the guy on the front page of the paper today!’ and I looked at the headline. It said ‘Rap Weasel…’
Yo – hahahaa, that’s like my twin brother – somebody said ‘Swizzy!’
So listen, man – music always comes from a place of inspiration and I gotta tell ya’ll – never have I been more inspired than when I lost everything then to try to make the most incredible album I could possibly make and for the last two years I invested every single penny, every dollar I had, to make the most incredible artistic offering I possibly could and on October 22nd it came out. It’s my album. It’s called ‘Les Is More.’
And despite what the jury said, that million dollar reward is still out there for anybody who can return all my compositions to me. That’s why I never took the video off of YouTube. I never got anything back, but luckily God blessed me with talent and I could make some of the music over again, you know what I’m saying?
So I appreciate each and everyone of y’all for your support tonight and for the future ’cause we gonna keep making this music and we gonna try to work something out with my man over in Germany – maybe he misunderstood – but this is a record off that album.”