Video: Ryan Leslie, "Maybachs & Diamonds" + "Swiss Francs"

Lenny Kravitz, Grace Jones, Lauryn Hill, Lion Babe, Thundercat, SZA & More Rock The Afropunk Festival 2015 in Brooklyn, NY.

Ryan Leslie is as smooth as the cognac--or the soulful tracks featured in his newly-released video album, Les Is More. We’re blessed today with the videos for “Maybachs and Diamonds” and “Swiss Francs.” Both are filtered in black and white, but depict the life of a global music mogul through different lenses. In “Maybachs & Diamonds” we get Mr. Leslie’s melancholy take on the “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems” theme. Dressed in all-black-everything and watching film clips of his love gone awry, the rapper/singer reflects on a past relationship, presumably lost to his extravagant lifestyle. “I give her what she wants, what she needs,” Leslie croons in the bridge, “because her love is worth more than Maybachs and diamonds.”

Whereas “Maybachs” puts a more cautious and even regretful take on Ryan Leslie’s conspicuous consumption, “Swiss Francs” (after the jump) celebrates it. The “music motion picture” is a rags-to-riches story, opened by intercut shots of Ryan leading an horn section and standing atop an NYC skyscraper, rapping to the world. After the first bridge, Leslie graduates, following in the footsteps of ‘Ye and Jay-Z, using Europe as an elegant backdrop and status of upward mobility.

Watching the two videos back-to-back, it’s hard to determine which life is better, according to Ryan Leslie: one of love, or one of luxury? I’m gonna say luxury (I mean: He lost his girl… in a Maybach!). Les Is More dropped October 22, so if you’re feeling these videos and want more, you can buy the the album on iTunes.

spotted at SC