‘Everyone is a Marlian, we express that demon differently’
Art in every form is expressed with characters, Music, drama, dance, whatever form the art is to be presented, for effective mind stoking plus sound message delivery, a character is most likely adorned with the art to make it potent.
The characters associated with music artists sometimes, might be misunderstood, or it might be negatively communicated so as to draw indifferent opinions. Sometimes, music artists intentionally attach negative personalities to their arts, just for quick potency and lead. All the same, a certain dosage of negativity targeted towards music artists as character or image laundering on this age of the internet has mostly been for their good.
Afeez Fashola, better known as Naira Marley, has been a negative buzz creating artist, who through his recently released music, has tended to magnify morally questionable ideas in his music, while in return; he serves a hot address on some social issue as the subliminal message within, what the Nigerian government has refused to address.
Naira Marley, is the poster board of over bloated, preconceived misconception, all created and disbursed around him by him. He could be classed as a protest artiste, yes!. For clarity on this; he is that artiste that has jumped on a negative buzz he created while he was trying to justify internet fraud by asking salient questions about social issues. The ‘Am I a Yahoo Boy’ phrase, Simi’s response, the EFCC involvement, and all the hot, emotional and reactionary takes on the issue by Nigerians while he Live on his instagram page was seen bannering a support to internet fraud activities.
He was not deterred by the demon he created, rather he treated that evil like a championship medal, wore it with pride, and from a vantage position of being an influencer, he conjured the benefits that came with it, to himself by jumping on the wave to make mind stocking, dance tunes with a dose of morally ill ideas packed with it.
The ‘Inside life’ and ‘five alive’ phrase creator could be described as a bad boy that is not shying away from living and showing off his bad boy life, no matter what people say about him. This lifestyle has created his likes, believers, followers and die hard fanbase, he has labelled ‘Marlians’.
His pattern of addressing social issues looks very secondary at the surface and a bit non conventional, but beneath his songs are sub par messages questioning and addressing social issues, coated with firebrand intentional negative personality, with a good dance vibe; such that the bad, and the dance initiative overshadows the good message the tunes comes with, and very few people remembers that the song was used to address issues.
To paraphrase the above; Naira Marley uses his songs to address social issues, but he tends to mask his messages with morally questionable ideas as a conveyor, with Afrobeats as the platform which in a large scale is a happy and dance sound, such that the songs are perceived badly with moral lenses, however, the Afrobeats melody and rhythm makes the sound danceable. Hence, those who question, would question, those who chose to vibe to it.
For a fact, there are many Afrobeats artistes, that have addressed social issues with the use of dance tunes; the melodies are always so good to dance and be happy with, that very few people remember that in deed, few issues were raised to provoke thoughts and protest.
Taking a queue from his songs, we can adopt few under magnified perceptions. For example on ‘Soapy’ he shared his prison experience, and analysed the hardship inmates go through in the prisons, then caps it with how they pleasure themselves within the struggle. Then, on the video he paints a storyline that magnifies the struggling and with a dance that suggest people wanking to further emphasize how inmates sexually engage themselves. The sexual engagement experience was the plug to connect the audience with the song, and it worked. The trigger was clear, and to ask; are we not all prisoners to our addiction?
On ‘Japa’, he explains police brutality, bribery and corruption and how people run away from them to avoid being placed on subjugation to face such hostility. ‘Am I A Yahoo Boy’ subtly addresses harassment and accusation of Nigerian youth by the police and other law enforcement agencies, while ‘Puta’ places emphasis on immoral behaviours of some young girls, that chose living big all in the bid to exchange their genitals for money, but passes the understanding of; you can live big without making your body a price. Though ‘Puta’ can be argued to be a slut shaming song, there is a subtle undertone of ‘why do you want me to spend the money your father cannot spend on you’?
Naira marley has become a bad brand. A public identification of bad influence/behaviour. A questionable character, singing music that are morally questionable. He has created an appeal of negativity, he is living and enjoying the buzz that comes with. The good bad thing here is; he is on a cruise of turning the buzz to his benefits by magnifying the bad in him, using Afrobeats, and still serving hot subtle address on social issues.
For these, the ‘Puta’ crooner, who is married to two wives with four kids, has been crucified a number of times for being a bad influence. For those that chat him to be a bad influence, which on the flip he is; can have a party at the mentioned of his bad behaviour, but would get rid and hide their failures like cats hide their poops. He who comes to the table of criticism should get rid of everything that can make him be criticise first.
And, the central message on this holds the query like; are we all righteous on what we do that the world does know know about, or we can judge one Naira marley for being a very free man to live his life, sell his art with a dirty veil, the character he created, whether good or bad on the open, or we just want to be woke cause nobody knows about our hideous ways?
Every society have their moral compass indicator, ours has been submerged with a number of social violations that the government has failed to address overtime, this does not mean that we should spread the wrong to those who look up to us, this does not also give us the prerogative to choose how art should be painted. The cruz should be, if you do not love the character, the art and the artiste, look away from from the artistes work, or consume something different..
We all have a Naira Marley in us, but we tend to choose how we either suppress, hide or showcase it.
Naira Marley is not shying away from showing off his; by the way he lives it, the music he puts out magnifies it, and how he is being perceived. He is a Marlian, if you do not like him and his music, look away.