RU The World

RU The World

Blessed with an unbeatable knack for staying on top of culture’s pulse, Ruger has always known how to make an introduction and get his audience on their feet. His debut project, 2021’s PANDEMIC EP, was a Gen Z-propelled response to the lonesome effects of COVID-19 lockdowns, while 2022’s incendiary EP The Second Wave paired the rising star’s hitmaking gravitas with a subtle wink to the social media lingo and quirks that have worked their way into wider Afropop culture—while referencing sexcapades and the perks of his burgeoning public profile. On Ruger’s first full-length project, 2023’s RU the World, the singer subverts the braggadocio and chest-thumping angst that has largely defined his work for a textured and revealing reimmersion into his world. “I feel like people will understand me more,” the singer tells Apple Music. “Most of the time, I’ve not been able to talk about a lot of things because I didn’t want to speak about it yet. So, I feel like I was misunderstood at some point. People will know me more and just get the storyline behind everything I’ve done and what I'm doing right now. There are lots of things I couldn’t say that I just said in this album.” Across 17 tracks, Ruger is engaging while candidly addressing his come-up, love life, and place in the game over midtempo instrumentals that take influences from Afropop, drill, amapiano, and house. Still, he is committed to making music to soundtrack different phases of people’s lives. Read on as Ruger runs us through key tracks from the album. “Tour” “‘Tour’ is about my tour life. I just finished my United States tour. I’m [getting ready] for my headline tour in London. I toured Europe this year. I toured Canada this year. So, everything that happened during the tour, my struggle, the hustle, and everything, I put all of it into that song. The funny thing about this song is that Kukbeatz made this beat in the toilet. He started making the beat in the toilet. Then we vibed, and we made a hit record.” “Ashana” “‘Ashana’ is just like gangster love. It’s that feeling of having a baddie beside you. Sometimes, after you've done the dirty work, you just want someone to massage your body and make you feel good. It was produced by Legendury Beatz. There’s a grace they carry because they don’t just work with anybody. It’s a very catchy song.” “I Want Peace” “This one is a relationship-type song. It touches on most of the struggles we face with relationships because many people are in toxic relationships these days. So, I’m just trying to say, ‘I want peace, man. Can you just give me peace or let me be?’” “Blue” “‘Blue’ is about a one-night stand I had that turned into a fling or a short relationship. I liked the girl at some point, but not now—I’m over that. So, the song was about that experience. It was produced by Kukbeatz.” “Addiction” [Ruger & Stefflon Don] “Stefflon Don was very amazing to work with. ‘Addiction’ is just about being addicted to one person. You can’t leave the person no matter what. You know that person, so you’re just going back to that person no matter how crazy it is. There’s just that girl or guy that just gets you every time; no matter how long you stay apart from each other, you still end up circling around and getting back with each other.” “Kristy” “‘Kristy’ is basically a love song that gives assurance to whoever you love. I’m telling you, ‘I am here to stay no matter what. No matter what scars you have, no matter whatever you’re going through, we’re in this together.’” “All My Days” [Ruger & Sauti Sol] “I really love this song. It was produced by BenjiFlow, a UK producer. What I love most about this song is the instruments that were used—everything just gave it that African and very melodious type of vibe. I had finished the song already, but [then] I went to Kenya, and I was like, ‘I need to put Sauti Sol on this song.’ They just went in on it, and it was amazing.” “Nine” “‘Nine' is too hard, man. It’s a mixture of Afrobeats, amapiano, and house. I love it so much. It’s upbeat and very crazy. It just has a lot of components that people will love so much.” “Likely” [Ruger & Govana] “Govana is a legendary artist from Jamaica, and he vibed on this immediately. But this collaboration wasn’t about tapping in with Jamaica. When you play me a beat or when you play an instrument to me, it speaks to me. The beat tells me what to do on it. Sometimes, as an artist, just like a painter, the colors you put together tell you what to draw. The colors you put together will tell you if you’re going to draw the sea or you’re going to draw the sunset. So, when they played me the beat for ‘Likely,’ I just put it together on the Jamaican vibe.” “BoyToy" “‘BoyToy' is a sex song, actually. I can’t wait for the gyal dem to listen to it because they need to have a song for themselves and something to go crazy to. It was produced by Kid Paris in London. “Dear Ex” [Ruger & Jugglerz] “I recorded ‘Dear Ex’ in Germany in 2022, when I was on my European tour. Shout-out to Jugglerz; they’re the ones who produced that song. That song is just me apologizing for the mistakes that I’ve made relationship-wise. It’s good to be remorseful if you do a bad thing. I think I’m a changed man and a better person now. So, it’s only right for me to make this song.” “Island Girl” [Ruger & Projexx] “Projexx and I have [worked together before] on ‘Sidepiece.’ So, I knew I had to put Projexx on my album. There’s something about me and Projexx that allows our voices to complement each other, so it was easy. The Jamaican vibe, the softness in the voice, everything was just perfect.” “Red Flags” “‘Red Flags’ is an amazing song. It’s the first song I perform at my shows. I go onto the stage with ‘Red Flags,’ and it goes bonkers. You see girls shouting and screaming along to the lyrics. They scream at the top of their lungs. I think girls like this song because it speaks to them and the experiences they’ve been through. They’ve been in relationships where they think they can make things work, but at the end of the day, they’re fucking things up.” “Bun Bun” [Ruger & Jugglerz] “‘Bun Bun’ was produced by Jugglerz in Germany, too. That session was amazing. I think the Jugglerz just got a new studio, and I said, ‘Let me go test it out.’ We made ‘Bun Bun,’ and it’s just an amazing and vibey song.” “Holy Ground” “I recorded ‘Holy Ground’ in 2020, and I just felt like it’s the perfect song to close the album because it’s a song that has a lot of prophecy in it. I made it in a very small studio, and I’m happy that it’s on this album. The album is just an extension of myself. People are going to know me more when they listen to this album. They’re going to have a reaction. Whoever hates me will love me more now, or even hate me more, depending on how they feel after listening to the album.”

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