About two years ago, there was this meme that went viral concerning Runtown. It was taken from a Mr.Ibu movie scene where a woman was on her knees, tears streaming down her face, begging the titular character, and the caption read “ Live look at Nigerians begging Runtown to stop making new songs with the same ‘Mad over you’ beat”. Of course memes are not to be taken too seriously, but there was an element of truth to this particular one, as the Nigerian artist was perhaps a bit guilty of modelling his subsequent songs after the smash hit in a bid to recreate a winning formula. He has since gained moderate success with some of the music he has put out, but on his new EP ‘Tradition’, he is found guilty of being too repetitive…again.
This is not to say that the music on this project is all bad. Actually, there are no terrible songs, just terribly familiar songs everywhere you look. The opening track, ‘Redemption’, is probably the best, as it sees the artist gliding effortlessly over a sultry, gentle Afrobeat, sweetly asking his lady to ‘give him redemption’ and ‘take time’. The next track, ‘Emotions’, is similarly vibely and breezy, perfect for a sunny drive on a Saturday drive. ‘Unleash’ a favourite of most, goes hard. It contains the only feature;Fekky of the EP and would have been empty without it.
The rest of the tape fails to match the mastery of the three and also fails to show us a side of Runtown we haven’t seen before. “Pull up in a benz she go reconsider” Runtown never fails to drops quotables as the EP is littered with punchlines and wordplay that niggas will be tweeting for days. ‘International Badman Killa’ is literally every Runtown song you’ve heard ever. Fr fr. All this is a damn shame because it is obvious that he’s improved as an artist since he came on the scene. His flow and understanding of how to make music has come on leaps and bounds for sure.
It’s just not translating into his music because he’s scared to move out of familiar territory. His unwillingness to push his sound further will mean that he will keep making above average music, definitely make hits every now and then, but will not come to mind when you’re asked to mention artists you fuck with. I hope he realizes that and gains the courage to try something new, because right now his songs are like Kumawood movies; if you’ve heard one you’ve heard them all.
This review doesn’t not represent the opinion of Soundcity Africa or her affiliates, only those of the writer.