Ayke Ezeani
by on December 26, 2018
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Bucky Raw has been a house hold name in Liberia music industry since his entrance into the musical arena. At a very young age his dreams for music was disrupted by the war in Liberia. Civil conflict and government corruption left their mark on the people of Liberia. During the war, cannibalism became the new norm, corpses became the new delicacy, and children were traumatically stripped of their innocence. The nation’s young ones were abducted, brainwashed and turned into soldiers and females became sex slaves.

His musical lyrics is a mixture of standard English, tribal languages and Koloquo (a form of broken English) that is understood across all sixteen Liberian Tribes. For this reason, the term “hipco” or “trapco” is used to categorize the hip-hop genre in Liberia. These lyrics of Bucky raw keeps on narrating these war experiences, using words to paint the pictures of war and the scares it has left in the mind and souls of Liberian youths. This has earned him his stage name Bucky "Raw" . He is raw in the sense that his rhymes are not sugar coated but rather, they are rhymes that expose deeper truths about the shared experience among Liberians and African in their painful experiences.

Bucky Raw has been making efforts to attain musical prominence until last year when he became a house hold name after showcasing his lyrical genius during a musical lyrical challenge  in a stage in Liberia. In his freestyle, he switches from pure hip-hop to hipco and then to his native dialect. Bucky lyrically paints a picture of his life when he says “child soldiers worshiping the warlords my testimony.” Listeners can understand that he is making a reference to a period when Liberia was on its knees (figuratively speaking), those day in Liberia war when children were forced to grow up before their time by indoctrinating them and making them child foot soldiers. He goes further to say, “seeking for refuge and using poison ivy for mattress…I’m reminiscing on maggots feasting on dead corpse…the missing limbs, the battle scars, something we cope with.” In addition, he expresses that the brutal nature of war forced him to grow up as a “savage ducking strikes from automatics.”

 

Bucky Raw and his family were very lucky  to escape to Buduburam refugee camp, in Ghana, where they slept in “refugee tents.” Thereafter, they were able to migrate to America, where Bucky’s troubled young self, was still unable to find tranquility. Bucky used poetry as a coping mechanism for dealing with his past. He credits his early influences to American rappers Tupac, Jay Z, and Biggie.

“Temptation” has been Bucky's most successful project up till date, he introduces his listeners to the world of “politrics” which is a koloquo term used to describe government corruption. He opens with his yearning to be the voice for the voiceless and a savior for the poor. When Bucky says “some people dey say I trouble, they really don kno my struggle,” he is speaking to the unforgettable scars and inner battles that lead many Liberian youths to a state of frustration and anger. He mentions this because conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorders(PTSD)are ignored in Liberia and swept under the carpet. Liberian citizens are expected to lead a normal life while enduring deleterious State violence. Bucky provides reassurance for the youth; he explains that they are not alone in their hardships and that they should allow “trapco to cover their wounds”. He ends the song with, “when dey will tell the truth, la when dey will feed the youth, la when dey will sit down to hear the people point of view.” He is pleading with the higher-ups of the nation to practice honesty, to nourish the youth, and to listen to their citizens’ needs.Bucky equally describes the government to behave selfishly “bluffin in their suites” and “eating mah” while babies starve. Here, he is expressing that the government is enjoying a luxurious lifestyle, while their citizens are suffering. These lyrics of a rising star brings forth the first hand impact of poor experiences of a child soldier and a survivor.

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Toval Ezeani
A rising star.