Ron Squared EP
Since signing a deal with the independent Southside Recordings, Kansas City-based hip hop artist, Ron Ron, is fixing to have a big year in 2011 after bouncing back and forth from KC to elsewhere over the past several months. Barring youtube videos, he hasn’t released a new project since the heralded Skitzo-Frinik in 2009. But if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll likely realize that Ron Ron cleverly titles all of his projects after the human brain, intelligence, etc. Ironic, Mr. No It All, Frankeinstein 2.0 among others and the forthcoming Expert all achieve the Brainiak way. While grubbing down at Jack Stack on the Plaza with Ron Ron and his manager, Double-R himself cleared up the meaning behind the name of his newest release, Ron Squared.
“Ron Squared is just how I feel, like I’m squared up. I’m not in the streets like I used to be doing the shit not unless I choose to be.” He would also go on to say, “I live like a person that don’t wanna go to the penitentiary, but at the same time it’s still Ron Ron. I just feel complicated like that, I feel like a formula…I don’t feel like I’m that much deeper, I don’t feel like I’m Einstein or no shit. I just feel like it’s more depth. But it’s simple depth. It’s just like my depth. I’m not Mahatma Ghandi or no shit. My depth, if you wanna go on my trip. You’re welcome to go on my trip. I’m a open book. I get paid to do this shit now so I’m gonna give it my all.”
Battling with his persona in the streets and his persona as a musician with dreams even bigger than rap is proving to make Ron Ron a much more serious individual than before. No song on the new EP emits this kind of complex better than “Jungle.” Ron vents in the opening verse, “It’s too easy for me to slip cuz I’m so popular/ Everybody see me, you don’t need no binoculars.” This one holds the ride or die ethos close that were so prevalent throughout much of his earlier music, with an as-expected razor sharp verse from Kansas Citian, Riv Locc.
The lead single off this new EP, “Move Too Mean,” is centered around the grind mode that his current mind state has adopted. Try not to get a speeding ticket to this one. “The Ghetto” sees Ron reflecting on his locale (“seen a fiend take an engine out in fifty-five minutes“). “I’m High” overhangs Ron Squared for nothing other than its lucrative smoke-along value, featuring Irv Da Phenom at his best (“You shouldn’t even see me this high”). The final song, “Home”, is a Kansas City-anthem that sounds tailor-made for a local afternoon hip hop radio show…if there was one in Kansas City. But it would rock the socks off a Summer Jam 4 crowd, for sure.
My only complaint about Ron Squared is that it is basically a teaser. With only eleven tracks, most just barely three minutes in duration, this seems to be more of a promotional tool than something that‘s going to stick with his fans for the rest of their lives. Perhaps Ron Ron wanted to get this out in anticipation for his spot on the Blowing Money Fast tour with Rick Ross at Sprint Center (which we couldn‘t blame him for).
As Ron Ron has grown, his thoughts and purpose have obviously developed as well, contrary to the belief that changing is a bad thing. Ron’s always been a very intense songwriter, but this EP sounds more cognizant and determined . He’s actively more conscious with who’s hearing his music and the power that it has. Ron says that a song like “Hey Honey” will never happen again, and cites how lightly he took creating music at the time he made that song.
This EP might not be as deep as Skitzo-Frinik, for instance (which was further proof that talking out your problems probably is the best therapy), and might not be as gritty as Mr. No It All, but if this is merely a small taste as to what is coming from Ron Ron later this year, consider Ron Squared your warning shot.