In 2017, Nigerian star, Mayorkun launched onto the Nigerian music scene with two new singles in 'Eleko' and 'Sade.' It was around that period that he also signed to Davido's record label, DMW. A year later, he won Next Rated at the 2018 Headies.
But in between that run, he embarked on a 35-school performance to enhance his brand and make money - however little. At the end of 2017, he headlined his first Mayor of Lagos concert in Lagos and it proved successful. A year later, he released his debut album, Mayor of Lagos and it won Best Pop Album at the 2019 Headies.
For years, Mayor of Lagos was Mayorkun's identity. In fact, saying '..of Lagos' in a random conversation might get you the question, 'Are you talking about Mayorkun?' It became ownership, a power of expression and brand identity. Mayorkun even held a second Mayor of Lagos concert n December 2018 and it was also successful.
Mayor of Lagos became like a brand identity like OBO for Davido, Starboy for Wizkid - or The Weeknd (oops) - Mummy Jam Jam for Tiwa Savage and OLIC for Olamide. So when Mayorkun started bending genres for his artistic pleasure in 2020, nobody was surprised when a song 'Geng' started with the furtive proclamation, 'Of Lagos.'
It resonated with the power of ownership and confidence - Mayorkun was basically saying, 'It's mine like Peruzzi is always looooing...' Then, he released a song titled, 'Of Lagos' which was basically eccentric musicality and troublesome beauty from the owner of the title. You can tell by now that the song is fire. If you can't, shalla to you like 'Orente.'
'Of Lagos' dropped on April 12, 2020 and it came in form of a 'call and response.' To every 'Of Lagos' that landed like Thor's hammer, there was an expression before it.
Zlatan - Of LayLay
On April 14, 2020, Nigerian rapper, Zlatan, Rahman Jago and Jamo Pyper got under Zlatan's Zanku Records umbrella to release their infectious dedication to Lagos titled, 'Of Lay Lay.' Like Mayorkun's 'Of Lagos,' it was also a call and response.
But if Mayorkun's 'Of Lagos' was a tale of call and response that borders of self-adulation, Zlatan and his geng turned their own affair into the final part of a Yinka Ayefele tungba song - they hailed Lagos socialites and phenomena. Olamide, Davido, Poco Lee and more got shout-outs.
I'm sure we've all been thinking about how curious it is that Zlatan and his guys dropped a song with a title that's of known association with the identity of another artist, who was also set to drop a song of a similar title. Nonetheless, that doesn't matter.
What matters is that both songs are both passive odes to the city of Lagos, its many exciting parts and how all the artists involved in this discourse associate with the city.
Asides that, both are good songs with uniquely attractive features that do not overlap. However, we are never going to take out the part of people's questions as regards Mayorkun's 'title' getting used at a curious time.
Zlatan's 'Of Lay Lay' might be the better song, but Mayorkun's 'Of Lagos' is like a man for all seasons.