Last month, Accountability Lab launched “Hip Co for Accountability” – an initiative to use the hugely popular and uniquely Liberian genre of music, Hip Co, to spread awareness and empowerment to a much wider segment of the Liberian population, particularly the younger generation and those less able to read and write. Twelve of the most influential Hip Co artists in the country have agreed to join a network of Accountability Ambassadors: Takun J, Nasseman, JB Soulfresh, Shining Man, Lil Bishop, Dr. C, Pochano, Picardo, JD Donzo, Uncle Shaq, Blackest 305, and Santos.
After receiving training on the fundamentals of accountability, the group discussed accountability issues that affect their lives. They made a plan to collectively confront copyright issues in Liberia’s music industry and drafted a letter to key stakeholders involved with the issue. These included the copyright office, the Music Union, and relevant Senators- in order to find strategic ways to work with each towards fairer and more accountable copyright laws.
The Hip Co Accountability Ambassadors have also begun discussing accountability positively on social media, radio interviews, and at live performances. They are continually working to expand this network of musicians who are interested in using their influence to creating lasting change in their community. In the coming months, they will organize events, participate in an accountability-themed music festival and contribute to a CD compilation of songs related to anti-corruption.