Naira Marley - 'Drummer Boy' & 'Japa'
It’s no secret the UK hip hop scene is heavy with talent and diversity at the minute, and one such artist that continues to make music pillaging every genre he wants to for inspiration is Naira Marley. The Lagos-born talent sets fire to the track “Drummer Boy,” featuring an intimidating bassline that draws you in and holds you hostage. It’s trap violence in its delivery – sirens blaring in the background and a synth simple in its appearance but perfectly complimenting melody to Naira’s vocals.
Whilst “Drummer Boy” is a reflection of a darker side of Naira’s personality, “JAPA” is more playful, delving into afro bashment and creating a body bouncing rhythm. It’s a cheeky track reflecting his loyalty to his Nigerian heritage; japa means to get away from a dangerous situation, seemingly a play on dodging the cops. It’s a summertime tune that never deviates from its roots, making Naira’s talent heard across every walk of his life.
These two releases are very different, but both well written in their own way. If anything they showcase Naira’s ability to write affecting songs in different genres with some inventive and passionate sounds. If you want to hear something that gets you moving, as well as find out how good the hip hop scene is in the UK, here are two songs that represent it perfectly.
Words by Chris White