“Throw that ass in a circle!” While the Beyhive goes crazy over Beyonce’s explosive performance of this record at Made In America festival, Lil Ronny MothaF sits back at home and gladly takes credit. Of course, taking into account the fact that Queen Bey has the power of turning any record into a viral hit, the fellow Texas native proves he’s more than just an epic twerk song. Read more…
Lil Ronny isn’t just a rapper, he’s an entertainer. As evidenced by his explosive performances and high-energy shows, he creates music with his fans in mind at all times. In addition, he’s a walking testimony of an artist who has turned their dreams into a reality. Not paying any mind to the music industry, Lil Ronny MothaF is here for the longevity.
For those who don’t know, who is Lil Ronny MothaF?
I am an artist from Dallas, Texas. Notice I said an artist, not a rapper. I don’t have a genre. I’m just myself. Charismatic. I like to have fun. I like to be real life, I like to do all of that and in between.
Where do you fit in the realm of hip-hop and R&B?
Man, I really fit in my own little world honestly. I just fit in where good music is, period. Whether it’s the hipster side, the club, whether it’s lyrical or anything in between that, it’s just the gravy of it. That’s why I said I’m an artist, because I can touch on any genre. Most people, when you say artist, they want you to be stuck in this box as a musician. Painters don’t paint the same pictures over and over again. I do what I want to do, as long as it sounds good.
You’re from Dallas, Texas, how does that play into your life and career?
It’s in me. I can’t escape it. It’s in my voice, it’s in my slang, it’s in everythang. I take Dallas to everywhere with me, because that’s where I was born and raised in.
How important is it to come to LA as an up and coming artist?
Man, it’s very important to come out here. This is where people come to do a lot of work, so you could run into anybody, anywhere. You networking, for sure. LA is the spot you need to be at. A lot of people say Atlanta, but a lot of people are leaving Atlanta to come out here. Either place is the best place to be, but LA for sure. If you’re trying to network, you can run into some good people. It’s just good vibes out here.
At what point did you know the rap thing was forreal?
When I made my first dollar. I’ve always done it. I always knew I would be doing music, but I didn’t think I would be doing it for a living. When I actually made a buck from it… like I wasn’t even putting 10% in it when I first made my first dollar. So after that, I was like, “Dang. If I actually step all the way into it and do it 100%, I should be able to reap 100% of the benefits.” And I’ve been able to live off music for at least 9 years now, I haven’t had a job.
What was the inspiration behind your name?
My name is Lil Ronny MothaF. The MothaF came because I was just putting something at the beginning of a song when I was younger. Lil Ronny is my dad’s name. My real name is Ronny O’Neill Wright the II, so I’ve always been Lil Ronny around family members. The MothaF just separated me from all the other Lil Ronny’s out here and the Lil such and such.
Queen Bey’s birthday was Tuesday. Take us back to your initial reaction when you saw she sampled your song “Circle.”
Man, you know I was like “Aw, what?” ‘Cause somebody actually hit me that was there. They was like, “Beyonce just came out to your song!” I was like, “What? You lying.” Then it streamed on Tidal probably 30 minutes after that. I was like, “Oh my God! Cool.” But it didn’t really shock my shockers like that. I wasn’t really like “ahhhh,” but that’s just the type of person I am. But my momma, grandma, sisters, all the women that was important to me in my family, they was going crazy. Crazy, crazy. So it felt good to see them go crazy behind the scenes.
Talk about how that has impacted your career.
Man, it stamped it. Because that song that she came out to, whether you knew it or not — the “throw that ass in a circle” record — everybody was saying, “Oh, that’s a ratchet song. It’s so ratchet,” but Beyonce put like a class on it. I don’t know how, it’s the same song, but women feel like it’s a classic song now. Like, “Oh Beyonce did it, I can do it.” Shout out to Beyonce. What she did was she solidified it for me as a classic record for sure.
You recently released the visual for “Bag It Up.” What was the inspiration behind this record?
Basically, the inspiration was just to get the women back into it. Because I’ve been gone from that for a long time, just making twerk music. Because I had really wanted to venture out and show people that I could be great in other genres, which I did. It slowed the process, but it made it stronger now. Now, they know I’m really a threat period, across the board of making music.
When I came back to “Bag It Up,” it was like we were getting back to the basics. We were getting the women back into it. And then the video is just some fun. We doing a lot of subliminals. They “bag it up.” I did a lot of sports. I did a lot of football themes and punchlines in the song, so that where you get the flag football. Then you got the “bag it up” like you reverse it, that’s why we in the car and I’m driving in reverse. We just having fun and adding some character to the video, that’s what I like to do with all my videos really.
Talk about the #BagItUpChallenge.
It’s going crazy! Shouts out to all the beautiful women. And note, the #BagItUpChallenge, you don’t get discriminated on. We want big, small, tall, all — bring it in. Because they’re helping me break the record, and it’s just something fun that they can do.
How has your sound evolved over the years?
