The Runaway (aka Jon Corbin) is a Canadian hip-hop & spoken word artist with lyrical themes of faith, love, family, social justice and personal growth. With 16 years of experience in music, The Runaway holds a wide range of talents including being a bassist, drummer, worship leader, poet, radio & podcast host, journalist, DJ and public speaker. Over the past 9 years he has traveled Southern Ontario, Canada, providing a dynamic show that represents the basic tenets of hip-hop: peace, love, unity and having fun!
The Runaway’s diverse catalogue speaks to the variety of ways he engages the listener. His debut release, A Brief Word (2007), was designed to spark conversations in the hip-hop community on social responsibility and the proper treatment of women, including the Tupac Shakur inspired fan favourite “Name From A Woman.” The album was reprised as a live band recording at the University of Waterloo’s radio station. Live @ The Palindrome won the university’s Sonic Boom award for best live-to-air recording of 2007.
In 2010, The Runaway released a follow up EP, Round Two. Here, the emcee continued on diverse topics such as honouring marriage and developing a strong faith, while maintaining an energetic hip-hop flavour with standout tracks like “Away We Go” and “Bless You Too.” Also notable on the project was “Spit Hot Fire,” a posse cut featuring an outstanding underground cast including Shad, Sivion (Deepspace 5), Braille (Humble Beast) and ILL Seer (of the UK’s Delegates of Culture).
With Inspired (2012), The Runaway demonstrates his willingness to experiment, combining inspirational hip-hop lyrics with the acoustic instrumentation of modern folk music. Produced by the folk duo Ash & Bloom, the project features mature songwriting and inviting melodies. A highlight is a reworking of Cyndi Lauper’s “Time After Time” featuring vocals from Caroline Brooks of the Juno award winning Good Lovelies.
As The Runaway rolls on, he continues to be involved in a variety of community building ventures. He volunteers at a hip-hop based drop-in program, organizes a hip-hop mentoring group for younger emcees, and performs at fundraisers for community outreach programs. This places The Runaway in a large group of hip-hop enthusiasts who work hard to build character, culture, and community. Thankful for the journey, The Runaway hopes to continue to inspire in the years to come.