East St. Louis to Minnesota: Ron G. Rap Artist

October 30, 2017


Rap artist Ron G just recently moved to Minnesota. After speaking with him regarding his music I found that this artist brought with him to Minnesota more than his suitcases, he also brought with him his story.

Ron G (Ryan Swanson) is a native of East St. Louis Illinois. There he pursued his education, music career and social obligations, but after almost 22 years, found Minnesota a better place for him to flourish as an individual. “I moved to Minnesota because an opportunity was given to me to have a fresh start,” said Swanson. Growing tiresome of the environment he was in, and fortunate to have family in the Minneapolis area, December 2012 Swanson finally made the decision to make his move.

Getting a chance to speak with Swanson, he described in detail the constant social turbulence that pushed him towards his change in residence. “In East St. Louis…I felt like I was in a box, like a crab in a bucket….where people will do anything it takes to get to where they need to be, even if that means throwing other people under the bus…It was suffocating.

While surrounded by areas such as the suburb Bellville and also the University of Missouri, East. St. Louis remains one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. Based on records from multiple law enforcement sources, East St. Louis has a 0% crime index, 100 indicating the safest of residential areas. “…[In East St. Louis]..It’s a group of people, where nobody has anything, and everybody has the same goal…there’s no love, it’s just all hate, nobody wants to see anybody succeed because everyone wants be successful,” said Swanson.

From an objective standpoint, East St. Louis is not the easiest place for an individual to find success, even so, this is still a place that Swanson calls “back home,” and while growing up, he did experience a real dog-eat-dog world, he was fortunate enough form his own type of family through his music with a group that actually goes by the name of Famly Business. Swason was a single member of rap group FBPWI (Famly Businesss & Play Wit It) Ent. artists, a group that joined to unite their individual voices in order to portray one unified message. This group was made up of members C.J., D.C ., The Kidd, Alex, King D, Sir Eddie C ,Tray Tru and of course Ron G.“We came together for a common goal…and that’s to reach as many people as possible with our music. We all are unique and individuals.” Each member executes this goal by using their music as a vehicle to tell their own stories both collaboratively and individually. “As far as the squad goes…they always have this unbiased opinion that holds weight to me they help me find that path, that sound I try to achieve when I write my music.” Though they are now miles apart, Family Business and Ron G still collaborate and assists each other in their music.

Back in Illinois Swanson collaborated with many artists. Though he considers himself just a rapper/writer, he has worked with many producers, singers, engineers and other rappers as well. Aside from the members of FBPWI, other artists Swanson has collaborated with include Jesse Farrar, Tony Walker, Teege, and Hunnid. He would perform frequently for Black Student Union events at Southern Illinois University and also popular hip-hop venue Fubar located only blocks away from the renowned Fox Theater. Swanson’s music and stamina always combined to get the crowd live during his performances.

Ryan Swason (Ron G) has recently released his latest project that he’s entitled Black Noise. This album, unlike others Swanson has put together, revolves around genuine struggles that most of us encounter, even on a day-to-day basis. “… This is for people that dread getting up and going to work but they got bills to pay. This for the college students that need that to know they’re not the only one who is going through a hard time.” Some of the projects from Swanson’s past, while well received by his audience, were made up of “bangers” or songs made purely for entertainment. But Black Noise was different. It was made with a more genuine purpose, to tell his story and put himself on a more personal level with his listeners. In this project, Swanson draws his lyrics from a more mature perspective of his life experiences up until now, from Illinois to Minnesota. “I put so much emotion into my music. I just want the listeners to feel like they have known me for years…it’s about turning listeners into family.”

Written by: Tiffany Trawick