Sunday, November 30, 2008

Liberian music & rap 1

Here is a cut from a Big Mama's Business by Friday "The Cell Phone Man", from his album Belleh, my current favourite.

If you listen to the lyrics you'll hear the names of Monrovia's most popular streets and markets: Broad Street, Randall Street, Centre Street, Red Light Market, Duala Market....

I love Friday's sound and will post another cut from one of his songs a few posts down - that way the two tracks won't play at the same time. Let me know if you'd like me to bring you a copy of the album in December.

If you're interested in what's popular here, a good place to look is this site: Most of the music you hear at parties etc is either from neighbouring countries - Ghana, Sierra Leone, Nigeria - or the States.

I like "This Country That Technique" buy Bone Dust, and Mzbel from Ghana is fun too.

Our first experience of live Liberian rap came recently, out of the blue. We recently went camping in Robertsport and had some fun with a group of local boys Sam & Tumi's age. After barbequeing some marshmellows around the fire, we got into telling stories, jokes and the next thing they were doing these long and brilliant raps from L.I.B. Records.

If you read the article about L.I.B. Records, you'll see their music is actually called hip-co, which is derived from hip-hop and colloqua, or Liberian English as spoken on the street. So far I can't find any to listen to on the web, but will try and find a CD to bring home.

Well, more to follow on this subject...

Technical note:
The only way I could find so far to get an audio clip onto this blog is to turn it into a video that can be uploaded by Blogger - do let me know if you are aware of a better, free way that works?

The last three months

A lot happened in the last 3 months, and it's only now that I'm really feeling I have the energy, time, or mind-space to sit down and write again.
Some of the highs and lows were:

:) I started teaching the Grade 3 class at the Light International Liberian-Turkish School. It's long hours (8-4) and without much resources, but I'm loving being in the classroom again. Especially as my class consists of eight adorable children including Tumi.

:( Tumi's left arm got broken for the second time this year, in late August. By late September it became clear that it was not growing on straight inside the cast. We had to go back to South Africa for an operation to put in a plate and a pin. It was all very hard on Tumi, and he still has to be careful. His arm looks straight now and the special removable, breathable cast he got in SA will soon be coming off.

:) At the end of October we moved into a new home in a lovely cluster called Coconut Plantation. We are all MUCH happier staying in a house instead of a flat; there are bits of garden (we even have our own private patch at the back) and there is a big lovely swimming pool where we swim almost every day.

Now it's nearly time to go home for Christmas again, but meanwhile I'll add some bits about Liberia in general, as well as what we've been up to.