Man, tremendously. As far as my sound and my delivery, I get it. I get the whole thang now. The beauty of it is I been recording myself from day one, so just getting the mix down, the industry quality mix. It was trial and error, but I’m glad that I took that way. I took the longer route because now, I can fend for myself anywhere, because I know how to do it all.
You linked with T-Wayne on a record last year. Who else are you collabing with?
Man. You can go home, you’ve got your Yella Beezy. That’s my bro bro. You got ya TrapBoy Freddy’s. You got your You’ve got your Mikey McFly’s. Me and Roscoe Dash did some records.
Roscoe still out here?
Yeah, Roscoe out here doing his thang. He’s touring. That’s the beauty of them classic records, you can tour forever. Who else… Raheem DeVaughn. That video probably gon’ drop in a couple days. I dropped a video today, by the way. I know somebody’s going to slip my mind, but I’ve collabed with a lot of people recently.
At this point in your career, what are some goals for yourself as an artist?
I really just want to keep building this cult following, just build my own following. I don’t want nobody else’s following, I want mine. Because then I can be able to shift through it and be about to move it how I want, and not have to worry about being judged in the music. Like “You gotta have another hit record,” or can I just give ya’ll good music and be able to tour, because they like the music. That’s really what I want to do.
I don’t want to be another one of those artists that just drop single, single, single, single, and they’re like, “Oh, his last single was huge, will he be able to top it?” Which I can do the singles all day, let’s not get it misconstrued. But in between those singles, I want to just have solid songs that people want to sing word for word, and actually listen to 8-minute songs that like they do with Justin Timberlake and Timbaland when they link up. I want to build that type of catalog where I can tour forever.
What did you do with your first advance?
I don’t know. I didn’t buy no jewelry or no cars or none of that. I really just put it up, put it away.
How important is social media to your career?
Social media should be important to everybody’s career. Mine, it’s so important because I’m in LA right now and I’m finna drop a video, where I know my foundation is back home for sure in the South, but I could be here and drop it. I don’t have to be there. I don’t have to be on a podium like, “Hey everybody, I’m dropping a video!” I can post right now while we doing this interview. I could be like “there’s a video dropping,” and my following will see it and be prepared for it. And be prepared to share it and go comment and learn the words, without me having to be in their face.
That takes me back to the respect I got for the old hip-hop, because you didn’t hear that music if they didn’t come to your city, so they had to get on the road and do this or that. Now I can find you online and never meet you. I could just follow you and feel like I know you. Social media, it helps and it makes the grind weaker. I feel like a lot of people are escaping that grind that they should be doing, but it helps for sure.
What’s a normal day in the life? Walk us through.
A normal day in the life: studio everyday. Between my teammates and my label Dirty Water Music Group, somebody’s going to fight. Somebody’s going to get into it.
A real fight?
Yeah, they gon’ get into a real fight, and then they gon’ patch it up. We’ll probably go to the club that night maybe. If we ain’t on that road, we probably gonna have some fun. We probably gon’ order some pizza and chop it up. We might shoot a music video. Every day, I’m trying to do some work, amongst my people that actually want to be successful as well. I don’t want to just be around somebody who don’t do nothing. I stay by my people that really want to do something with this music business.
3 things you need in the studio?
I just need some water, maybe some chips. That’s it. I only need two things really. Let’s see… a cameraman.
What kind of chips?
It depends on how I’m feeling that day. Maybe Hot Fries. Maybe Doritos, regular Nacho Cheese Doritos. Maybe, Cheetos. I don’t know, depends on the type of day I’m having.
What would you be doing if you weren’t doing music?
Honestly, I don’t know. I would probably be at a factory or something, just living a regular life. Living that day to day, “Honey I’m home. Alright, I’m tired. How was work today? Oh the same old same everyday.” I knew I didn’t want that life when I was growing up, so when music came in my life, I just went for it.
You have kids or family?
No kids, no family. I’m not married, none of that. Not yet.
What’s the best encounter you had with a fan?
I got fans that tattooed my name on them. Today, I had a fan tattoo my actual album cover. My album is called Iconic, it just dropped, and a fan already got a tattoo. I just posted that. If you look, the dog next to it, that’s how the cover is on the actual album.
Talk about that project.
Man, it’s crazy. It’s ten songs. You just got the waves. You’ve got slow music, you got club music, it’s just good music. If you go listen to it, it’s just good music from front to back. You’ll find something for you. If you like slow music, you’ll find a song that you like. If you like hearing “ehhh blah bleh,” it’s something that is there for everybody that like music. Every genre.
Who’s the most played artist on your phone?
The most played artist on my phone is most definitely me. Besides me, Dru Hill.
Adele. Give me some Adele.
Is there anything else you would like to let us know?
Just stay in tune with me. Follow me @lilronnymothaf. I do a lot of fun stuff. I do a lot of skits. It’s just entertainment, it ain’t just music. You ain’t going to be bored. I aint gon’ post just pictures. Of course, you gonna see a lot of the #BagItUp challenge, but that’s for now. When the record blows up, I’ll stop doing it but for now, you gon’ see hella ass. But other than that, just keep up with me.