Rapman Ron returns with a long-awaited album
Itâ€™s been nearly 5 years since my City Paper profile of Mania Music Group, a promising Baltimore-based hip-hop label that was at the time headlined by three rappers: Dappa!!! Dan Midas, Kane Mayfield, and Ron G.
Much has changed since then. Midas parted ways with the label, changed his rapping handle to DDm, and came out as an openly gay man. Mayfield stuck with Mania, and has steadily released songs and mixtapes under his Rhymes By Kane series. From the beginning, Ron G. was the youngest and least known of the trio, and heâ€™s stayed pretty quiet, over the years â€“ he released a solo EP, Lunch, in 2008, and contributed some standout performances to Maniaâ€™s 2010 album Welcome To The Audience, but little has emerged since then. At least, until the release of his new free album, Me, My Green & Irene.
He started going by RapMan Ron G. shortly after the Lunch EP, and has since streamlined the name to just Rapman Ron, but heâ€™s still much the same artist. His voice has a musical, conversational warmth, and his lyrics have an offhanded, unassuming intelligence that sneaks up on you when you realize how long heâ€™s go without dropping a wack rhyme or even an undeveloped idea.
â€śMr. Magnificentâ€ť features a flow as fluid and jazzy as the horn loop heâ€™s rapping over, and â€śBreatheâ€ť is knotted tightly with internal rhymes. Me, My Green & Irene is largely a solo affair, with only a couple guests, one of whom is Soul Cannonâ€™s Eze Jackson, who himself is currently signed to Mania Music Group, but the Mania logo is nowhere to be seen on the release. Rapman Ron deserves more attention than heâ€™s gotten so far, and hopefully heâ€™ll get it if he starts dropping music more frequently than every five years.