The Accountability Lab’s Voice2Rep: Creating Opportunity for Liberian Artists

Since 2015, The Accountability Lab has created Voice2Rep, or Voice to Represent (and formally Rap2Rep) to bring together the Liberian musical community for good. It started as a small group focused on empowering Liberian young people through a popular genre called Hip-co.   

Amaze, veteran of Rap2Rep performs his song “Corruption, Corruption” at the University of Liberia

Hip-co is an expressly political genre, which grew from the impoverished communities of Monrovia. Hip-co draws from rap, r&b, and West African dance music to create a blend that is typically performed in Liberia-Kolo-Qua. Hip-Co has also recently branched off into the genre Trap-co, a more trap music vibe to the original genre. Hip-co pioneers rapped about social and political issues, like the government, poverty, war, inequality, and police brutality.   

During the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreaks on the continent, Hip-co played an essential part in debunking falsehoods and promoting public safety. One song, entitled “Ebola Is Real,” was used by UNICEF and was eventually known as the “Official Ebola Song,” Now, during the 2019 Novel Coronavirus, The Accountability Lab Hip-co again, is looking to promote public safety through music.   

At the beginning of the Pandemic, Liberia was already struggling with a fragile government and healthcare system and adding Covid-19 to their plate added struggle. These issues, as well as what the World Health Organization called an “infodemic,” a plague of misinformation, The Accountability Lab decided to make a collaborative album to fight the pandemic misinformation.   

Hip-Co Accountability Ambassador, Henry Amaze Toe, also known as Amaze, as well as “Mercy Adortey, Oretha Keri togba, Thomas Theoto Brima, Lauren daddy’s Queen Kolleh, Corina T Bestman, Bendu Peaches Forkpah, Tonia A Reeves, Alfred super 7 Flomo, Preacha Mann, Darius D Man Sando, Philipino Kingsaboso, Peter Dolocool Dolo, Foday Force Sesay and McDonald Birthday suit Nyepan collaborated to create three songs”1. These songs are played on local Liberian radio, on social media, and most interestingly, on the USB sticks full of music that taxi drivers play for their patrons.   

The songs contain messages like “Corona virus is real, but don’t fear” and wash hands and not touch your face, socially distance, and inform others about the safety precautions. 

The songs are: 

“Corona Virus is Real” 

“We Got the Hope” 

“Why” 

Amaze can be found here:

Instagram: @HenryAmazinToe

Twitter: @toeamazin

Takun J can be found here:

Instagram: @TakunJ

Twitter: @TakunJ

Sources:

1 Our Coronavirus Rap2Rep Campaign

How Music Has Influenced Behaviour During COVID-19 in Liberia

Liberian Music-Hipco

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