Composed: Bobby, Choice37
Not knowing much of Bobby’s work in IKON aside from the most recent releases, and his work in MOBB, I was pleasantly surprised by all of Love and Fall (Bobby’s debut solo album). Instead of the “in your face” bombastic rap Bobby has given us before, Love and Fall is full of soulful songs, like “Runaway”, that seem to truly reflect how Bobby feels. “Runaway” is not a fast paced song that you could actually run to, but instead, it’s a song that you can runaway into.
The song starts with a slow bass riff and Bobby quietly proclaiming “I wanna runaway”. The intro for this song creates an expectation of a ballad, but then the soprano hits, and the song goes into full swing, the beats begin and Bobby starts rapping. It’s a fairly steady beat throughout the rest of the song: a bass guitar, and a drum machine which sounds similar to clapping, interspersed with an arpeggio (the notes of a chord sung in succession instead of together) in a soprano’s voice. Here Bobby speaks of all the things that are troubling him, everything that is making him want to runaway, such as his fear of failing:
I have a habit of thinking mistakes are failures
I don’t wanna fail so I keep stopping my efforts
Cuz I don’t wanna get hurt, I avoid new encounters
It’s better to cry alone, no need to be cautious
The subtle violin signals the transition into the pre-chorus, which is used to transition from the faster paced verses into the slowed down chorus. As the beat slows a little, Bobby stops spitting rhymes. We find him in that special place somewhere between rapping and singing.
In the mirror
It’s not the me I used to know
I want to chase after my dreams
But responsibility weighs down on my shoulders
If you see my swaying
Please take me away, far away
I wanna runaway
This idea of being lost and not recognizing himself anymore lyrically leads us into the chorus, much in the same way the music itself does.
Once in the chorus the beats transition to sound even more like the clapping of hands, the heavier bass transforms into a soft but upbeat violin, and Bobby full out sings:
To a place where no one knows me
To a place where no one looks for me
Raise me up
I just can’t go on, take me away
I wanna runaway
Building off the lyrics in the pre-chorus, Bobby is now full out claiming that he needs to get away from everything and everyone. You can hear him reaching to hit the notes in the chorus, but because of his raspy voice and the tone of the song he makes it work. And something that generally makes me cringe, is one of my favourite parts of this song.
The bridge slows down even more, dropping the clapping drum instrumental, and only a sparse keyboard is heard along with with Bobby singing “runaway”, similar to the intro. The electric drum beat changes slightly from before as a little speed is picked up. It is here, within the bridge, the we find the only uplifting lyrics in the song:
It’ll be alright
At the end of this wandering
The me that I will find
As Bobby starts to change course so does the music and what before sounded like a slow chorus now takes off with speed, as if the song itself is running away. This time understanding that sometimes getting away from everything is really the best answer. The impact of the bridge is amazing as the rest of the song now has a hopeful feel to it instead of a defeated one.
The magic in this song is how Bobby’s voice is used as another instrument. They all change direction and tone together.They build off each other beautifully. Every note, break, inflection and breath are all mirrored by the music. It’s difficult to tell if Bobby’s voice is conducting the change in tones, or if he’s the one following. The change is so in sync that I sometimes forget he is singing or rapping and isn’t another instrumental. It makes this song easy to get lost into, which is a nice getaway for when you can’t physically run away.
Translation credit: https://genius.com/Bobby-runaway-lyrics