CO.Z gives frank interview about Liberian music and the controversies surrounding his name .
CO.Z is a Liberian Hip Hop Artist and Songwriter based in Liberia. Hip Hop is his standard style of music – mixed with Liberian vernacular .CO.Z’s debut album State of the Union was released in 2014 and had major success with hits like ‘Ayah’ and ‘Saturday’.
Who is the founder of Liberty Entertainment. Is it a label ?
CO.Z : Liberty Ent is an entertainment, promotions and event planning company founded by Clem Urey, Jr, William E. Tubman, Ricky Jaeploe and myself. A new branch of Liberty Ent that promotes all Liberian content international and local will officially be launched this month along with my mixtape.
Do you consider yourself as an independent artist?
CO.Z : I don’t consider myself independent because I own a entertainment group which is my management. However Liberty Ent is an independent group.
Your latest freestyle caused quite a stir . Do you think the “beef ” will be resolved anytime soon ?
CO.Z : I want the fans to understand that greatness is all we strive for in rebuilding our entertainment industry. Regardless of what humanly, personal differences we entertainers may have with one another, we all seek to take Liberian music to the world. As far as the beef, I tried to resolve it before and it didn’t work out. However I’m still open to resolving it for the sake of unity in the game.
How did your “beef ” begin with LT rapper Christoph ?
CO.Z : when I dropped the king of Liberia I mentioned a few of the names that were popular in the game at the time. Christoph wasn’t mentioned however he was the only artist to respond . Once he responded, I replied and there you go.
Who do you hope to someday collaborate with ?
CO.Z: DenG. Because he is unique and passionate about his work.
What are your thoughts on Liberian entertainment ?
CO.Z : Liberian entertainment is far from being an actual INDUSTRY, however the positive thing is that we are gradually progressing. About 4-5 years ago Liberians did not enjoy the entertainment but we are starting to appreciate it now. Companies are starting to invest in the industry. That’s a plus.
The thing that is missing in the industry is professionalism and most importantly Capital(Cash). The industry needs investment. As cliché as it may sound it takes money to make money.
Lack of professionalism is artists not applying the right integrity when approaching the business. Djs playing songs that haven’t been properly mixed and mastered. Entertainers being late for sound checks/interviews.
There were rumours floating around , did you claim to be Liberia hip co King ?
CO.Z : Yes. It wasn’t a rumour. I did a track called King of Liberia where I claimed the crown of Liberian rap music. I dropped that track late 2013 and became one of my most popular tracks.
How are you different from other artists in and out of Liberia ?
CO.Z : What makes me different is my life, my experiences, my style and my story. I’ve introduced to the world how hip hop has created Hipco through my mix of standard rap and Liberian colloquial. I feel misunderstood at times . That’s because of the lack of literacy in our country – Also not everyone have been through similar situations as me. Being in wars, coming from the streets, having a indigenous Liberian background, being a Liberian that was born and raised in the diaspora.
What advice would you give to a US base Liberian artist who want to pursue music back home ?
CO.Z : I would advise him that promotions is key just as in any other market. Understanding the business is also necessary in reaching far and make sure that their presence is always felt physically from time to time by having concerts.
In your opinion , what are the benefits of investing in Liberian entertainment?
Well entertainment is a very lucrative business , therefore for businesses it’s extremely beneficial on a profit bases once approached professionally. Secondly entertainment in our country at this point in history can be used as a way to escape the hardships that we have gone people
What Type of Legacy Do You Want to Leave ?
CO.Z: the legacy I want to leave is one that will live till the end of time. Something that the youth of millions of generations to come will be able to follow. A positive light through lyrical/artistic expression. Everyone should be free to express themselves.
Are you working on New music ?
CO.Z: Yes , I drop the 3rd series of my mixtape the end of this month called The Paynesville Syndicate Vol. III:How to be an MC hosted by DJ Chirpz. This mixtape features Cnote, Bentnan, Speedo among others. I’m also working on videos. Currently shooting a music video featuring Teddyride called ‘ Some kind way’.
What’s your favourite song on the mixtape ?
CO.Z : my favourite song is Kamikazee produced by Ayaits Young Master Pro. It’s my favourite because it sums up my whole life into 3 verses. It’s an anthem.