Naira Marley: the new king of street music in Africa

The young Nigeria rapper, Azeez Fashola, popularly known by his stage name, Naira Marley, has caused quite a stir in Nigeria’s music world.

The rapper got his recognition as the new king of street music as he released his latest EP in December last year, titled Lord of Lamba (LOL).

Born in Agege, Lagos, Nigeria, in the year 1995, Azeez spent 11 years in Nigeria before he moved to the United Kingdom. He relocated to Peckham, South London.

He began his musical career in Peckham, South London. He never wanted to be an artisan. However, he had dreams of one day becoming a voice-over artist or an MC.

He soon became aware of his potential as he was always present in the studio to watch professional artists perform.

In no time, Naira Marley’s ability could no longer stay hidden from those around him. At this point, he decided to embark on his musical career fully.

Naira Marley first emerged in the U.K. scene with “Marry Juana” in 2014, a song explaining the “virtues of weed.”

In 2017, he came to the spotlight in Nigeria, as he was featured in “ISSA GOAL.” A song released to inspire good faith in the Nigerian football team, the Super Eagles during the FIFA world cup, Russia2018.

On the 11th of May 2019, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission presented an 11-count charge against Naira Marley for alleged credit card fraud.

The charge reads in part: “That, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (an accomplice), on or about the 11th day of December 2018, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, conspired amongst yourselves to use Access card 42658840359191132 issued to persons other than you in a bid to obtain gain and you thereby committed an offense contrary to Section 27(1)(b) of the Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act 2015 and punishable under Section 33(2) of the Same Act.

“That, Azeez Adeshina Fashola, aka Naira Marley, and Raze (still at large), on or about the 10th day of May 2019, within the jurisdiction of this honorable court, with intent to defraud possessed counterfeit card 4921819410257431 issued to Timea FedorneTatar and you thereby committed an offense contrary to and punishable under Section 33(9) of Cyber Crimes (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Act of 2015.”

All charges against the rapper were soon dropped in the middle part of the year 2019.

Top Nigerian musicians have come out to show love and support for Naira Marley. The likes of Olamide, Davido, and Wizkid.

He was seen as an activist by most Nigerians, ranking up to the level of the late Fela and Bob Marley.

And as he continued to release more of his music, which served as a source of new slangs in the country, he gained more public recognition.

As his game increased, more people got to know about him. This brought constant criticism to his music. Many believe that Naira Marley is a bad influence on society, especially the youth, because of his lyrical content.

As the criticism increased, so also did his fan base increased.

As a response to the constant criticism, he released ‘Bad Influence.’ A song that talks about Naira Marley want to live his life and be happy.

He also called out the Government for neglecting their duties to the Nigerian Youths.

Naira Marley has created a strong movement in Nigeria that will stay alive for a very long time. This movement is all about His fan base, which continues to grow massively daily.

They are known by the name “Marlians,” coined from the artist’s name, Naira MARLEY. Both male and female, educated, and uneducated people have identified themselves as Marlians.

Naira Marley has a close relationship with Marlians, and there’s hardly a day that goes by without him interacting with them on social media.

People have different opinions on who a Marlian is. Some people believe being a Marlian means accepting to do certain activities that could be seen as immoral and against laid down rules and regulations. The activities are such as Crazy hairstyles, Alcohol addiction, No belt, Zero manners, Drug addiction, Lack of respect for the law, and no significant educational success.

On the contrary, Naira Marley has stated that being a Marlain means to be free. Freedom to express yourself without fearing the judgment of others.

Naira Marley continues to put smiles on the faces of his fans as he came forward with two singles, “Opotoyi” and “Soapy.”

On the 18th of December 2019, he released an EP, Lord of Lamba, with this EP, it is believed that Naira Marley took over from Olamide aka “Baddo” as the new king of street music.

The album includes songs such as; Tingasa, Tesumole, Mafo, Isheyen, Oja, and Yanyanyan.

Tesumole dance is the wave on Nigerian Streets.

In the wee hours of December 2019, Naira Marley announced his new record label, Marlian Records.

The name of the record label was inspired by the love the rapper receives from his fan base.

Naira Marley stated that the sole aim of his record label was to bring new talents to limelight and pose a platform for artists in need of it.

As the artist continues to surround himself with good vibes, creating new dance moves, good music as well as the opening of his record label, he has quietly built a name for himself amongst Nigerians, the Lord of Lamba, King of the street.


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