It’s a resigned yet scathing indictment in a tune steeped in line after line of social commentary, the couplets’ biting quality matched by their astuteness. Coming from the beleaguered city of Flint, Michigan, themes of cultural divide and entropy aren’t foreign to Olaniran. Yet, as the new video for “The Highway” shows, reflecting on the steam-rolling nature of cultural exploitation and gentrification doesn’t preclude such lofty subject matter from being presented in an entertaining manner.
The video finds a chrome-grilled Olaniran alternately walking through a crowded bar, vampirically attacking the necks of the patrons, holding court in a leather booth and leading cryptic backing dancers’ synchronized moves in a warehouse space. The song’s squeaking loop and fluctuating beats drive it on as Olaniran raps or croons his sarcastic observations. With those aforementioned dancers, the video gives an approximation of Olaniran’s live shows, something that must be seen. Fortunately, there are some opportunities to do just that, as the man is playing a handful of dates in his home state and beyond.
April 4 Swarthmore, PA — Olde Club at Swarthmore College
April 5 Washington, D.C. — Comet Ping Pong
April 12 Bloomington, IN — Indiana University
April 19 Royal Oak, MI — Royal Oak Music Theatre w/ Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.
May 31 Bay City, MI — BeMo’s Bar
June 7 Detroit, MI — Hart Plaza