With the support of the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA), the Accountability Lab and Amaze are pleased to announce the launch of a collaborative initiative to combat corruption in Liberia through the power of Hip co music. The centerpiece of the initiative, a music video for the track ’Corruption, Corruption’, will be complemented by a discussion on Hip co and accountability, and performances at high schools and universities in Monrovia and Buchanan.
Produced by the Accountability Lab, the video for ‘Corruption, Corruption’ was filmed at the Ducor Hotel. Towering over Central Monrovia, the edifice, constructed in the 1950s, served as the seat of Liberia’s interim government during the initial stages of the civil war. It was subsequently destroyed in the conflict.
Jim Tuttle, a Multimedia Fellow with the Accountability Lab filmed, directed, and produced the video. Tuttle explained that “the ruins of the Ducor Hotel provided a great backdrop. The building itself is a vivid symbol of bygone opulence fallen to decay.”
Amaze notes that he composed the track, “because I feel corruption is one of the biggest viruses that’s eating our nation. In order to solve a problem you have to get to the root cause. I wrote this song to alert parents on the need to monitor corrupt tendencies in children, even at a young age.” Tuttle adds that it “was a fun challenge to create a visual experience that complements Amaze’s lyrical message and catchy Hip co beat.”
The first public screening of the video will take place at 146 on Carey Street, across from the Central Bank of Liberia. Amaze, joined by Takun J and other hip co performers, will discuss the role of Hip co in promoting accountability, ending corruption, and enabling justice. The general public is warmly invited to the event on October 15 at 4pm.
Several performances at schools in Monrovia and Buchanan will also be held. These events will feature a screening and performance of ‘Corruption, Corruption’ following which Amaze will speak on the importance of eliminating corruption at all levels of society.
Henry Amazin Toe, better known by his stage name, Amaze, began rapping in Guinea, where he lived as a refugee from Liberia’s long-running civil crisis. He launched his career delivering freestyles and prepared verses over beats from American rappers like Tupac, Notorious BIG, and Nas.
In 2005, Amaze’s career took off when he joined 3T’s, one of Monrovia’s most popular dance groups. Amaze transformed the crew from a group that performed to foreign songs to a trio that produced its own original content, achieving widespread acclaim with the track ‘dizzing’. After the release of three albums, 3Ts disbanded in 2010. Amaze now performs as a solo artist and along with Peaches is one half of the duo known as ‘Tag Team.’ Amaze is the Secretary-General of the Liberian Secular Musicians Association and is a business student at the University of Liberia.
Read more about the Accountability Lab here.