For Mayorkun, it’s been a long time coming and “Back In Office” is a documentary of the life he’s been living, the times, and the vibes.
On “Freedom,” the third track on the album, you’ll hear him claim he’s still the same guy, and he hasn’t changed, but don’t listen to him—that’s just not true. This is the most different he’s been in years, as evidenced by the song he’s actually saying that on.
But that’s the catch. The irony of the growth Mayorkun has undergone is that the more he changes, the more he sounds familiar. It’s taken him a while, but he has finally become a household name, he’s become that guy everyone recognizes. That’s literally a standard. The only one Mayor has been judged by for so long.
After all, “Back In Office” is his first album in three years. Sure, he’s fed the streets consistently and he did hold down the lockdown for a long time. But for his status, that’s just not enough.
Since the last time he dropped something, Wizkid has three projects, Olamide has released four, Burna Boy had released three and Davido, two. Now, if the Mayor of Lagos is gonna be considered as even the next in line for the kind of dominance those four guys have, he needs to have his works on the streets more.
That’s why “Back In Office” couldn’t have gotten here soon enough. He needs it just as much as we do. And, what’s more, we need to actually talk about the music!
Twenty seconds into the album, as you hear the singer burst some Wale Turner-esque rhymes and flows, you’re listening and you’re like “okay, why this?” That has come to become the default reaction to Mayorkun’s stuff, of recent. You don’t get it—at first, but then you start to feel it.
Take the “Soldier Boy” intro for example. He starts rapping, he does a hook, and you know that’s not the kind of song that’s becoming a smash or anything, but it’s short enough that while you’re still trying to figure, the title track “Back In Office” is already playing. And that’s quite the anthem.
“Back In Office” has that instant appeal that quickly reminds us of why Mayorkun has all the love he has. For one, in this song, he sounds like someone that actually learned from Davido. On to the next, and the next, and you’ll realize Mayorkun has actually changed.
“Freedom” is his own take on the sociopolitical crisis in Africa, “Desire” with Gyakie is the mushy Mayorkun, “Let Me Know” and “Nakupenda” are the certified loverboy Mayor, and “Jay Jay” and “No Strings Attached”—featuring Joeboy—showcase his Yoruba demon playboy side, and it’s all perfect.
There’s not a lot of themes, or topics in “Back In Office.” It’s simply just Mayorkun trying to get back to the streets, make a few hits in the process—obviously—and just move on to the next phase.
Musically, the album is fire. But then again, that’s no surprise cause Mayorkun understands this music thing. He’s got very breathtaking backup vocals, too. And the instrumentals, couldn’t be better. What the album is lacking is a coherence in the sound, and like many other albums, it’s got no direction.