Sarkodie and Runtown's "Pain Killer" is an undeniable banger, co-prepared by Nigerians using the tastiest of Ghanaian ingredients.
Individually they command A-star ratings for quality and consistency and, as a tag-team, the result could only be magical.
“Pain Killer” is produced by T Spize, Runtown’s longterm collaborator, who made his first hit “Gallardo” as well as Davido's “Aye.”
His beat for “Pain Killer” is recognisably Ghanaian in how the percussion is syncopated and, even more pronounced, in the looped and slightly-pitched flute notes on the chorus.
It's no longer news that Sarkodie is a hell of a dexterous rapper and the fact that he does it mostly in twi will continue to impress.
Perhaps it's an even bigger advantage that the majority of Sarkodie’s fans are illiterate in twi, and so are impressed with his delivery, flow pattern and what little they can glean from his English phrases, but they may never become too familiar with his words and meanings.
Runtown inhabits his Soundgod moniker with every such release, combining his ear for infectious melodies and his un-showy singing which, above all else, aims to soothe and seduce.
Here he convincingly sings in twi, a move he steered clear of on “Mad Over You,” but one which further embeds him in Ghana’s soundscape.
A theory, which I can't defend, is that T Spize, having seen Runtown’s Del B-produced “Mad Over You” quickly become a bonafide hit felt that, as Runtown's chief of staff, he ought to cream off the brilliance by further appropriating the Ghanaian sound.
And even less plausibly, Runtown, eager to avoid fresh charges of appropriation, took the song to Sarkodie, who would have immediately known once hearing it that it's banger. And who also had no qualms eating to full-belly this sumptuous meal of a song, co-prepared by Nigerians using the tastiest of Ghanaian ingredients.
All conjecture, of course, but one thing is certain, if this “Pain Killer” were to come in a capsule, big pharmas will experience instant revenue loss.
Download Sarkodie and Runtown's "Pain Killer" on iTunes.
Sabo Kpade is an Associate Writer with Spread The Word. His short story Chibok was shortlisted for the London Short Story Prize 2015. His first play, Have Mercy on Liverpool Street was longlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award. He lives in London. You can teach him at email@example.com