“Red Flags” by Ruger
What is easily ascertainable is that “Red Flags” centers on the now-tumultuous romantic relationship between the singer and addressee. That is what Ruger means when he asserts that she “saw the red flags” – i.e. signs that their romance was headed down this path – yet “ignored” them. Or put differently, to some degree he is blaming her for this less-than-ideal reality having developed.
But that said, even though the lyrics do primarily center on said discontent which has developed, it is not abundantly clear what it is that’s driving them apart. For instance, in the first verse, Ru comes off as a celebrity who has so many romantic interests that he’s not really inclined to tie himself down at the moment.
In the pre-chorus, the addressee, who is apparently his established girlfriend, does accuse the vocalist of having grown vain (for lack of a better word). But Ruger doesn’t seem to agree or disagree with that claim, which is quite telling.
Indeed reading in between the lines, if we were to be totally honest, it does read as if the singer is on the verge of cutting his sweetheart off now that he has made it big. It’s as if now he can’t tell whether their relationship is based on “love or lust”, i.e. genuine affection or the two of them more simply satisfying each other’s carnal needs.
And yes, we do understand that most famous musicians, upon blowing up, don’t usually stay with the person they dated beforehand. But it is kinda surprising to more or less witness one brag about doing so in song.
Who is Rugger?
Ruger is an Afrobeats singer who burst onto the Nigerian music scene in 2021. Between then and the release of “Red Flags”, he has released three EPs and a slew of singles, as well as being nominated for quite a few industry awards.
Release of “Red Flags”
Rugger released “Red Flags” on 15 November 2022 via Jonzing World, a record label affiliated with Columbia Records.
Ruger released this single at that same time as another titled “Asiwaju”. According to the vocalist, this track was slated to come out two weeks before it actually did. But he postponed its release out of respect for the passing of Ifeanyi. Ifeanyi was the son of Davido (i.e. one of the most-popular Nigerian musicians in the world). Ifeanyi sadly drowned at the beginning of November. He was just three years old when he died.
Writing and Production
“Red Flags” was written by Ruger, and its producer is a Londoner known as TobiShyBoy. This is the same producer behind J Hus’ 2019 song titled “No Denying“.