Azeez Fashola is a professional Nigerian singer and songwriter who initially only wanted to be a voice-over artist and Master of Ceremonies (MC). He got started with music in 2014 when he did a track titled “Marry Juana” alongside Max Twigs. The track was modestly successful and as he continued recording more tracks, he grew a following in South London with his group called ‘No Mannaz.’
Following the completion of his studies, Naira Marley returned to Nigeria in pursuit of his music career and has had no regrets since then. He has grown so big in the industry that he is now a household name albeit a controversial one. The musician has released a good number of tracks which have all been successful at various degrees.
A Look at the Best of Naira Marley’s Songs
The following songs are Naira Marley’s A-list songs and undoubtedly among his most successful;
Marry Juana Ft. Max Twigz
This 2015 track was released in London, and it caught the attention of London youths. The track ushered in a fusion of UK rap, dancehall, and Afrobeat; it found its way on the UK charts. UK artists like J Hus, Darkoo, Young T, and Bugsey were all influenced by his kind of music. It was his debut track and a laudable success.
Issa Goal Ft. Lil Kesh
Released in December 2017, this club banger ushered in the Shaku Shaku dance that went viral like a wildfire. On the streets of Lagos and elsewhere you could see fans of all age grades dancing joyously to the melodic tune. The success and title of this track made it an unofficial anthem of the Super Eagles during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, considering the love Nigerians have for Football, and the desire for their team to score goals. He released the remix of the track on 16th June 2018 and featured music legends Olamide, Falz, Simi, Lil Kesh, and Slimcase.
Am I a Yahoo Boy Ft. Zlatan
Released on 3rd March 2019, this is the track that is an oxymoron for Naira Marley. It was the song that caused his arrest by the Nigerian Police, and it was also the track that showcased the extent of his fan base “Marlians,” as they gathered in droves to show solidarity for the troubled artist. Yahoo (Yahoo Yahoo) is slang for internet fraudsters who aim to devise various means to swindle their unsuspecting victims of money, especially foreigners.
Soapy Ft. Zlatan
Released in 2019, this track ushered in another dance move that imitates stroking of the phallus signifying the sexual habits of inmates in male prisons. This was taken to be in particular the Kirikiri Maximum Security Prison in Lagos, Nigeria, where the prolific artist was held by the EFCC during his fraud case. The video of the song was shot using prison orange cloths without a belt. This became the genesis of the “no belt movement” by Marlians.
This is the wake-up call for all Marlians to come out, dance, and make merry. Released in 2019, this is the signature track for all Marlian to Gbese (shake your feet in Yoruba). To know the effect it has on the listeners, watch the trend of this song on social media.
A Complete List of Naira Marley’s Songs and Music Albums
Naira Marley has put out a number of EP and singles, which include the following:
Gotta Dance EP – 2015
- Praise and Worship
- Stupid Dance
- Dread Gang
Lord of Lamba EP – 2019
- Marry Juana – 2014
- Back2work – 2015
- Kosi Werey – 2016
- Issa Goal – 2017
- Am I a Yahoo Boy – 2019
- Bad Influence – 2019
- Opotoyi (Marlians) – 2019
- Why – 2019
- Soapy – 2019
- Royal Rumble – 2019
- Pxta – 2019
- Money on the Road – 2019
- Aye – 2020
- Didi Lobo – 2020
- Mofoti – 2020
- As E Deh Go – 2020
- Chichi – 2020
- Koloyewon – 2021
Does Naira Marley’s Religious Belief Affect His Songs?
Naira Marley was born and bred as a Muslim and lives by the tenets of Islam. He advised his Muslim brothers and sisters to put Allah above all, hand over their worries to Allah, and Allah will hand over his blessings to them. As a Muslim, it is fundamental to believe in the Prophet Isa, and he has publicly stated that he is a Muslim and believes in Prophet Isah (Jesus Christ).
However, he keeps his Muslim believes and his music career at opposite ends of the world. He keeps his religion private and portrays his business brand as a musician publicly. He has learned to balance the two without any interfering in the operation of the other. Who are we to judge when we cannot cast the first stone.
Naira Marley is of the opinion that you do not have to be a Muslim or Christian to define your moral standing in the society; your faith and devotion is the only thing that matters in the eyes of the creator, not what you portray.
His Style of Music Has Made Him a God-like Figure
How he became a gangster from Peckham Rye UK who has been arrested over 124 times to a God-like figure with cult-like followership in Nigeria remains a mystery to spectators. However, a close look at Naira Marley’s understanding of the needs and aspirations of his people has put him in a position that enables him to act as the voice of the people per excellence.
First, he adopts the name of the Nigerian currency “Naira” (identifying himself with the common Nigerian who needs naira to survive the harsh realities of the economy). Then, he adopts another name “Marley” from the legendary Reggae artist and Freedom fighter Bob Marley as his second name (an inspiration for his dreadlocks). He also has a habit of smoking Indian hemp like the legendary freedom Fighter and musician Fela Kuti.
In 2019, he released the hit track Am I a Yahoo Boy, a song that got him arrested by the authorities. He was accused of using Yahoo Yahoo as his source of livelihood and music was only a smokescreen. When the news of his arrest broke out, many saw this as a wrong accusation and that gave him the status of a freedom fighter that is ready to challenge a status quo that Nigerians are tired of. During one of his court appearances, he raised the Black Power fist, which represents Black pride, political solidarity, and resistance to oppression. These scenarios scripted or not prepared him to be elevated to the position of a leader.
However, his Marlian movement has no political ideology or motive to be called a socio-political organization. When he was released, he had enough fans to start a revolution should he motivate them in that regard, especially during a time when class oppression and police brutality led by Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) members were let loose on citizens like hungry stray dogs. Unfortunately, his movement seems more like a message of money, sex, drugs, and crime. Perhaps, the Marlian president is interested in selling ear candy to his fans while he smiles all the way to the bank. He sees music as a means to acquire money and live comfortably like his contemporaries in the music industry.
The effects of this deceit are far-reaching as Naira Marley has been relatively silent when it comes to cases of human rights abuses and even when there was the #endsars movement, nothing was heard from him. Rather he is visible when it comes to the no belt slogan and his open gratification of sex, which has demoralized the mindset of even underage children who look to him as a role model. With tracks like Pxta and Las las school na scam, he has openly approved indecent dress codes amongst the youth and others.
To be a Marlian, one must be able to drink straight liquor, drop all manners, be a little scruffy, embrace controversies, no belt, light up a joint (Marijuana), grab your dancing shoes, and come forward. The only positive attribute of the Marlian president is to have graduated from a tertiary institution, a fact many turn a blind eye towards. Nigerians are indeed vulnerable, it explains the state of mind and get-rich-quick syndrome that plagues our citizens. Indeed, Naira Marley is like a God to his followers.