It has been more than a year since music lovers heard a new song from multi-talented singer Sweetz; but quite recently, she has been making headlines from behind the scenes as a music career promoter.
Being one of the main brains behind what has now become known as the first Hip-Co Cypher, a style of rap with or without instrumental beats in which rap lyrics are improvised, Sweetz explained that while she is still on leave from the music scene, it was also wise that she invest more time helping to improve the industry.
“Music in Liberia is at a renaissance stage right now,” Sweetz told LIB Life. “The youth are gaining more exposure. More exposure means a wide variety of influences. More exposure also means more than enough outlets for music and visuals to be heard and seen. But with all of this progress, we noticed that there was still something missing.
“That something was a ‘Hip-Co Cypher,’ which was needed to capture the culture and originality of the Liberian rapping style and showcasing the creativity of these artists. It something that we hope to do continually and allowing fans to see on the spot which artists can murder the beat pass the others.”
“We are not doing this for any monetary gain,” she said, “but rather to promote the diversity of Liberian rap music. Currently, we have just shot the second episode, which will be out very soon.”
After our chat with Sweetz, LIB Life caught up with Lorenzo Loveland, the idea’s originator, whose Loveland Productions (an audio and visual production company), produced the cypher.
With some disappointment, Lorenzo told LIB Life that before the cypher was produced, the team reached out to most of the biggest Hip-Co stars in the country, but did not get the cooperation they had hoped for. “This left us with no other option but to go for some emerging artists that are making their name little by little, as well as some of our team stars,” he explained.
“We actually like and appreciate the way the cypher came out. We got the chance to show the world that there are other Liberian artists, whether underground or upcoming; there are talents despite the struggling state of the industry.
“The only gain we get from this are the production credits, the massive increase in our following on social media and media interviews; but we’ll never give up doing more,” he said positively.
On the sound, it was mastered by a 19-year-old producer and underground artist commonly called Lucape after he was challenged to produce a beats that blended Hip Hop vs. Hip-Co. He created a simple beat that gives an old school feel with a new school flow to match. The cypher features Young Zee and other emerging artists.
Aside from this young producer, Black Enzo Entertainment, which is also under Loveland’s label, hosts few other upcoming acts such as Ziggy Ray, the six-year-old sensational rapper; D. Ray, the Hip-Co Grebo rapper and others.