When the news of the arrest of Naira Marley and Zlatan Ibile broke, social media was ablaze with diverse comments and opinions. It got real and interesting after images of the duo and three others in detention surfaced online.
Like they say in entertainment, every publicity can be milked into something positive. I already imagined how the duo of Naira Marley and Zlatan Ibile would use the detention photo as their album art, currently in the works.
Four days after the arrest, Zlatan Ibile got released and he didn’t waste time with putting out a fire record. On the first listen, one had to pause to double check if it was really Zlatan, because this was not the usual Zanku vibes, this was straight up bars, with an insane delivery, and you could tell he was spitting the bars from a place of “pain and disappointment.
It’s a common saying that deep emotions (either pain or joy), has a way of bringing out the best in musicians, “4nights in Ekohtiebo” is a clear proof of that.
The track was produced by Rexxie, one of the yet most consistent producers this year. Rexxie delivered a dope hip-hop beat, solemn on the strings, heavy on the drums and the baselines at intervals, just perfect for Zlatan’s mood, lyrics and delivery.
From the first four bars, it’s evident that Zlatan has harsh words for people who acted as friends before his arrest, but turned out to be back stabbers.
“Padi mi se bi eni toh ku, ko wo eni to ma sunkun e, se bi any toh broke, ko wo eni toh ma je oju e.”
Pretend to be dead and see who will cry for you, pretend to be broke and see those who would rise to help you and those that will trample on you.
“4 days and you no fit hide am, all the dey bad belle you pour am outside…”
Zlatan was very direct and didn’t mince words, only thing left was to name names but he didn’t. This fuels the narrative that perhaps the arrest was initiated by someone close on the inside, perhaps a classic example of not keeping your circle very small.
“Owo epo l’araye bani la. Mo moh awon temi, awon temi de moh mi”
People only try to associate with you when all is well and juicy, but turn their backs when things go sour, I know my people and they know me, Zlatan says on that line. The words of someone who has learned a big lesson about loyalty and betrayal.
“Nobody holy, don’t be too quick to judge, t’eni toh de la ri, a mo t’eni ton bo…. O man ya wan lenu bi ori se man ko mi yo, tori e wan fe orisa ti Zlatan n’bo… Poverty to deyin lyin mi, deyin leyin ota mi, ki wan ye binu ogo mi, ileri Oluwa ni …”
On this line, Zlatan throws subtle shots at those who were quick to judge him, claiming the usual phrase “Nobody holy” and nobody knows who is next. Then in a very cheeky way he says a prayer to God to bless his haters as he has blessed him, so his haters can stop being angry at his success.
“Album shi ba jade, Naira marley shi ma jade…. bi alfa toh fe kirun, gbo gbo yin shi ma fori bale”; Naira Marley will be out he says, and the collaborative album will be out too, and then boasts that his haters will eventually bow to their greatness.
“Naira ma worry, ma gba 4 fun e ki o toh de” for football fans, this line is very clear, in football the Number 4 is usually for footballers who play the defensive midfield position, Zlatan is literarily saying he’s got Naira Marley’s back and will defend him no matter what.
“My guy is fine, I swear down me too I’m also fine, God bless Naija, God bless everybody, God bless everybody wey want make em second man make am”
This is perhaps one of my favourite songs from Zlatan Ibile, the flow and delivery somehow reminded one of the late DaGrin. You should give it a listen.
Disclaimer: This is a review/analysis of the song “4nights in Ekohtiebo” and by no means supports internet fraud.