This week we put the microscope on L.A.’s TiRon. Originally from the Chicagoland area, TiRon got a break when he moved to the sunshine state, his new(er) outlook, Ketchup Mixtape, and much more are on tap. Check out the First Look below.
RubyHornet: Let’s start this interview like this. What are three things that describe TiRon?
TiRon: Creative, Independent, Focused
RubyHornet: What’s the back story on the name?
TiRon: It’s the name I was born with. The only one who can give you a back story on that name is my mother. I actually heard something about my family looking for the book of African names where they found my brother Tabari’s name, but they couldn’t find it so my uncle just made one up LOL. I had a bunch of other rap names while I was coming up but no one ever used em, they kept calling me by my government name so I just stuck with that.
RubyHornet: Seeing that you’re from Los Angles, California, a culturally diverse city, what are some of the Cali influences that have made you the artist/man that you are today?
TiRon: The influences in Cali that made me into who I am today was probably the fact that it’s so much of a melting pot here. You can learn from a bunch of different cultures which gives you a larger view on things. I skated, played football, did musical theater, played soccer, went to camps…a bunch of stuff I might not have had the opportunity to do had I stayed in Chicago.
RubyHornet: How about other influences that are not strictly Cali ones?
TiRon: Well, honestly it’s things like not taking my current situation for granted because I came from that other side. Although I might not be exactly where I want to be in life, there are still thousands of other people back in Chitown/Kankakee/Illinois that would die to have the opportunities I have. That concept alone keeps me moving…
RubyHornet: From listening to your latest Mixtape, Ketchup, it was different from so many other mixtapes I had heard in a while because it seemed to actually have a concept. What went into the creating of this mixtape and where did the name Ketchup come from?
TiRon: Last year I released some joints but they completely flew under the radar because of the game being flooded with so much content, especially from new artists. So I decided to put together a project with new and old joints just to get people caught up with my music hence, Ketchup (catch up).
RubyHornet: Let’s talk a little more about the mixtape. I see you worked with Sa-Ra on the track “3 Drink Minimum”. How was that experience working with the G.O.O.D music producer crew, and can we expect any other features with Sa-Ra or anyone else on the G.O.O.D Music label?
TiRon: As far as that record goes I actually just found a beat CD of theirs floating around online, so it was in the same vein as many cats rock over Dilla beats. Its not an exclusive record from SA-RA, but being a huge fan of theirs for YEARS I just did it out of the love for their music. I hope to work with them personally in the future if that opportunity ever presents itself.
RubyHornet: In the past year there have been several Cali artists to build buzz such as U-N-I, Shawn Chrystopher, Pac Div and Blu. I see you’ve personally worked with Pac Div, and Blu. What do you think this says for the current state of Cali HipHop? Do you feel that Cali is more united musically than other spots?
TiRon: I wouldn’t really know if Cali is more united musically compared to other spots because I’m not as tuned into other scenes as much. The current state of Cali Hip Hop is growing like crazy! Aside from the usual suspects like Pac Div, Myself, Dom Kennedy, U-N-I, and Blu…there’s other types of s**t coming out like these kids Yg & Project (Pu$haz ink.) who mainly do a lot of “Jerk music”, which has LA on LOCK right now as far as the youth goes. LA is working hard right now and it’s a blessing to be in the middle of all this talent.
RubyHornet: As I stated earlier, I was impressed as well as surprised by the amount of lyrical content and concept that you put into the mixtape, Ketchup. It was one track that really stood out to for a number of reasons : concept, beat choice, and lyrical content. That track was “Yeah, You Crazy”. Not trying to take shots at Chris Brown or anything lol but what cultivated the idea for this track? (And not to be bias, thats like one of my favorite tracks on the mixtape).
TiRon: That record is 100 percent all Mibbs’s (Pac Div) idea. I came to the studio one day and he was hyped about this record he was working on. He rushed out to the car, played it for me and I wrote my verse right on spot, then recorded it. Initially, Like was supposed to hop on it but they started working on so much new Pac Div s**t that the record just ended up being me and Mibbs. Those dudes are crazy….wait till you hear Church League Champions…for real.
RubyHornet: I tend to do this a lot towards the conclusion of our interviews here at RH. If I was coming to Cali, where would be the first place you would suggest I go to get my eat on and for shopping?
TiRon: You should hit up Pete’s Cafe in downtown LA for probably the best burger you will EVER eat, and as far as shopping goes then you should hit up Melrose, The Grove, Beverly Center….a bunch of spots!
RubyHornet: Finally let our readers know about any other projects you’re working on and why they should go download your new mixtape Ketchup (mixed by Dj Low Key)?
TiRon: Cause it’s not wack…..I promise. HAHA!