Meet Your Neighbor: Ryanito
Changing the culture of Hip Hop is more than just a hobby for Ryanito; it’s a life passion.
What happens when you think of Hip Hop? Images conjure of Lamborghinis, diamond crusted necklaces, mansions and guns. That’s the state the industry has found itself in over the past 10 years. There’s plenty to be said for an interesting beat and a hard hitting bass line, but the lyrical soul and positive cultural intention has started to fade away as the chase for dollars has increased. One Sarasota man is trying to make his mark by breaking this mold and bringing hip hop and its message back to the community. That man is Ryanito.
Ryan “Ryanito” Larranaga’s story actually begins in Maryland. The son of a military father, he grew up in Frederick, a small city in the center of the state. While Ryanito’s family always had musical ties, it wasn’t until he was a teenager that he began to realize his own talent as a rapper. Like many aspiring Hip Hop artists, his journey began on the streets, rapping with friends and developing his style.
Something big happened before he left Maryland for Sarasota, though. He met a guy named DJ Carnage and began to get serious about his music. “A friend hooked me up with him and he showed me how to record at home,” Ryanito says. “He showed me the ropes on the equipment and got me started on creating my own music.”
Since he’s been in Sarasota, Ryanito has continued to refine his craft. But his craft has become much more than just Hip Hop. As he’s developed as an artist his societal viewpoints have developed as well. Much of his music is derived from his philanthropic and philosophical mind set and he’s implementing that attitude into his songs.
“As I’ve lived here and I have my say in the culture, I’m trying to show there is a positive to be created with hip hop,” Ryanito tells me. This isn’t just lip service either. Since Ryanito has grown in popularity in the local scenes, all of his live shows donate at least a portion of the ticket costs to a local charity or cause. In fact, one of his next major live performances, the 60th anniversary of the 5 O’Clock Club, will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Humane Society.
Even through his radio program Rayo Radio on WSLR, which airs every other Wednesday at 11PM, he puts a major focus on discussing the relevant cultural topics in our community. Especially the homeless. “We do a lot of work through [the show] for the homeless that I’m very proud of,” says Ryanito. “Everybody just wants to throw money at the problem and not talk to them.”
Changing the culture of Hip Hop is more than just a hobby for Ryanito; it’s a life passion. “I’m trying to bring back the substance. The stuff that makes people think,” he explains. “I want to be the Johnny Cash. The Bob Dylan of hip hop.”
It’s great to say all of this of course, but how exactly does this change start? Ryanito thinks it’s in the schools. “I’m working on a project right now to integrate hip hop into the school curriculum,” says Ryanito excitedly. “I want to create a program for the kids. Those are the most impressionable. The next generations.” He sees every aspect of hip hop relating to real life skills and using it to allow students to tap into their artistic and intellectual sides.
Ryanito knows how to make good music. But the music isn’t what makes Ryanito good. He has a real message and he casts off the cliché Hip Hop lifestyle to preach his beliefs. “I’m broke but I’m still making changes. I’m able to give back to the community,” Ryanito explains passionately. “I spend every dollar I make pushing my message.”
It’s the new old school of Hip Hop. That’s Ryanito.
For all information on Ryanito’s upcoming shows please visit his Upcoming Events Page.
He also has his first LP “Cosmic Guide” being released this December.