Runtown Tackles Grand Societal And General Issues Of Life On ‘Signs’ Album
It had been over a year since Runtown left the public eye, his record appearances inclusive were dimmed. No features, nor stage performances or whatsoever art related contents were dished out. He barely stayed on the grams or walked the busy streets of Twitter. Rather, rumors kept flying around and fans kept asking multiple questions with high hopes that he was in safe hands. Many unanswered questions were afloat social media spaces at the time, to date that he returns in an old school style.
During his disappearance, it seemed like we lost something we once loved and cherished. It felt much like a very peculiar sound we all glorified and bashed so much praise was no more, like it was buried. Runtown’s absence was genuinely felt and it marked his sonic value and importance within the Nigerian soundscape most especially. Currently, the media and tabloids have it that he returns. On a 13-track most anticipated album tagged “Signs,” the super star tailors relatable topics, vocally verberates so much brilliance and sustains his sonic originality. Nothing changed in particular except his fresh Afro-looks. Also, with something worthy of note which is how he confidently treads on various nostalgic sounds. Runtown’s diversity comes alive on Signs. With a powerful storytelling which captured many experiences, Runtown rendered peak performances.
While one of the most notable appearances Runtown had prior to the break he took, was after he released “E dey Happen,” a project tagged “Soundgod Fest ” alongside the iconic visuals for the latter track. He appeared publicly during the famed Nigerian #EndSars protest, where he was found protesting alongside fellow renowned music and entertainment top players within the creative landscape. As Runtown returns, he comes with the people in mind. He framed blur and ugly images of the average Nigerian past, societal issues collaged with unending struggles that reflected on the album opener titled “Signs.”
Runtown, walked a listener with his exceptional lyrics to expose deceptive political leaders that he described as devil in agbada. In the opening song, he talks about issues that concern Nigerian youths, mostly how they are being despised by the society they find themselves in. The people have been waiting for a sign, a writing on the wall that clearly explains that Nigerian politicians hadn’t our best interest yet or vision of a bright future for the average Nigerian youth. As Runtown, had always believed in the ghetto youths. He often lifts them on high via the pensive music he creates from the early days of his music career. Making them viable tracks easy to get along with and enjoy on the loop non-stop. Atleast, since their country binds them tight together, his records can loosen their soul up and offer them hope and temporary excitement.
“Signs,” the opener track, runs smoothly on a Jamaican ghetto dubbed reggae instrument. A record cheap to bounce along, that expresses society very deeply that the scars it leaves behind the innocent citizens could be felt. The Nigerian national flag drenched in blood was captured, the Lekki tollgate Massacre, the killings and mayhem blurrily unearthed. Runtown also displayed a better diversity as he talked about money, spirituality, women, hedonism, love and society which was like the springboard of Signs.
Several gems like the beautiful rhythms of the fast paced kicks of “Under Pressure,” could light the club spaces up. “Ofe Pami,” that bears marks of how a Wizkid track should sound like, also follows ‘Under Pressure’ on the same path which seeks to soundtrack revelers during this detty December. “Things I Know,” unveils personal tales and leaps to gain the attention of his lover.
“Sinner Man,” uncaged Runtown’s vulnerability abit like Tiger, “High Spirit,” as well as the minimal choral “Propaganda.” The track has potential to appeal a large audience. If ‘Propaganda,’ can appeal large listeners, “Dangerous Hearts,” can appeal a larger market like abit of cracking up the international music spaces. While Runtown’s songwriting isn’t monotonous, it is excellent as much as the brilliant sonic eclecticism. A familiar musical sample reminiscent of late 80’s & early 90’s R&B and pop on ‘Dangerous Heart,’ keeps it lighted up and fresh enough that it is capable of registering into the minds of the Western market.
“Kini Issue,” is a former Runtown track and its return on this album perhaps is only to drive the spotlight on the track to find it good enough. It is unarguably good, adding to the various topics that found their way into this comprehensive project. Several topics and themes, however, societal and other general issues of life caps it all. Of course, there are also other topics you might find enriching and appealing on this project. Finally, Signs is like the current state of average Nigerians at the moment after being through all the mess beginning from EndSars, the crippling economy, inflation, poverty, insecurity and more. Signs come as an evidence and expect that the people make the right decision in 2023 after everything they have been through. Runtown, calls it all signs and it is what it is. He expects that those that have seen the sign should make wise decisions and it is apparently beyond the love, money, enjoyment, women and all of which confirms Runtown’s diversity. Have you seen the signs?
Album rating: ⅗ Average
Replay value: ⅗ Average
Songwriting/Diversity/Delivery: ⅘ Excellent
Production: ⅘ Excellent
Sequencing: ⅗ Average
By Agwuma Kingsley…
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