On September 1, 2023, Nigerian music artist Ruger released his debut album, ‘Ru The World’, consisting of 17 tracks. Read on for the review!
Anticipation for a debut album by Ruger rose after he released ‘Asiwaju’ on November 15, 2022. ‘Asiwaju’ became a mega hit across Africa, accumulating millions of streams to date; and, it was deservedly accepted at home too, remaining untouched for several weeks in its peaked number one position on Nigeria’s Apple Music chart.
One month before ‘Asiwaju’, he had an avoidable scuffle with a colleague, BNXN (fka Buju), stirred up by a random user on Twitter (now known as X) and later fueled by other social users comparing who had better pen game and more streams between the two.
There was, since then, a thirst for an album from each of them.
Did Ruger fall short of the gargantuan expectations had of him with ‘Ru The World’?
On September 1, 2023, Ruger released his debut album, ‘Ru The World’, consisting of 17 tracks, four—‘Asiwaju’, ‘Red Flags’, ‘Jonzing Boy’, ‘Bun Bun’—of which had dropped as singles between November 2022 and May 2023. The album has as guest artists Stefflon Don, Sauti Sol, Govana, Projexx, and Jugglerz.
Of note, this is Ruger’s first time of working with other artists, either being featured by them or being the one featuring them. For over two years, he maintained an egotistical record of ‘doing it solo’, a cheap card he played against BNXN, who has a fame for delivering better verses and catchier hooks on featured songs than his own.
Back to the album, ‘Ru The World’ boasts only seven good songs out of 17 off the album. And, even among the so-called seven good songs, none is highly certain to become a continental hit (a global hit would be a fetch).
There are ‘Tour’, ‘Ashana’, ‘Nine’, ‘Blue’, Dear Ex’, and ‘I Want Peace’, together with pre-released ‘Asiwaju’ and ‘Jonzing Boy’, as the most fitting tracks for the album. The rest perhaps should have been saved for a future mixtape.
The four new collaborations—‘All My Days’, ‘Likely’, ‘Addiction’, ‘Island Girl’—are not so great. The artists seem to be featured on the wrong songs. Stefflon Don, for instance, doesn’t make ‘Addiction’ sound better. ‘Dear Ex’ could’ve been the perfect song for her.
Nonetheless, the Drill-inspired ‘Tour’ (one of the most perfect album intros ever used) is well produced, written, recorded, and has no flaws that I heard. There is a bag of emotion in this part of the hook, where he sings triumphantly ‘Mama you cannot worry no more, see your son is on tour’.
On ‘Ashana’, produced by Legendury Beatz, he shows amazing craftsmanship, riding the beat with confidence and ease. Ruger’s secret (you may have discovered it, too) is his voice! The suitability of the voice for almost any genre, be it Dancehall, Reggae, R&B, Pop, is his secret weapon. And he knows it, too.
‘Dear Ex’, an apology letter to different girls he has been involved with, is his reality as unrepentant playboy. There is no doubt about songwriting being a natural talent for him. This he also shows off on ‘Blue’. So he does on ‘I want Peace’.
While this is not the best Ruger can do, he scores a few additional hit songs from this album, that may do no more than his old songs.
What are your favorite songs off ‘Ru The World’?
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