Hipco Artist Christoph stays true to his native liberian dialect

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Christoph, Liberia’s upcoming hipco (Liberian hip-hop) artist is gaining popularity with his crisp style and hot verses. Aside from his attractive looks and charismatic personality, he has made great contributions to the Liberian hip-hop community. He stays true to his identity by rapping in koloqua (Liberia’s Local dialect) so that his people can understand his music.

Liberia is a country that comprises of 16 tribes that each have its own language and traditions. However, koloqua is spoken by every Liberian, across all tribes. This is what makes the local dialect so special; it is what brings the people together. By choosing to speak in his native tongue, Christoph is able to create relatable music that all Liberians can understand. He emphasizes on the collective Liberian experience by touching on serious topics ranging from poverty, government abuse, corrupt police officers and much more. In the same vein, he produces music that showcases the Liberian culture and their knack for having a good time despite whatever hardship they are experiencing.

Although Christoph speaks koloqua for the most part, there are small traces of African American hip-hop culture in his music videos. In Liberia, this intertwining of hipco and American hip-hop is classified as “Trapco”. He may mimic American hip-hop videos by wearing big gold chains in his music video but he remains true to his Liberian identity. Christoph takes advantage of this style in order to reach audiences outside of Liberia. Koloqua may be hard to grasp at first but it’s simply a “broken English”. There are many Liberian phrases that simply cannot be translated into English because it will lose the flavor of the message.

In his song “African Child” he highlights the shared experience of what it means to be an African child. Not all Liberian children grow up with the same struggle that Christoph had to endure, however, he chooses to direct most of his songs to those who could use some hope and reassurance.

Author: Verolyne Barnard

Howard University, Liberian, Activist

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