“Something About U (The Retro-Funk Mix)” by Ronnue
Out of the box, “Something About U (The Retro-Funk Mix)” is ready to rock your world with a dreamy bassline that steps right out of a 70’s exploitation flick and onto the smoky streets of Seattle, where Ronnue is ruling the R&B underground and having a blast doing so. Ronnue has been around for a hot minute, cutting one exciting single after another and lighting up the Pacific Northwest along the way. His reputation is getting to big to be ignored by the mainstream, and with this latest funk juggernaut out of his system and under his belt, Ronnue stands to make his debut on the other side of college radio for the first time – and structurally augment the present dynamic of R&B for the better.
Between both mixes of “Something About U,” there are only a few minor differences to distinguish the tonality of either song. At the end of the day, no matter the means in which you find yourself consuming these urbane grooves, the tight packaging of either track is likely to be more than enough to satiate any craving for powerful pop that you might be struggling with at the moment. The sexually charged vibe of the music is present in both renditions, and though I slightly prefer the first mix to the second, the two equally get the literal and nonliteral points in this single across exquisitely. True, Ronnue could have added a couple of rappers to jazz up the verses or extended the music a tad longer to make it club-worthy, but to be fair I think that would take away from the earnest, anti-corporate nature of the music.
Ronnue doesn’t remind me of anyone on the surface, both in his peer group and also among the generation that came before they did, but at the same time there’s a sort of kindred tonality in his sound that is totally familiar and comforting to hear. In that sense, I think that he’s crafted a sound that ties itself to his roots well but doesn’t deliberately draw from them. He isn’t coming out of a city that is particularly known for R&B music, but he’s nevertheless shaped an identity that is steeped in tradition and respect for history, even if that history is outside of his own backyard.
There are a lot of critics who will tell you that both the Seattle scene and funk music in general have been dead since long before we entered the 2000’s, but I don’t think one of them ever stopped to consider the work of Ronnue before making such a blind and false statement. While a lot of artists who have called the city home have found ways to ride off of its past successes, Ronnue is in the rare position of having to forge his own legacy out of a mostly undocumented facet of the Northwest circuit that has given his career the vibrant life that propelled it out of obscurity. Since that day however, all credit belongs to this artist, who without mainstream resources has made a tasty tone that belongs to his name alone. If you want your own sampling, give “Something About U (The Retro-Funk Mix)” a listen.