Samuel Sonnyboy Tubman, better known as his stage name Scientific, is a Ghanaian based, Liberian rapper and songwriter. Scientific was born in Bong County, Liberia but grew up in a refugee camp in Ghana due to the first and second civil wars in his home country. The rapper started his career in 2005 and has been rapping ever since and is currently signed to Wonda World Entertainment. He is most known for his hit “I Like You Girl” and even won Artist of the Year and Hip Hop Artist of the Year at the Liberia Music Awards in 2014. Scientific not only represents hip hop, but also a specific style native to Liberia called Hipco. Through Hipco, Liberian rappers discuss societal ills and political injustices in their society.
Scientific’s latest song, “2020 TOUCH DOWN”, which was released on the last day of the year, fits within this theme. The song seems to sum up Scientific’s thoughts on the passing year and set the tone for his attitude towards 2021. In the song, the rapper addresses current political and public health issues like the coronavirus pandemic and how it has caused widespread panic. Scientific also mentions how the virus does not pick and choose who it affects, alluding to issues of racism and classism. The influence of American culture and rap shines through his lyrics in the song as well. He mentions by name artists like Drake, Meek Mill, and Lil Nas X. He also includes lyrics from Kelis’s hit song “Milkshake”. This shows the connectivity of hip hop across different geographical regions and the impact that American artists have on African artists. In the beginning of the song, Scientific uses American football as a metaphor for his own experiences which is repeated throughout the chorus. American culture and activity clearly plays a role in shaping Scientific’s writing and style.