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TMCNet:  Ode to Hipco - Takun J. & Crew Set to Rock Second Annual Liberia Music Festival

[December 06, 2013]

Ode to Hipco - Takun J. & Crew Set to Rock Second Annual Liberia Music Festival

(AllAfrica Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Never short of beats, HIPCO artist Takun J is looking forward to yet another opportunity to showcase what is no doubt the newest but biggest trend in Liberia music today.

Born out of the streets and the tongue of the Liberian colloquial, the music is making wave and taking roots. A festival this weekend promises to take the music to another level.

The festival kicks of Saturday, December 7 at Slipway Sports Pitch and Sunday December 8 at Bernard's Beach and boasts some 30 plus performers including: Takun J, Nasseman, Soul Fresh, Tan-Tan, F.A. Mr. Smith, Chiller Coolanee, Deng, JD Donzo, D'Best, Tag Team, Pochano, Pitty, Killa Lu, Noy-Z and K-Zee.


"As artists, we have to start establishing our legacy so that we leave something for future generations.

This festival is about celebrating hip co and the efforts we've all put in to making our Liberian music great," says Takun J, regarded as the Godfather of the brand, the leading promoter of HIPCO and Anti-Rape Ambassador. His current My Way, is already a radio hit a club banger.

Music lovers agree that Hipco artists are rapidly changing the style of music as the music of vernacular speech, the style of communication with which Liberians speak and relate to each other. Hipco evolved in the 1980s and has always been socially and politically bent.

In the '90s it continued to develop through the civil wars, and today stands as a definitive mark of Liberian culture producing such entertaining artists such as Luckay Buckay, Takun J, Bone Dust, Red Rum, Kenny Da Knowledge, Noy-Z, Real Mighty Blow, Benevolence, Sundaygar Dearboy and T-Five.

In their own versions and artistic delivery, the artists have been successful in reminding lovers of their music about the History of Liberia.

Over the years, the artists have made their marks through songs like Behold Behold by Luckay Buckay, It Not Right by Takun J, featuring Takun J, Technique by Bone Dust and this year's club banger hit, the Pot-Boiling Remix featuring an all-star cast of Hipco artists.

For many music lovers, Hipco has become the unheralded voice of the voiceless, awakening people to the government lack of consciousness, prostitution, jealousy, hatred, envy, fornication and corruption.

Organizers are looking to improve the success of last year's fest which drew 10,000 people at Slipway and 7000 people at Miami Beach for a combined total 17,000.

"We wanted to make it an annual event because it is about establishing a legacy and an infrastructure, but also about showing the world the positive things in Liberia," says Nora Rahimian, a Music Marketing. Entertainment manager and a key driver of the HIPCO revolution.

For Rahimian, the long-term goal is to establish something that will bring attention to the music industry in Liberia so that artists don't feel like they have to leave to find success.

"We hope to create the kind of festival that will bring attention/tourists/resources into the country (the same way they have similar festivals around the world). We hope, also, for recognition of the arts, and especially hip co, in the country.

Each year, the festival hosts a free show, to ensure that everyone can access it. The show on Bernard's Beach charges minimal admission to cover costs. But this year, organizers have partnered with the European Union to host human rights workshops for artists prior to the concerts.

"We have also been working with Accountability Lab and the Hip Co Accountability Network, and those Accountability Ambassadors have been a big part of the festival (they have also been very active in working to build an infrastructure in the music industry, including addressing copyright and intellectual property protections)." For Takun J, it is not only about creating awareness but building on recognition. "We need something that will be recognized annually, that acknowledges our music and our culture, because we the musicians are the voice of the youth." IF YOU GO! SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7: Slipway Sports Pitch SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8: Bernard's Beach ADMISSION: FREE ADMISSION: LD200 THE PERFORMERS: Some 30 Plus artists include: Takun J, Nasseman, Soul Fresh, Tan-Tan, F.A. Mr. Smith, Chiller Coolanee, Deng, JD Donzo, D'Best, Tag Team, Pochano, Pitty, Killa Lu, Noy-Z and K-Zee.

Gate Opens: 2PM Copyright FrontPageAfrica. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).

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