Half a world away, the aftermath of recent events seems too unreal to contemplate. Preceded by hundreds of years of oppression, painful moments and emotional cries for social justice, moral clarity seemed to have at last gathered momentum as the Black Lives Matter movement looks set to become one of the biggest in US history, and yet, the world wavers at the point of action as the rush of blood subsides.
As outsiders, we are only afforded snapshots of emotional incidents that occur with alarming, and desensitising, regularity. Alongside Gregory Porter’s 2010 release ‘1960’s What?’, which so emotively cried out that ‘The Motor City’s burning, and that ain’t right’ in response to a young man wrongly gunned down by police, Nadir Omowale’s ‘Run’ seemingly furthers a trend for music linked with Detroit as race related records of brutality.
‘Run‘, at its heart, is a song about stamina and perseverance… we’re constantly running… slowing down simply isn’t an option. If I let them catch me, I’m as good as dead.
Born in part as a visceral response to the lynching of James Byrd Jr in Texas back in June 1998, ‘Run’ has simmered for over twenty years and has been recorded and shelved over a dozen times since. The final version burst forward in Spring of this year in reaction to the fatal shooting of Georgia citizen Ahmaud Arbery. Gunned down by citizens as he jogged near his home, the record is also as a tribute to all black people who have been made to suffer for acts of inhumanity – documented by the media or otherwise.
A core cast member of the legendary Don Was All Star Revue, regarded by the Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan producer as “the bridge between classic and contemporary R&B – a crucial link in the chain of great Detroit Soul men”, Nadir has become well known and highly regarded for his fierce positive vision and pure artistic integrity in the USA.
Recorded as four separate versions especially for DJs, ‘Run’ is available as a full vocal track, as an acapella, an instrumental, and also as a drumapella.
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