Hysom Zarroug

Bucky Raw: The Beacon of Hope

Hysom Zarroug
Bucky Raw: The Beacon of Hope
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Bucky Raw: The Beacon of Hope

YOU HEAR ME, EHN?! Bucky Raw is by far the biggest rapper in Liberia’s Hipco & Trapco scene, reaching unprecedented plateaus that his predecessors and competition could only dream. Not just a force in his native Liberia, Bucky Raw is making his claim as one of the most successful rap stars in Africa. He is the undisputed King of HipCo and its subgenre TrapCo, which is essentially Liberian hip hop, consisting of a combination of American English, Koloqua (Liberian English) and Tribal Languages. In 2018, his Album, CS2, debuted at No.1 on both the World Music Billboard and iTunes Music charts and was also an Amazon Best Seller in the International Category. These accomplishments may not mean much to some, but to us Liberians, it means the world, bringing great pride to see one of our own reach levels that were once viewed as unattainable.

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The success of Bucky Raw didn’t come overnight; the pain, trauma, stress, heartache, and defeat that he endured getting to this point would have broken the average man into a thousand pieces. However, that same pain is what Bucky Raw taps into to paint vivid pictures of a world that is foreign to many.  He captivates audiences with personal anecdotes about his experiences surviving through Liberia's Civil War and Philly's streets, delivering powerful bars that resonate as if you've experienced them yourself. You can hear the hunger in his voice and see the desire for greatness in his eyes when he raps. Bucky Raw is a beacon of hope to the hopeless. He’s a symbol of perseverance, determination, and survival. Hundreds of thousands of people perished on the journey Bucky was forced to embark on, which is a clear indication that God spared his life for a reason. Even after being deported back to a country he left many years prior, he refused to fold under pressure, using the unfortunate situation as gas to fuel his fire to succeed.

Bucky Raw was born on April 30, 1985, in Nimba County, Liberia. In 1989, Liberia descended into one of the most brutal civil wars in history, leaving Bucky trapped in unfathomable circumstances. Some of the most heinous atrocities took place during this war and no documentary, book or article could ever fully depict its carnage. Massacres occurred, cannibalism ran rampant, entire towns & villages were destroyed, but God’s mercy and grace protected the young man from all of this madness, as he was able to escape the war by relocating to America in 1993.

After escaping his war-torn home, Bucky Raw relocated to Southwest Philadelphia, an area with a very high concentration of Liberians. If you drive down Woodland Ave. in Southwest Philadelphia, you’ll see Liberian markets, restaurants and hear our extremely unique accents. Southwest Philly is also where Bucky Raw honed and perfected his rap skill, generating a huge buzz that began with him battling other rappers and spitting on his block. Through hard work, dedication and consistency His name then expanded to various Liberian communities in America and our homeland of Liberia.

In 2017, when Bucky’s stock was growing at a bearish rate, an unfortunate event took place that could have derailed his career. He was arrested on domestic abuse charges and was subsequently deported back to Liberia in 2018, after being away from the country for almost 25 years. It’s not a smooth transition going from the stability of America where you’ve lived for the majority of your life back to Liberia, a country full of hardships and challenges. Nevertheless, Bucky Raw took full accountability of his actions and accepted the challenges he would be faced with upon his arrival back to his native country.

Once Bucky Raw touched down in Liberia, his popularity and notoriety shot through the roof. His deportation, which initially seemed like a setback turned into a blessing in disguise, as the rapper was welcomed with open arms by the vast majority of the country, who were happy to have him home. However, his instant celebrity wasn't received well by everyone, as two HipCo rappers jealous of his reception decided to test him lyrically. Relishing the challenge, Bucky lyrically decimated the two, releasing "Open Casket," a vicious freestyle over the "Put Your Hands Up" beat, which destroyed his two foes much like Beanie Sigel did Jadakiss and confirmed that Bucky Raw was a true student of Hip Hop. You have to be ready for lyrical warfare when you test the Trapco Chuck Norris, which is one of Bucky Raw’s many aliases.

Before the beef, Raw released the aforementioned album, CS2, through his record label Child Soldier Entertainment. Not only did it take Hipco or Trapco to new heights, but it also elevated Liberian music as a whole, featuring smash hits likes "Woomi" and "Last Kiss" featuring RICKSLYN. Without question, CS2 will be the album that future Trapco and HipCo artists will look back on as a classic, setting the standard for aspiring Liberian rappers.

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Bucky Raw recently embarked on a country-wide tour performing in many of Liberia’s counties. He's also become a philanthropist since his return to Liberia, donating supplies and toiletries to prisons throughout the country, visiting and contributing to a school for blind children in Monrovia, as well as doing much more behind the scenes. Since his return, the chart-topping lyricist has worked hard in righting the wrongs of his past and is carrying the torch for Hipco, Trapco and Liberian music overall. He’s truly the third world narrator, giving the world a live look into a country that typically only receives 15-minute segments on CNN and BBC. Bucky Raw truly embodies what it means to be the hope of the hopeless and the voice of the voiceless.

Below are a few videos from Bucky Raw, as well as his albums Country Soda & CS2.