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Pop & Hiss premiere: TiRon gets down with 'Band on the Run' in new video

October 11, 2010 |  3:46 pm

Since the "Day of the Locust," Hollywood Boulevard has been the metaphor of choice for dreams deferred. TiRon was raised in Kankakee, Ill., but has been based in Los Angeles since junior high school. His new video for "Down" finds the Cafeteria Line leader posted up on a bench, watching a blur of bodies and buses on a baking Southern California day.

Spitting over a wistful sample from the Wings' "Band on the Run," TiRon spins a story familiar to those in a state with an unemployment rate approaching 13%. The inexorable desire to realize one's dreams and the economic realities that bar their fulfillment. Lost love serves as a central theme, with Ronnie lamenting the days when he and an unseen girl used to play Mash in class, but "now she's dating doctors and you live in a shack."In the background, a handbill offering stars tours looms saliently.

Over the last three years, the still-unsigned TiRon has amassed traction in hip-hop circles, with BET naming "Ketchup" as one of last year's 13 must have mixtapes alongside output from major label peers Kid Cudi, Wale, Drake and J. Cole. XXL, meanwhile, described him as one of the "West Coast's bright new stars."

TiRon is a frequent collaborator with the Universal/Motown-signed Pacific Division and Warner Bros.-signed Blu; his most recent mixtape, "MSTRD," dropped in July, eliciting the regular rounds of blog buzz. "Down" is one of the reasons why: a downbeat and relateable tale that doesn't lapse into generic everymanisms.

The video never lingers too long to become tedious -- a two-minute collage of motley images of club types with bug-eyed sunglasses and BlackBerries and Hollywood street hawkers. They contrast nicely with TiRon's crestfallen raps, which work because he successfully conveys the feeling of being down but not out.

(Be forewarned: As with many hip-hop mixtapes, "MSTRD" contains cuss words.)

ZIP: TiRon -- "MSTRD" (Left Click)

-- Jeff Weiss

Photo: A screenshot from TiRon's video.