In 2010 Ryan Leslie was in Cologne, Germany when his laptop with all his music, files, and data was stolen out the trunk of a car. He had offered a $20,000 reward for anyone who returned his backpack but no one bit, so he upped the reward to $1 million and eventually someone did come forward with his items. However, he says his hard drive was inaccessible and all the data was gone so he ducked the guy who returned it and never paid any reward money. The guy filed a lawsuit with New York City Federal Courts to make Ryan pay the reward money.
To make a long story short, Ryan was found liable in court and ordered to pay the plaintiff the $1M reward as promised. Ryan upset about the verdict goes into a rant on stage and burns the front page story from the NY Post about the case in front of his audience.
A$AP Rocky stops by the show and meets up with Ryan backstage. Ryan vows that he’ll work something out with the guy who found (returned) the backpack, but insist his lawyers will make sure he will not be responsible for paying out $1 millie. I guess we’ll soon see.
Here’s the video transcript:
“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.”