There is music. There is business of music and there is business in music. It only requires talent and grace to succeed in music but it requires high native intelligence, smartness and possibly trainings to make good money with music.
The business of music allows partnership too. It seldomly works. As far as both partners are driven by same interest and they have no problems with any existing sharing formular of gains, it can be a blessing too.
For Nigerian rapper, Mohbad and the president of Marlian Records Label, Naira Marley, partnership appears to be a curse. Things have really gone sour between the duo.
Despite denials of Naira Marley about the ‘sour’ relationship and existing acrimony between the duo, recent actions of Ilerioluwa Oladimeji popularly known as ‘Mohbad‘ proved otherwise.
Recall that controversial musician, Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley on January 2, 2020 officially floated ‘Marlian Records’.
The singer while performing during his show ‘Marlians Fest’ which held at Eko Hotels & Suites, Lagos showed them to his teeming fans and allowed his four new artistes, Zinoleesky, Mohbad, Cblack, and Fabian to perform on stage too.
Who was ‘Mohbad’ before joining the ‘Marlian records’?
A check by WITHIN NIGERIA revealed that Ilerioluwa Oladimeji popularly known as ‘Mohbad’ started as a freestyle rapper who relied on social media apps mainly; Instagram and Facebook as distribution or engaging platforms.
He joined the music industry as a rapper probably same year the likes of Zlatan, Chinko-Ekun but his focus was majorly on releasing freestyles on Instagram and others.
His journey to stardom reportedly started after he did a freestyle Kizz Daniel’s ‘Fvck You’.
Following the success of his freestyle with Kizz Daniel, he released a couple of freestyles which went viral and were accepted by his fans.
How it started
Azeez Fashola popularly known as Naira Marley signed Mohbad and three artistes into the Marlian Records Label early January, 2020.
Following the signing of these artistes, there was peace and things were moving smoothly until misunderstanding sets in.
What are the causes of misunderstanding? Mistrust and lack of fund. Naira Marley, the president of Marlian Records promised advance payments to the four artistes for signing the deal but he could not fulfil the promise due to bankruptcy or little flow of cash.
Some claimed that Naira Marley was too forward in establishing the Marlian Records because he was barely surviving financially too while others claimed that he should not have signed four artistes at a time.
The inability of Naira Marley to fulfil his promises of advance payment for signing of deal and non-availability of statistical records about individual musical performance or rating via apps to new artistes firstly created a spark but the crisis escalated in early 2022.
How it got worse
The crisis escalated in the early hours of a Thursday morning when NDLEA operatives invaded the residence of the singers in the Lekki area of Lagos State and arrested Mohbad, Zinolessky and others.
Shortly after the release of ‘Mohbad’ from NDLEA’s net, the Balenciaga crooner via a video alleged that his boss, Naira Marley and other members of the group want him dead.
Mohbad said, “Everybody in the whole world please help me, if I die woh na Marlian music and Naira Marley kill me.
“Abeg if I die like this, God, please help me. Look at all these people sha my God will never fuck me up, never. I’m in Idado estate.”
The Balenciaga crooner in another video said, “I’m going to the hospital right now. God please help me, I’m fucked up by many people, I don’t trust anybody. Please help me, I don’t want to die”.
Speaking on the incident, the president of Marlian Records, Naira Marley condemned the arrest of his artistes by NDLEA officials and disclosed that the records has resolved all issues internally.
Barely seven months after, Mohbad in another video alleged that he was openly assaulted at the Marlian House by his management team after he demanded for a change of manager.
Mohbad also uploaded a video on his Instagram account where the singer decked in a white singlet was seen with bruises on his back, neck and hand.
Naira Marley, the president of Marlian Records while debunking Mohbad’s claims described the incident as a “family affair”.
“Mohbad has a history of getting intoxicated which affects his emotions and actions. #ImNotPerfect. However, all issues would be resolved amicably within the record label,” Naira Marley wrote on his Twitter handle.
