My Name is Ramone: Toronto rapper talks new EP, his comeup & more
After helping Studi6 kickoff The Massacre by bodying the series premiere, Toronto recording artist and actor Ramone (formerly R-Tripz) returns to HipHopCanada to promote his latest project, My Name is Ramone 2, released via Im Nice Entertainment.
The 6-track release is his third independent EP (and fourth project) to date and features a guest appearance from Tory Lanez on the McCallaman-produced, “I Know.” Other producers featured on the EP include Ryan Brill, Jelan Abrams, and Cxleb.
There’s also three bonus tracks on the project including the “Duppy Freestyle (Studi6 Exclusive),” the “Pegasus Freestyle,” and the Phil G-produced “For Me.”
Back in August, Ramone dropped some fresh visual support for the EP, teaming with Captured Films (Dan Barker and Dimitri Apostolos) for the “What You Wanna Do” video. He had previously released visuals for “You” back in 2016 which was handled by Captured’s Dan Barker and Lucas Sewards.
We recently caught up with the Ramone to discuss the the narrative and inspiration for the EP, how the project came together, and more (scroll for the Q&A).
You can stream My Name Is Ramone 2 below via Spotify.
You can also find it on other major streaming outlets including Apple Music.
HipHopCanada: What is the meaning behind your album title?
Ramone: My Name is Ramone is more like an expression for me. I feel like many artists take the cliche route with album titles, which is cool, but when it comes to my music, I think of longevity. I want to last forever. Everything on this album is 100% me, from the song writing to the subject matter. I want my fans to know, what you see is what you get. Me, Ramone. I also used to go by ‘R-Tripz’ back in the day, so with my whole musical transition over the years, I’m expressing to my fans that I am not the same person I once was. Times are different now.
HipHopCanada: Is there an overarching narrative for the album that you want fans to take from?
Ramone: Oh, for sure! This project is very different from my previous stuff. It’s probably my most personal body of work to date. If you know me, you know that I deal with a lot of women on a daily basis in my fast crazy life. (Laughs) I decided to display the things I’m dealing with in my real life through the music. People are going to hear this and say, “Damn, this guy was going through some sh*t!” I don’t mind though because the whole process was therapeutic for me. All feelings aside, I believe people will respect me more for touching on so many relatable topics artists may not usually express.
HipHopCanada: Who or what were your creative inspirations for the tracks?
Ramone: God, women, travelling. These are all major inspirations of the creative process for these songs. I brought out a lot of R&B on this album as well, so listening to artists like Usher, Lauryn Hill, etc. really helped with how I formulated my topics and how I wanted to present my melodies. These days, the new age artists coming from Toronto all sound the same. I like to emulate artists that have been around before me and are still relevant in order to keep my presence strong. Believe it or not, Belly is also a huge inspiration to me. I feel like he’s so slept on in the industry. It’s crazy because he’s lowkey one of the best to ever come out of Canada. If he heard this album, I’d be honoured.
HipHopCanada: Do any of the tracks stand out to you personally? Why?
Ramone: “I Know” with Tory Lanez (track 3) stands out to me the most because so many people have told me they can relate, and overall love the vibe. It just so happens to be one of my biggest songs to date as well. “Get It,” (track 6) also stands out because I wrote that song at a very vulnerable time in my life. If you listen to the lyrics, you almost feel like you are there with me. I don’t want to give away too much but you should probably give it a real listen if you haven’t yet. Shout out to ‘The Move’ 93.5FM for premiering these records for me. It was a special moment for the city.
HipHopCanada: Any notable moments, milestones, or behind-the-scenes facts about this album?
Ramone: Yeah, I bumped into Jamal Magloire in Scarborough the other day. I was like, “Man you get to hear this project?” He was busy doing his thing but still took time out his day and asked me to play him some joints. That was huge for me because he’s a real OG in Toronto. One of the first dudes from Canada in the NBA listening to my music. Pretty surreal. Also, during Caribana weekend I was handing out hard copies of the EP. It was dope to see people from all over the world supporting my hustle and gravitating towards my music when I played it for them.
“You” (track 2), was definitely the most challenging for me because I was going through a lot when I wrote that record initially. My grandmother had just passed away, and two of my homies I grew up with were just murdered. I touched on gun violence on the song and tried to send a positive message to the world that we can all be better human beings, you know? We get so caught up in life that we forget these things. Sometimes, until it’s too late. As challenging as it was, it was cool to see the video play on TV. I would be chilling with friends at my condo and the video would randomly play on Much Music. It happened a few times. It was definitely a memorable experience and definitely gave me some juice with the ladies.
HipHopCanada: Describe the sound of the album — the beats, melodies, how would you describe your flow?
Ramone: The overall sounds of the album I’d say is an old school vibe mixed with a new school sound. You can hear the 90’s/early 2000’s influence in the music. I believe people will appreciate that because there’s been a lack of authenticity with everything coming out these days. I’m trying to bring that sound back that 50 years from now people will still want to play it. As far as my flow goes, I’ll let y’all be the judge of that one.
HipHopCanada: Who is the perfect audience for this album?
Ramone: I want to say women, because that’s who has been the most active as far as voicing their opinions on the EP so far, but honestly, it’s for any and everyone that appreciates good music and raw talent. You can be at the gym, driving, at the club or just doing homework. Its suitable for all environments. If you value good music, you will appreciate this album. It’s GROWN folks music, feel me?
HipHopCanada: What sets you apart from other artists?
Ramone: I’m real, I’m genuine, I’m not afraid to express my emotions in my music. I notice artists like to do trendy things or portray an image that is not them at all in real life. It’s funny because you notice it right away when you meet them in person. Music to me is about expression so that’s what I do. I don’t do this for money entirely. I do this because I love the art. If I can get rich off of expressing my art, then that’s a bonus.
HipHopCanada: Final thoughts?
Ramone: Shout out to HipHopCanada, y’all are amazing and I appreciate the support. By the way, I HAVE THE BEST MASSACRE VERSE EVER! Anyone that feels different come holla at me! (Laughs) God Bless!
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