There’s a good chance that while getting your daily TikTok fix, or scrolling through Instagram, you’ve come across Ron Suno, the 19-year-old social media sensation who posts jovial comedy routines and a slew of online challenges, including the massively popular “weave challenge” on Instagram. But there’s more to this precocious entertainer: Today, the Bronx drill rapper, drops his debut studio album, Swag Like Mike, a 9-song project with 5 features.
This, of course, makes Ron Suno the world’s first comedian drill rapper.
Born Keron Foriest in Co-op City, a cooperative housing development in the northeast section of the Bronx, Suno emerged last fall on the New York drill scene, when he dropped his first hit, “Pinnochio.” The industry took note. The song, upbeat with a danceable flow, accumulated over 15 million views on TikTok, 9.5 million on YouTube, and is currently nearing 6 million plays on Spotify. It even landed him a remix feature with Los Angeles superstar “Blueface.”
During a recent phone interview, Suno explained how TikTok played an integral role in his career by helping him reach today’s youth. “If you are for the kids and have content that people can grasp, TikTok is the right place to blow up, because there will be a lot of kids dancing and making new challenges to show their friends. Everybody that has TikTok is either young or in school, so it’s easy to go viral quickly,” he said.
What is quickly evident during our conversation, is Suno’s boundless energy and an insatiable desire to entertain, which he attributes to suffering from ADHD. Nonetheless, it pushed him to find new ways to extend his fanbase and eventually to delve into performing short humorous skits that immediately appealed to a young adolescent crowd. When he speaks, there’s no mistaking the immense pride he takes in the entertainment value he provides both in his music videos and his funny routines. Still, I asked him, what would it be if he had to choose between comedy and music?
“I’d be a rapper, you know why?” he answered, without pause. “Because I can combine both! Me strictly doing comedy would mean no music, but being a rapper, I can also include comedy in my music videos and even in my lyrics. I’m for the youth and I want people to have fun while listening to my songs,” he explained.
Music is clearly Suno’s first love. He began recording drill rap songs when he was just 13, in makeshift home studios around the Bronx, which he said were often dingy or occasionally little more than a tiny bathroom or a closet. Since then, the drill scene in New York has erupted to unprecedented levels, turning Suno into one of the de facto ambassadors of the movement, alongside names like Fivio Foreign, Sheff G, and the late Pop Smoke.
Our conversation naturally segued into his childhood and Suno spoke openly about the hardships of growing up in the Bronx and especially about being geographically segregated from other parts of New York. He particularly felt like an outsider in Brooklyn, the epicenter of the drill scene.
“I definitely feel like I’m the first drill rapper from the Bronx that’s coming up and making a statement. Everybody is for themselves in the Bronx, and no one is a public figure to the point where they can put someone else on, especially where I’m from,” he said, explaining New York’s infamous “every-man-for-himself” attitude. “Coming up in the Bronx is really trying to get it on your own and fight for your own spot.”
He pointed out the difference between New York and other cities like Atlanta, for example, where he noticed that the scene is more collaborative, with artists like Lil Baby and Gunna willing to sign on and help up-and-coming rappers. It’s simply not like that in New York, he said.
So where does the teenager see himself in a few years? Gritting it out in New York? Or, being free to explore his creativity in other parts of the country where he can tap into a more collaborative spirit between artists?
“I most definitely want to move out to Cali eventually, that’s the childhood dream,” he said, wistfully. “That Hollywood lifestyle is the goal at the end of the day.”
Check out his latest project below and be sure to give him a follow on Instagram here
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