Lil Ronny MothaF is a Dallas rapper who's been putting his mixtapes out on the internet and touring the South and Midwest for a few years without once changing his haircut. The 'do is somewhere between a House Party-era flat top and Johnny Bravo's coif, with a blonde racing stripe going up the right side. Singed to the independent rap label Famlife Ent, Ronny makes deep fried twerk music, the kind that sticks to your ears like a rub and doesn't drip off like a sauce. Dude's been getting attention lately for his single "Circle," which was released more than a year ago, but has kept popping up this year on Vine in six-second segments, finding fame in a similar way as Sage the Gemini's "Gas Pedal" or Beat King's "Throw Dat Ass." "Circle" also shows up on Ronny's most recent mixtape, Square Bidness.
The song starts with a few orchestral notes, like the 20th Century Fox intro, and then the drums burst in to metronimically punch stomachs like a grandfather clock. The female voice repeating, "Throw that ass in a circle" is both hypnotic and provoking. The single version and the version that appears on Square Bidness are different, the latter replacing verses by fellow Dallasites Mykfresh and Yung Nation with a stupefying EDM remix of the song. It's actually a pretty savvy way to cash in on an old single that's just now blowing up.
But thinking of Lil Ronny MothaF as a one-hit-wonder or flash in the pan betrays his actual rapping ability. Trinidad Jame$ he is not. He's markedly improved since his earliest posted songs, but he can still sound like Young Dro trying out his Migos flow – which is far from bad rapping, and a good sign if Ronny continues to evolve. There's a number of other flows deployed in newer songs, along with his characteristic punchlines. He's got a comical and magnetic persona that comes off in his songs. There's also more to his hitmaking ability than incidentally striking gold with the phrase, "Throw that ass in a circle."
Through the 14 tracks of the mixtape, Ronny does impressions of Bill Cosby and Arnold Schwarzenegger, among a few other eclectic songs that could be singles. There's a few songs for the women, like "Do U Love Me," which has a very similar sparse keyboard beat as the DJ Mustard-produced collaboration between YG and Drake, "Who Do You Love?" The song "Stamina" is a straight-up sex jam which, instead of sampling Trillville's classic box spring squeak from "Some Cut," makes its own original bed creaking (from what sounds like a bigger mattress than Lil Scrappy's).
Lil Ronny's got a great ear for beats and how asses will react to them. There's a couple samples on Square Bidness that stand out, like on "How Much You Want," which chops up the Beastie Boys' classic "Ooooh" chanting from "The New Style." It might seem out of place for here were it not for fellow Dallas resident Big Tuck memorably using the sample in "Not a Stain on Me." The second is the classic g-funk on "Hoe Ain't Cool." It sounds like it could easily appear on YG's recent album My Krazy Life, and not just because both rappers have a tendency to fall into anonymous rapping. Lil Ronny has a knack for making regionless ass music, while also keeping his Jordans planted firmly in Texas. It's what got YG to shout him out back in April, one of the first high-profile co-signs Ronny got.
Lil Ronny MothaF has been grinding; making song after song and doing show after show with the same haircut, hoping to get recognized for it. Of late, he rapped over Drake's "Draft Day" beat and Nicki Minaj's "Chiraq" beat. And most recently, he made a video for his song, "0 Fucks," hoping his sweet melody will connect with anyone who's bragged about the lack of fucks they give. "0 Fucks" won't be the song that brings him past the prosperity of "Circle." But the number of slaps with great concepts on Square Bidness makes me think it won't be too long 'till Ronny makes another song about butts that gets hundreds of thousands of listens. All it takes is throwing that ass in a circle like a pie chart.