“I need my bro Mohbad to come on live so u guys can see I don’t have any reasons to lie on him,” he wrote in another tweet.
However, Mohbad via his official Twitter account narrated what transpired between the duo and wrote;
“The events of the last two days have left indelible scars in my heart. I have always just wanted to create good music and to provide for my family and myself through my music. As an Artiste from the street, I thought the Marlian Family would be a good place for me.
“However, recent events and certain truths have come to light which threaten my peace, health and career. Because of these issues, I informed Naira Marley on the Marlian WhatsApp group chat of my intention to change my manager.
“This didn’t go down well with my current Manager Tunde (His Brother). There were instant angry outbursts and protests from him in the chat. I went to Naira Marley’s house with my Producer and my friend on the 4th of October, 2022, to have this conversation and reach a peaceful resolution.
“We were in the studio, and Some of the guys who work with Naira- Sid, Shuddy, Seyi and others- were present, as well as Naira and Tunde. I noticed Tunde was quite agitated as we started the discussion. In the middle of the conversation, Tunde became violent and attacked me.
“The guys I was with were also attacked, humiliated and stripped naked by Sid, Shuddy and Seyi and some of the other boys. We were barely able to escape. 3 of us had to be checked into the hospital to get medical care for the injuries sustained during the assault. Naira Marley was fully present throughout this event, and in fact, coordinated some of the attacks as he instructed the boys to beat us up. Some of this was captured on video.
“It is therefore disrespectful for Naira Marley to insinuate that I started the attack because I was intoxicated as he is fully aware of the facts and circumstances surrounding this violent attack”.
“It is not the first time Naira has lied to push his own narrative, but it will hopefully be the last. I trust that soon, justice will be served.”
Just because I want to change my manager which is their brother, see what they did to me at Marlian House pic.twitter.com/Tqsb1y2UYF
— Mohbad Imolè (@iammohbad_) October 5, 2022
The exit from Marlian Records Label
On Wednesday, 26th October 2022, Nigerian-rapper Oladimeji Aloba popularly known as Mohbad officially ended his contract with Naira Marley’s record label, Marlian Music.
A letter of termination was forwarded to the Marlian Records by Mohbad’s legal team, citing allegations of criminal acts of assault and battery against their client.
The notice which was issued on Tuesday also accused the Marlian boss of orchestrating constant attacks on Mohbad, asking the music executive to pay royalties due him from his intellectual property since 2019 including advances he failed to fulfill.
The letter titled: “Termination Notice reads: “The above subject refers.
“We are solicitors to Promise Alba Oladimeji professionally known as Mohbad, hereinafter referred to as our client. Our Client has reliably informed us of the following facts;
“That you, Azeez Fashola professionally known as Nara Marley entered into an arrangement with our client as ‘Marlians Entertainment Limited’ sometime in 2019, wherein you released and monetized songs made by our client from the time of the arrangement till date;
“During the period of this arrangement you orchestrated and carried out violent physical attacks on our client, causing grievous bodily harm and threat to the life of our client.
“In contravention of the terms of the arrangement between our client and yourself, you have failed to pay any advances as mutually agreed by both parties since 2019 till date;
“You have also failed to pay all royalties due our client from all his intellectual property works monetized, released and utilised by you from 2019 till date.
“That due to the direct contravention of the terms of agreement, as well as the criminal acts of assault and battery against our client, he has decided to terminate the arrangement effective from the 7 of October, 2022
“Sequel to this termination we therefore demand the following:
The logs and records of the digital sales of all songs by our client released and utilized during this period (2019 – till date) and payment of the monetary valve in respect thereof due to our client within 7 (seven) days of your receipt of this letter.
The immediate handover of our client’s entire catalogue of songs released prior and during the arrangement with you.
“Please accept the assurances of our professional regards as we anticipate your immediate cooperation.”