‘Love.. For Free’ is not unlike anything listeners are used to from the music star.
Mayorkun’s decision to drop an EP is a conscious and sobering effort to maintain a much-needed presence in the mainstream.
Mayorkun’s last project ‘Back In Office’ released in 2021 is an impressive effort that only delivered a singular hit in ‘Holy Father’ featuring Victony. This was at a time when the Nigerian music market rapidly became shaped by hit singles and Afrobeats saw an unprecedented rise in international success.
It would be understandable if Mayorkun seems unsure of the current market and is still coming to terms with how fast things have changed since he last held commercial sway. For an artist used to scoring consecutive hit singles and whose assistance is highly desired by colleagues, it’s fair to say Mayorkun is in unfamiliar territory.
His latest EP, ‘Love..For Free’ shows that Mayorkun hasn’t lost any part of what made him one of Afrobeats’ most beloved hitmaker although it remains uncertain how the music might be received at a time when listeners’ attention can only be retained by the promise of instant gratification primarily found in hit records.
While he infuses elements of log drum which has been the common denominator in Nigerian mainstream Pop music since 2021, most of the project retains Mayorkun’s quintessential elements like ‘For Daddy’ which is a smooth record that fails to earn the attention it deserves in the current soundscape. Perhaps if released in 2019, the song would have enjoyed a significantly stronger commercial run.
There are interesting moments on the project where the track seems to have been created with attention to what’s obtainable commercially like in ‘Thermo’ where he combines smooth lines and infectious melody over log drums. The refrain and bounce seem capable of fitting into the BPM readjustment that drives TikTok’s commerciality. If a hit is to come from this EP, this song is possibly the leading contender as it combines current mainstream shaping elements while retaining Mayorkun’s peculiarities.
His decision to explore the hurt that comes from betrayal in both romantic and personal relationships appears to be an effort to give listeners an idea of some of the experiences in his personal life. The Swing leaning record ‘My Energy’ and the melody molding Amapiano record ‘Lowkey!’ see Mayorkun spare some thoughts on betrayal and distrust while taking solace in individuality.
At any rate, electing to release an EP is a conscious and admirable effort to maintain a much-needed presence in the mainstream. Amidst the current Afrobeats bull market, there’s no telling which song or artist can enjoy a commercial resurgence and Mayorkun is still very much the dazzling hitmaker listeners fell in love with.
• 0-1.9: Flop
• 2.0-3.9: Near fall
• 4.0-5.9: Average
• 6.0-7.9: Victory
• 8.0-10: Champion
Pulse Rating: /10
Album Sequencing: 1.5/2
Songwriting, Themes, and Delivery: 1.5/2
Enjoyability and Satisfaction: 1.5/2
Total: 7.5 – Victory