RUNTOWN; PERPETUALLY ON THE CUSP OF GREATNESS, NOT QUITE THERE
29th December, 2018
29th December, 2018
So it’s December 2016, headphones plugged and you’re bobbing your head to the year’s biggest song out of Nigeria, arguably Africa and you’re thinking this song is mad lit!
Douglas Jack Agu, two years after his debut album Ghetto University, strikes gold with an intricately interwoven symbiosis of Ghanaian and Nigerian sounds. Mad over You hits you with an all too familiar high-life percussion timing that leaves you sprung waiting with bated breath for the next note. It is as smooth, "synthy" and offers unabashed adoration to the Ghanaian woman, holding nothing back in earnest worship. There has been a lot of quibble over cultural appropriation and even a short spat between Runtown and Mr Eazi but that is a not the reason we are here, the self and Del’B produced track was pure genius shooting up to number 38 on the billboard chart with a couple of nomination nods.
Still buzzing over the euphoria and glowing reviews of the single Mad over You, we had to wait, wait for it, five whole months to get the next single, ‘For Life’. Some aptly christened it Mad over You part 2. It was a pale imitation of the original, a lazy regurgitation lacking in dynamism with an incredible dearth of thoughtful lyricism. The visuals looked amazing though, or maybe it is my crush for the vixen speaking either ways the funny thing is the buzz still hadn’t waned, an evident testament to the greatness that is the aforementioned single. Our brains did the next logical thing, made excuses for his artistry and stayed steadfast in our headstrong belief that if the genius that created Mad over You still hovered somewhere in his head, he deserved a second chance, heck three even. Such was the potency of the spell that he had cast over us.
This man had the world eating out of the palm of his hand and he sadly could not append his footprints in the sands of time. Peruzzi has the right idea with his ep, Heartwork but as to the quality, production and lyricism, that is a review for another day but one thing is certain, Peruzzi has shown that he is more than just a song, a voice in dope features on hits like 2baba’ Amaka, DMW’s AZA, Mind, & Twisted.
A solo body of work would have afforded Runtown a seat at the table. No one is intimating that a haphazardly prepared album be put out but an ep would have done the needful. 6lack says it best, you become a song instead of a person and you can’t build a fan base like that. Sadly Runtown did not steer his career past Mad over You in a way that solidifies his foothold in the Nigerian music scene and as such he has become, dare I say it, upcoming again, with the need to start afresh winning fans over. A new body of work by him would be met by skepticism and silent criticism because he let the magic die.
Fast-forward to December 2018, we are still yet to get a full length body of work from him. He is not at the top echelon of Nigerian acts despite being more versatile than most. B-listing him is a play on your obvious sentimentality as he has done nothing out of the ordinary since he made us go mad over him. He should be headlining shows coming off that incredible and "sonically" pleasing single. Judging by his stage craft, Runtown is easily built for greatness with his easy, lazy gait and candour, he still manages to own the stage and deliver deft performances with a connection to the audience that is shockingly lacking the concerts/shows put out by your ‘seemingly’ A-list acts.