In Liberia, one of the surest signs that a news story has captured the attention of the general public is when someone starts singing about it on the radio.
In August 2014, the Auto-Tune-heavy hit “Ebola in Town,” by Samuel “Shadow” Morgan and Edwin “D-12” Tweh, caught fire right around the time the World Health Organization began describing the West African epidemic as an international emergency. During the most recent presidential campaigns, in 2011 and 2017, the candidates’ catchiest theme songs saturated the airwaves as Election Day approached.
Recently, to the consternation of President George Weah, a new topical jam has been in heavy rotation: “Bring Our Container Back,” by the rappers AFo4doe and Kpanto. The “container” in question is the receptacle, or receptacles, used to transport more than $100 million in fresh currency that, according to some officials, has gone missing over the course of the past year. The scandal, first reported by the local newspaper Hot Pepper, has quickly morphed into the biggest political crisis since Weah took office in January.