Naira Marley’s ascent to stardom has been one of the best-told stories to come out in the last two years. The game changed when he embarked on a stellar two-year run that saw the rise of hit singles such as “Japa”, “Am I A Yahoo Boy”, “Soapy” and more, leading to a string of sold-out shows both home and in the UK. He quickly established himself on the streets and online, anchored by the love of his Marlian fanbase who are now revolutionising stan culture in the country.
This year, the rapper has not weaned in delivering hit singles like the Rexxie-produced “Aye” and “As E Dey Go”, two of his earlier offerings that brought out a different, calmer side to the rapper, from his dominance of delivering club bangers and street-hop singles the previous year. To close out 2020, Naira Marley has now released two new singles to usher in the season, which more than prove that he can still be versatile and deliver the bops regardless of the subject matter.
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On “Koleyewon” (roughly translated as they can’t understand), the rapper makes his boldest proclamation of his commitment to the streets who raised him and made him who he is. The upbeat single produced by Niphekys track lightly highlights the current state of Nigeria and the challenges the country has faced this year; most especially the #ENDSars movement. With an emotive video, he pays homage to the fallen victims from the peaceful protests, whilst at the same time presenting an ode to the streets we’re sure to hear in clubs.
Singing “How many boys don die for the streets/How many boys don blow from the streets”, the rapper highlights how important every life is, particularly those on the streets who have managed to survive the country despite the hardships they face. With lyrics that show no mercy to those who count out the underdog, Naira Marley promises that those who remain ignorant will eventually understand:(“Streets o ma fuck ye up”).
Naira Marley’s second offering is a more romantic cut which finds the rapper linking up with close collaborator Rexxie for the upbeat number titled “Chi Chi”. Over the medley of afropop drums and vibrant percussion, Naira Marley admits that “Marlians have feelings too” as he professes his love for a muse who he believes is hotter than pepper soup.
The rapper also seems to believe he’s quite the catch too, telling his love interest that “if you marry a boy like me you go enjoy yourself/if you curse my father it’s bye bye” he sings bringing his demands of the relationship to the table. Speaking about the single, Naira Marley shared that:
“My fans are waiting for me to drop a December jam, so I’m giving them two jams. They want to hear from their president. These songs are how I’m feeling now and I want to share it with my Marlians, lets get lit”.
Featured image credits/MannyJefferson
.@tamimak_ is just trying to make it to the end of the year