The current musical landscape in Jamaica finds artists exploring new genres beyond the typical reggae and fusing them to create their own unique sound. Runkus, a rising artist hailing from Portmore, is one of the pack’s leaders.
His latest video for “99%.,” which is exclusively premiering on Billboard Friday (Aug. 16), melds the rugged melodies of dancehall with a trap-leaning flow and wise lyricism that speaks on becoming your own boss.
Co-directed by Runkus himself and Yannick Reid (Protoje’s creative director), the visual highlights the youths in his hometown while also giving a handful of financial tips. Some include “Jamaican musicians: Sign up for JACAP, own your masters” and the location of Jamaica’s cheapest gas station.
“1% of the world’s population controls the world’s wealth. We are the 99%.,” Runkus tells Billboard. “However, regardless of these stats, the real wealth is life itself, which is priceless. Money should be attained and utilized in ways to better life, but never worshipped. This song is a testimony to that, written in a way that highlights the need of money, and more importantly the knowledge of how to use it, rather than being used by it.”
“For the video, like the song,” he continues. “Yannick Reid and I looked to create a visual that people could watch and literally make money instead of showing them money I’ve made. Tell me, who doesn’t want that? At the end of the day, money doesn’t make you but.. money haffi mek.”
“99%.” is the lead single from Runkus’ debut album classisHim., which set to drop early next year via Delicious Vinyl Island. It features fellow Jamaican artists like Chronixx, Ky-Mani Marley, Jah 9 and Royal Blu. Check out the “99%.” video below.