Liberian artists today, it seems, are working tirelessly to win the hearts and minds of the masses. And as they make serious gains, how that translates into income to support their work remains the age-old challenge. In the mean time, this is a game of sheer passion, and only those with grit will survive. That being said, here are five LIB tracks that have been on the hearts and minds of Liberians for the past three weeks and counting. These are not necessarily in any rank or apparent order, just a measure of how people feel about issues here and there.
“They Lied To Us” by Takun J
“Justice” by Takun J ft Lady Mouthphy
“Spoil You With Love” by Joseph Dean ft K-zee and Marvalous MC
“Kemah” by DenG
“In Your Area” – Soul Fresh
Let’s first begin with the song, “They Lied To Us”, by Takun J. Since its release the song, which reflects people’s frustration with the powers that be, as access to opportunities and economic conditions continue to decline for many. The lyrics to this song are published in the Observer Poetry section.
Despite growing popularity of the song, Takun J now sees himself as being frowned upon by the authorities.
In 2007 the Hip Co rapper was beaten for his hit single “Policeman” and twice held behind bars. He has since also claimed of frequent harassments by Liberian security personnel since releasing the song They Lie To Us.
The next song, “Justice”, also by Takun J, reflects an ordeal with lawmaker Edwin Snowe in 2014, where a fender-bender between the two turned into a physical assault allegedly perpetrated by the lawmaker. Takun J says he wrote the song because all legal means pursued for redress failed, as many were afraid to confront the lawmaker. A source close to the musician has said he intends to launch by year-end a grand concert, the planning of which is already in the works.
“In Your Area”, by musical duo Soul Fresh, them on a path to being well the leading musical group in the country. The song reflects the very strides that musicians are making to stay relevant, hip and ahead of the game in Liberia’s struggling music industry.
On a much lighter note, Joseph Dean is winning happy hearts with his hit Gbema-track, “Spoil You With Love”. With more than 500 viewers on YouTube, the song has a contagious colloquial style that has set Dean this week at a tier higher than the rest combined.
But since releasing “They Vex”, DenG remains a hard one to contend with, given the release of another song, “Kemah” (I could do anything for your love… You on my mind whole day…).