#BumpThis: Kizz Daniel’s “Eko”

June 20, 2019

There’s so much music out there that it’s hard for even the most loyal fans to stay up with their favourite artists or what’s new and hot right now. That’s why we’ve created #BumpThis – a daily series that features the one song you need to listen to, every day. Don’t say we never did anything for you.


For a city that is producing its biggest cultural moments in decades, I’ve always felt like there aren’t that many songs about Lagos. The city is referenced quite often in your favourite hits, and sometimes – as in MI Abaga’s “Lekki” – not in the most glorious portrayals. But its energy, the counter-productive disparities between wealthy and poverty-ravaged, and the unexplainable adaptability of the average Lagosian have never quite been put into music in the contemporary era.

Kizz Daniel does that with near perfection on “Eko”. The song first entered the airwaves in early June, but as with every attempt at curating a culture these days, the visuals have elaborated Kizz’s vision. What is perhaps most refreshing is that it represents the full spectrum of the city as seen or heard of by the average person.

Sure, Kizz spends a lot of scenes dancing Zanku with very distracting diamond-encrusted rings and singing about how every time he enters the club, he causes hypertension. But Kizz also shows you the side of Lagos that is a school of hard knocks, marijuana smoke and flooded streets.

Lyrics like “Eko lo ti ma k’ogbon” and “Eko l’awa” are popular street slang and should become a part of your lexicon in good time. And it is made possible thanks to a stripped-down beat by Philkeyz that sounds comfortable being the sidekick in this show, a rare position, I imagine, for any afro-pop beat.

Kizz Daniel stands broad-chested on a danfo, one of Lagos’ signature yellow, black-striped buses, with arms raised like a street champion in the video – a familiar trope. But he feels more like a proud part of its history than a poster boy. He knows where he is, we all do. This city will humble anybody.

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