‘See me see trouble am I a yahoo boy? ’ I don’t know if this was the punchline that got Naira Marley arrested by Economic and Financial Crime Commission of Nigeria but I am quite sure that arresting him was not only a Blessing in disguise but Blessing in a all white elegant Agbada.
As a former Abroad somebody, I know the challenges faced by Nigerian artists based in the Obodo Oyibo to be accepted by Nigerians in diaspora and finally to be accepted by Nigerians at home. It is almost an impossible task.
When you are an Nigerian artist in diaspora, it is hard for them to accept you.They will hardly appreciate you until you leave the overseas to go back home and become a star before they will acknowledge you as a bonafide star.
Naira Marley was not the first artist to leave ‘Obodo Oyibo’ to come to Nigeria to promote his music and achieve his dreams. In 2004, An unknown D’banj relocated from United Kingdom to Nigeria to pursue his musical career, D’banj, who was a back up artist for Jjc and the 419 squad in uk, the squad led by Abdulrasheed Bello a.k.a Jjc was doing well then in diaspora at that time.
OlaDapo Daniel Oyebanjo and his friend Don jazzy moved back to Lagos to start the game changing record label called Mo Hit records. Before D’banj moved to Nigeria,Rapper ‘Ikechukwu Killz’ was the first to move to Nigeria from United States and was signed by the defunct Storm records, artists like Banky W , Naeto C,Shakar EL, Saucekid, Lynxx etc all left their former base to move to Nigeria because of the Music hustle.
The first time I heard about Naira Marley was when he released the song titled Issa goal, it was not just a perfect soundtrack for Nigerians during the World Cup but it was also a club Banger. I never knew who he was until then but I could tell from his accent that he is from the ‘overseas’
The first time I watched the Marlian Movement leader perform on stage was during the Wande Coal Uk concert in 2018, I was surprised with the response he got while performing on stage and fans in diaspora were truly going gaga for him when he came on stage, they knew his songs word to word and were turning up to his music, from that moment I knew Naira Marley was up to something in the music industry.
If you ask any Nigerian artist based in diaspora, they will tell you that it is very hard for Nigerians over there to support them until they move to Nigeria and make it big.Naira Marley have changed the game, he became big in UK and then came to Nigeria and started a crazy Movement called ‘Marlians’
Marlians come forwards, others??? One of the unique qualities of Naira is his outspokenness, he wastes no time in expressing himself. I think him being outspoken is a gift and a curse for him.During one of his many Instagram live videos, he demonstrated support for ‘yahoo yahoo boys in a response to an earlier statement made by his female colleague ‘Simi’ Who distanced herself from ‘ Yahoo Yahoo people’ warning them not to buy her music anymore because of the harms they are causing Nigerians Worldwide.
Naira Marley went into social media rants against Simi and legendary rapper Ruggedman before he was arrested by Efcc with his follow act and Marlian ‘Zlatan’ along with 3 other people. While others were released after few days, Naira Marley was still detained and later charged to court.
At that time many were visibly happy that he was detained because of his rants and support for yahoo yahoo while others were sad about the development . Naira who is also known for explicit lyrics in his songs was finally bailed and came out unrepentant, he still remain outspoken.
Everything changed after Naira Marley was arrested, he became a Huge star with a ‘cult’ following. His ordeal in the Hands of EFCC gave him free Promotion and kept him in the headlines for weeks.Everyone wanted to know who was Naira Marley, he was trending all the time on social media.
Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley is a wonderful act and an energetic performer on stage, apart from the fact that he kept on releasing hits after hits, I believe he should be thankful to EFCC for making him more popular in an industry where promotion is very very expensive. He needs to surrender 10 virgin cows, 1000 tubers of yam and 100 kegs of Palm wine to Efcc for making him so famous that even people that never liked him are now claiming to be Marlians.
The Marlian Movement is so strong and its gaining new members and converts everyday. As an artist you need more than a good song to become popular, if you have the best songs and people don’t get to know you then you will not be appreciated no matter how good those songs are.
In the recent wizkid’s London 02 concert, Naira Marley gave a spectacular performance with his trademark dance which became the highlight of the event. Eyebrows were also raised when naira was not nominated for any award in the recent Headies award especially for the Street hop category.
As the 2019 comes to an end, ,most people are already calling Naira Marley the Nigerian artist of the Year. Do you think he is the artist of the year? I believe he is a top contender along with Burna boy sha.
I don’t know if I am Marlian oh but all I know is that I can’t find my belt oh, I wish Naira Marley the best and I pray his case with EFCC is settled very soon so he can do what he clearly loves which is making music and performing to his Marlian fans