Liberia has a thriving music scene that includes both hip hop and pop music. The hip hop scene ranges from true to the roots, grimy, and socially conscious hip hop like Pochano’s song “Product of a Failed State” to a more modern fusion of hip hop attitude with pop, sing songy beats like Z. WE’s song “Bother You” Both songs and artists represent what Liberian music is all about.
Pochano’s “Product of a Failed State” digs deep as it expresses the feelings of a people still dealing with the aftermath of a civil war that has left men limbless, children traumatized, and the beautiful coastal country almost unrecognizable. In his video, Pochano showcases everyday Liberian people and calls out Liberian government officials in their role in the failing of Liberia.
On the flip side, Z. WE’s “Bother You” is a modern display of Liberian youth and encouraging them to brush off the haters. The upbeat, dance tempo gives it commercial appeal along with the designer fashions of Z. WE and crew.
Pochano’s song gives off this raw, politically charged vibe while Z. WE’s song contrasts because it is more carefree and a song to idly vibe to. Pochano’s lyricism is packed heavy as he takes charge of the heavy hitting beat. With “Bother You” I’m able to easily catch the repeated phrases and its easy to sing along. In both songs, they use Liberian colloquial which is a sneak peek into the Hip Co scene in Liberia that blends hip hop, Liberian music, and Liberian colloquial to create a uniquely Liberian sound.
What is evident in Pochano’s heartfelt rap to Liberia and Z.WE’s expression of the cool and hip young person in Liberia today is the pride they have for being from LIB and being young and showing their pride through music.