Overindulgence is a key component in the brilliantly intoxicating collection of tracks that is Ronnue’s Introduction 2 Retro-Funk, and I can point to no better example supporting my argument than the construction of its most intriguing basslines. In “You Tried Me (The Man’s Anthem),” “I’m a Lesbian,” “Do It (The Remix)” and featured singles “Something About U (The Retro-Funk Mix)” and “Be Your Freak,” Ronnue pressurizes the bass parts to make them relentlessly smothering, as if to give a nod to the PNW classic Gluey Porch Treatments while emulating the swagger of the Cali old school ala Regulate… G Funk Era at the same time. This is a surreally heavy record in terms of tempo and tonality, but as far as the melodies and subject matter go, it’s a bright light in today’s rather scattered period for alternative R&B.
Instrumentally speaking, “Why,” “Be Your Freak,” “If We Stayed 2gether” and “In Love” are really full-bodied compositions that make a lot of the mainstream material to debut this summer seem kind of weak and gangly when the two sets of songs are juxtaposed side by side. I have a feeling that Ronnue spent a couple of extra hours tinkering with the levels on these tracks before clearing them for official release, mostly because of how stimulatingly they were adjusted in songs like the single “Something About U (The Retro-Funk Mix)” as well as the closing salvo “Give in 2 Me.” He’s making a lot of his rivals to the south of Washington state sound like chumps on this disc, which is something that few of his scene’s stalwarts have been able to do in recent years.
I would be really interested in hearing Ronnue experiment with some more psychedelic influences than he did in this record. Clearly he’s a fan of the vintage funk sound, but I think that he could get the most out of it if he were to open up the depth of his instrumentation to the prospect of more cerebral stylizations. There are some pretty stony tones in “17 Days (The Hood Mix),” “Why,” “In Love” and “You Tried Me (The Man’s Anthem)” that tend to create chills every time that they come on the stereo, no matter what the setting or context might be.
Ronnue’s name is inescapable among underground circles going well beyond those surrounding Puget Sound this August, and I think that he’s earned every bit of the attention that he’s getting right now. Introduction 2 Retro-Funk is as big a deal as critics like myself have been making it, and if its early performance with consumers is any indication as to its reception with fans, then there’s no point in denying the obvious, universal consensus. Ronnue’s latest record has a lot going for it, and though it won’t fly with every funk-leaning hip-hop fan this summer (mostly because of its old fashioned style), it’s already made enough of an impression with the right people to ensure this artist’s continued rise into the public eye, and more specifically, the international stage.
The music of RONNUE has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more - https://musikandfilm.com