Album Title- ‘Back In Office’, Tracks- ’12’, Review- ‘It’s a fully African project and a strategic play for his career, Aiming for The Mayor of Africa’.
Mayokun ‘MAYORKUN’ Adewale is the son of popular Nollywood actress, Toyin Adewale, and Back In Office Album is not his first foray in the way of Afrobeats projects. His debut album, The Mayor Of Lagos earned him an acronym that has outlived its usefulness and metamorphosed to influence his sophomore offering.
He didn’t just become the Mayor of Lagos overnight, from being the Eleko crooner to the DMW posterboy for unparalleled talent and lambas, to being the Mayor of Lagos, the only Lagos leader who deserves a second term in office, Mayorkun has had one hell of a ride ever since he got signed in 2016.
Mayorkun’s got an impressive run and definitely doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Although, for some reason, he’s not been able to clinch a supercharged ride to global stardom like his industry peers, when it comes to the African market, Mayorkun’s influence and hit catalogue can only be rivalled by a privileged few.
He’s been able to avoid a scandalous career over the years, despite his affiliations to the most popular gang in the country; 30BG/DMW. His attention to the music side of his business consistently kept him in the limelight and out of trouble.
BACK IN OFFICE ALBUM REVIEW
This project is another interesting curation of his hit-filled journey ever since he made his way into the industry. Unlike most of his colleagues, Mayorkun has never had any downtime in his career; he’s dropping a full-length sophomore project at a time when most are tailoring down to EPs.
Mayorkun’s first track off the album, ‘Soldierboy‘ is a MasterClass in versatility and a welcome addition to his arsenal of talents. It’s a good time to be alive, hearing Mayor rap effortlessly is definitely one of my Afrobeats highlights of the year. It’s an honest chronicle of what it means to be him at the moment, a proper African pop star, with all the accompanying love and adequate share of naysayers.
Back In Office is the official lead single off the album. It deploys a mid tempo number buoyed by an impressive array of afrofusion elements borrowed from varying African cultures. This isn’t surprising, over the last few years, Mayorkun was one of the few Nigerian musicians who initially cracked the local addiction to the amapiano sound and re-engineered it to score more than a few hits. His catalogue is mind-bursting and you can peruse it if you’re interested in a truly African hit making process.
FREEDOM, on the other hand is the only socially-thematic song on the album and Mayorkun gets amazing grades for effort here. Reggae may not be his most comfortable genre of music, but he certainly showed out and we could all clearly see how much work he’s put in to craft this amazingly curated sophomore project.
Let Me Know is the first official release off the album, and it’s modelled after RunTown’s signature ad-libs influenced Afro-fusion style. It’s guaranteed to be a sleeper hit across Africa and will definitely take Mayorkun to newer countries in Africa.
DESIRE, a feature with Gyakie, is a definitive play on sensuality and intimacy. Mayor brightens things up with his playful wordplay and all is just perfect with the world.
No Strings Attached is a braggadocious number that employs Joeboy’s beautiful ranges in the way it describes the audacious doings in a Lagos nightclub on a typical Lagos night. Simply putting a price on an uncooperative sexy lady of the night, with your preferred condition can change the tide of the night for any Lagos boy. A Mayorkun and Joeboy feature is an easy hit anywhere and it’s not surprising to see it do crazy streaming numbers.
Holy Father is undoubtedly the best song on the album. It is unique, trap-based and will resonate with Gen-Z listeners, a good thing for any business nowadays not excluding the music business. It is not surprising that it’s the only song on the album to have debuted at the top of the Apple Music Nigeria Top 100 chart at the time of writing this review. With Victony’s unique trap vocals & Mayor’s wordplay, the job of serenading a woman becomes porn poetry. It’s easy to get sunk in and quite dangerous to resist. It’s an absolute banger and I can’t wait to see how it does generally.
Nakupenda is heavily influenced by South African Amapiano and you cannot but applaud Mayorkun’s insistence on quality production and a catalogue of sound mashups that tingle the medulla. What he cannot offer in the way of vocal range, Mayorkun makes up for it with an arsenal of wordplay, melodic brilliance and unchecked vibes and top notch production. He plays with Amapiano a lot more than the average Nigerian artist and it does work for him.
The only question I have is.. If his insistence on jumping on purely African sounds is a result of his inability to actually do as well on songs with crossover potential or his preference for the African market appeal over the Yanks.
Flavour & Mayorkun on a highlife jam is a madness. This is a genre where both Artists feel at home. Although Mayorkun may have no Eastern roots, his melodic brilliance affords him incredible highlife power on a song. When he’s joined by legendary Flavour? “You have no other option than to Feel Am.”
His ode to some of the biggest names in the East also betrays Mayorkun’s interest in raking performance fees from the Eastern part of the country, and he’s getting the full support of a legend while at it. It’s equally beautiful to see that Mayorkun did his research about the Igbo Language and actually used some native words in his writing. It directly reflects on his nature as a respectful human being.
One thing you can always count on every time you hear Mayorkun’s portion of Afropop real estate is a combination of comical wordplay and elite melody; Piece Of Mind is one such asset. He easily draws a parallel from a pain point in his life and still manages to create a funny hook out of it. That only happens with generational talents.
Jay Jay is your proof that Mayorkun is addicted to Amapiano. The heavy drums and percussion feels completely at home with his wordplay as he compares himself to the legendary Nigerian midfielder Jay Jay Okocha. DJ Maphorisa & Kabza De Small also validate his induction to Amapiano royalty with their smoothest vibes.
Mayorkun’s Outro is an ode to money, God, good life, Nigerian society, the ills of the world. He’s a living testimony and a template for the young man with dreams bigger than their mind can keep up with.
Back In Office is a very intentional project, and a brilliant sophomore from the former DMW front-liner. Although it would be important to point out that this project doesn’t seem to be aiming for any crossover target. It’s a fully African project and a strategic play for his career. Now that he’s signed to both Sony & Columbia UK, we can’t wait to see the magic that’ll be performed on the distribution efforts for the album.
Comment: This is a guaranteed success for Mayorkun and everyone one his team.
Mayorkun’s Back In Office Album Review-
Written by AfrobeatsMerije.
Bisi-Taiwo Chukwumerije is a blood-bound Nigerian music journalist & A&R in his early 20s. He goes by the pseudonym ‘AfrobeatsMerije’, and considers himself one of the greatest psyche in Afrobeats.
Tweet your favourite songs, EPs, LPs, Albums, & music projects at him; @AfrobeatsMerije.