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Rapman Ron returns with a long-awaited album

June 12, 2013

It’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 he’s stayed pretty quiet, over the years – he released a solo EP, Lunch, in 2008, and contributed some standout performances to Mania’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 he’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 he’s go without dropping a wack rhyme or even an undeveloped idea.

“Mr. Magnificent” features a flow as fluid and jazzy as the horn loop he’s rapping over, and “Breathe” 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 Cannon’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 he’s gotten so far, and hopefully he’ll get it if he starts dropping music more frequently than every five years.