A one-time millionaire’s craving to massage his ego and an ambitious singer who wanted to be the best in Africa, this is the story of Runtown and Dilly.
Douglas Jack Agu, born August 19, had dreams of becoming one of the greatest musicians in the East.
During his teenage years while growing up in the coal city, Enugu, he met a friend, Chibuzor Nelson Azubuike, whom we all know now as Phyno.
Suffice to say the duo grew closer than friends, they were like brothers. Phyno, who started playing local instruments in 2003, started producing in Enugu but needed something more.
Runtown and Phyno moved to Lagos in 2007 in search of greener pastures. The road was bumpy but they kept at their dreams.
They started by producing soundtracks for other musicians, which got them the recognition they needed.
Runtown released several singles and featured stars like J. Martins and Timaya, among others.
In 2014, his single titled 'Gallardo' which featured Davido, made the singer know he had what it took to play in the big leagues.
Prior to the release of 'Gallardo', Runtown and Phyno formed a music company, called Penthauze, in 2008 and it was under this umbrella that they pushed their songs and Runtown released two singles.
Following the success of 'Gallardo', Runtown needed bulk finance to push his music to a wider audience and toyed with the idea of involving a money bag to give him the much needed financial muscle to take his career to the next level.
He would later discuss his plans with Phyno, about involving a financier to elevate Penthauze, an idea Phyno did not welcome.
He believed Runtown had the gift and needed to release more singles to get the desired recognition and wider audience he wished for.
A few months down the line, Runtown was introduced by a mutual friend and the then manager of Eric Many Entertainment, Bugo, to Dilly of Dilly Motors.
This meeting was at Dilly's son's birthday party in Lekki. They discussed some sort of partnership and working together.
Okwudili Umenyiora is popularly known as Dilly and his profile on the internet isn't one to turn a blind eye to.
He is the elder brother to United States NFL star, Osi Umenyiora, and also half-brother of Nicole, rapper Naeto C's wife.
He is married to Fifi Dilly and they have three children together. It is rumoured that the one-time millionaire's money has run thin.
Unknown to Runtown the millionaire at the time, Dilly, had a craving to satisfy his desire for owning his own record label like his mate, E-money.
Thus, he was elated when the ambitious singer, Runtown, fell right into his plans.
A few weeks after negotiations, they signed a contract and Eric Many Entertainment swung into operation.
Sources claim it wasn't a structured business entity like Mavin Records because things were done on a whim and without procedure.
The contract between Runtown and Eric Many had a two-year clause, from 2014 to 2016, and he would release an album before leaving. Dilly was represented by Bugo at the meeting who signed on his behalf.
The contract also stated a 50-35-15 sharing pattern. Dilly was to take 50% of the singer's earnings, Runtown was to take 35% of his earnings and give the remaining 15% to Bugo, the manager. It is rumored that Dilly did not follow the sharing formula through.
They started having issues almost immediately, as Dilly wanted to have his name mentioned in songs like Kcee did with Emoney.
He also wanted creative rights to Runtown's songs and became controlling towards the artist; thereby, stifling his creativity.
Runtown fought hard to retain his creative rights.
With the ongoing storm and tussle between Eric Many and Runtown, the singer travelled to London and his label boss got angry at him for going on a vacation.
This was because Eric Many suspected he went to london for a secret business without the company's knowledge.
Runtown also got into another heated fight with Dilly when he tried having a collaboration with DJ Khaled after audio recording. Dilly reportedly refused to release funds because he wasn't carried along from the start.
The opportunity passed and couldn't be regained because by the time Dilly came onboard, DJ Khaled was already a big deal and was more expensive than they could afford and at this time Runtown had exhausted most of his personal funds in trying to get the deal sealed.
Just before his contract was about to end in 2016, Runtown was working on releasing his album, titled 'Ghetto University.' Dilly cajoled the singer with a Nicki Minaj feature which he claimed would be big for the artist.
Dilly ensured Runtown signed another two-year contract with claims that featuring Nicki was expensive and he needed the time to make back his investment. It is safe to say the deal went like water under a bridge because Dilly was banned from the United States and couldn't travel to seal the supposed deal.
The plot thickened when Runtown asked for his 35% royalties which was due to him and the company gave him the financial records of padded expenditures, and filed an injunction against the singer for brokering deals without them and breaching his contract as well. That was just the beginning of the legal battles which ensued between Runtown, Dilly and Eric Many.
Sources claim that with Dilly's criminal background he was known to have threatened the singer severally. There have been accusations of physical assault as well as threats to release a sex tape involving the singer which later leaked in March 2018 during one of their numerous court cases, seeing that the singer couldn't be broken further.
There are also claims that Dilly ensured the singer's visa to the USA expired so he wouldn't travel without crawling and grovelling to him for help.
All these and many unsaid things transpired between Runtown and Eric Many. It is believed that one of Runtown's biggest regrets was not listening to Phyno.
Had he gone with his friend's advice, he would have released singles, gotten his recognition in record time and still be his own boss, since they both own Penthauze Music. But now, he lives on past glory of his two hit songs and has to think of how to resuscitate his ailing career.