I really don’t know much about this TiRon kid, but anyone who decides to name a mixtape Ketchup has to be begging for one of two things: A. Attention or B. Beef. So naturally I decided to take a listen and my only expectation was that dude was going to be garbage. But interestingly enough, son actually has music with purpose. In that I mean it was a concept mixtape. Most rappers can barely make a concept song much less a whole album or mixtape’s worth. But TiRon isn’t your average rapper, he’s something more.

Whether he was speaking on the Scottie Pippen to his Michael Jordan when it comes to bagging shorties on “My Wingman & Me,” or deciding between living ghetto lavish or paying his bills on “Throwing My Money,” TiRon definitely has that hip-hop that a dude like me can understand way more than anything that has to do with ballin’, pimpin’ or pouring champagne all down the crack of a shakin’ booty. Though I do one day wish to be able to relate to 50 Cent, Ice-T, P. Diddy and Cash Money Millionaires.

Interestingly enough, T sounds like someone else I used to be able to relate to, Mr. College Dropout himself. From his voice to his flow to his subject matter, he sounds like a young, up-and-coming Kanyeezy when he used to actually rap. “Still Never Happy” is reminiscent of “All Falls Down” with TiRon spitting, “Man I want a Bentley plus a crib with a high ceiling/ to get all of these women feelin’ bad they ain’t with a brotha/I wanna get another whip, but nah/I gotta spend money clearing up credit and Sally Mae ain’t making that an option/I, know that I should watch it/cause I’ve been blessed to go to college/when other folks the same color as me couldn’t get a job/cause they never graduated so they stay up on the block…”

The LA native damn sure is a dope lyricist. He says things you can feel and simply relate to. I’m sure Chris Brown would be able to relate to “Yeah, You Crazy” where TiRon and Mibbs explain why men go Ike Turner on their women sometimes. Don’t be surprised if Chris Breezy’s on that remix. Aside from the clever concepts and the witty lyrics, TiRon is also able to give personality to the music he creates. And in a day and age when everyone piggyback rides whatever’s hot at the moment, individuality like this and that of Charles Hamilton, Lupe Fiasco, Saigon, Jay Rock, Omar Cruz, etc. really needs to be acknowledged and appreciated.

Like I said, he’s reminiscent of a young Kanye when he was trying to make us relate to him instead of envying him for having designer clothes, hurt haircuts and a girlfriend who worships Sinead O’Connor. If anything this man is gonna make rappers envy his originality and concepts like “Why didn’t I think of that?” Which really embodies the spirit of hip-hop: who can bring something new and relevant to the table without sacrificing their integrity?

For all you tomato head ass muthaf*ckas that ain’t up on one of the West Coast’s brightest new star, ketchup!-The Infamous O

Hottest Joint: “Def ‘82”

Weakest Joint: “Quitter”