Thursday, September 30, 2021

Benji Cavalli: we should focus on the bigger picture

Ever since he first emerged onto the scene with his hit song “Slow It Down”, Benji Cavalli has continuously proven himself as an award winner. Priding himself as a singer and dancer, he has kept himself booked over the years. Check out my interview with Benji below. 

What has been the best performance of your career so far?

- My first time performing at the LEA in 2016. I received a lot of support from the fans, the energy from the crowd was great, and it is also the same year I won Best Music Video for “Slow It Down.”

Who inspired you to make music?

- My uncle Zack Roberts was one of Liberia’s legendary performers. He and Liberia’s Coast Guard band exposed me to different sounds at an early age and my passion for music still exists today.

What is your creative process like?

- I like to be in a place of peace and quiet because I write best when I’m relaxed. I always begin with prayer, then I draw from my experiences and what I observe around me.

Who would you most like to collaborate with?

- I’m open to working with any artist who would like to work with me. I’m all about pushing Liberia forward through arts and would like to partner with anyone who also shares that vision.

If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?

- If Michael Jackson were alive, it’d be him.

 Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

- Of course. I sing my own songs and try to create some also.

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?

- It has made music accessible to more listeners and has increased my ability to leave a global impact. 

What is your favourite song to perform?

- “Lazy” for sure because the fans love it, and I love to see the smiles on their faces. 

What do you think about the current state of the Liberian music industry? 

- Right now the industry is growing compared to years back. We have a lot of talent, and our music is reaching across borders through collaborations with artists from other markets. We are moving in the right direction.

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into?

- When I was very young, I snuck into the building where the Coast Guard band used to rehearse. When they were done I hid in the closet, and after they left and locked the doors, I stayed there playing the drums all night. My parents were looking for me. A janitor ended up finding me, and when I got home I was in a lot of trouble for missing dinner and causing my family to panic. 

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

- I wish we would collaborate more. We are all trying to change our narrative and push Liberia forward, so we should focus on the bigger picture behind what we are doing.

What’s next for you?

- I’m actually working on my first album and preparing for a U.S. tour in addition to connecting more closely with my fan base in Liberia. I’m excited about putting out a complete project, and I’m trusting God for the rest.

Saturday, September 11, 2021

Chiefs’ Tamba Hali to be inducted in Missouri Sports Hall of Fame

The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame will soon celebrate football with the induction of Kansas City Chiefs pass rusher Tamba Hali, University of Missouri running back Devin West, Kickapoo High School & University of Central Missouri quarterback Scott Loveland, Salem High School coach Bill Schuchardt, and Lebanon radio broadcaster Kevin Stubblefield, as well as the Harrisonville High School Football Program and Cassville High School’s 2008 and 2009 state championship teams.

CEO & Executive Director Jerald Andrews on Wednesday announced the upcoming inductees, who will be enshrined during the annual Football Luncheon presented by the Ozarks Coca-Cola/Dr Pepper Bottling Company. It’s set for 11 a.m. on Wednesday, October 13 at the Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield.

Additionally, the Hall of Fame will honor the Elite 11, which recognizes former high school and college standouts, or those who have made positive contributions to the game.

Tamba Hali – Kansas City Chiefs

Hali was among the best pass rushers in Kansas City Chiefs history, doing so years after escaping the war-torn West African country of Liberia at age 10 and making a new home in the United States. A first-round draft pick in 2006 out of Penn State University, he spent his entire National Football League career with the Chiefs, covering 12 seasons (2006-2017) and helping the team to six playoff berths. He is second only to the legendary Derrick Thomas (126.5) in career sacks (89.5) and ahead of Neil Smith’s 85.5 and Justin Houston’s 78.5. Thomas (MSHOF 2021) and Smith (MSHOF 2008) have been inducted into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame. A six-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro, Hali also forced 33 fumbles, second only to Thomas’ 45 and four more than Smith’s 29. Additionally, Hali started at least 15 games every season from 2006 to 2014 and started 14 in 2015. At Penn State, Hali was a consensus NCAA All-American in 2005 and was part of the Orange Bowl team that beat Florida State 26-23 in three overtimes.

Friday, September 10, 2021

After seizing the Norwegian Embassy, the Taliban smashed wine bottles and destroyed children's books.

The Taliban have taken over the Norwegian embassy in Kabul and took to smashing wine bottles and destroying children's books at the establishment.

"Guns apparently are less dangerous"

Norwegian ambassador to Iran Ambassador Sigvald Hauge wrote on Twitter on Wednesday that the Taliban “say they will return it to us later” and added “but first wine bottles are to be smashed and children's books destroyed.”

Norway vacated its diplomatic post in the Afghan capital with the help of fellow Scandinavian neighbour Denmark before the Taliban took over the city.

Earlier, the Taliban had said that they would not interfere with the diplomatic establishments of foreign nations, including embassies.

The Taliban are now forming the government in Afghanistan that is likely to be led by Hibatullah Akhundzada. Taliban's hardline interim government includes specially designated global terrorist Sirajuddin Haqqani as the acting interior minister.

Jeff Bezos is funding immortality research because he doesn't want to get old or die.

Jeff Bezos wants to delay ageing, quite literally. The Amazon founder and space enthusiast recently extended financial support to Altos Labs, which is trying to solve one of the worst human ailments - mortality.

Reported first by MIT Tech Review, Altos Labs has also received funding from a Russian billionaire named Yuri Milner and his wife Julia. Milner is quite famous for investing in big companies like Twitter, Spotify, Facebook and Airbnb.

The Altos journey to immortality kicked off earlier this year in the United States and the United Kingdom where the company was incorporated. Now, the company wants to set up institutes in uncharted territories including Japan. 

It appears that the company is also trying to induct scientists from major universities by offering them high salaries. Bezos is no stranger to similar endeavours. With a net worth of over $200 billion, Jeff Bezos has invested in a series of companies, even others that are trying to solve the problem of mortality. 

According to the New York Post, Jeff Bezos has also invested in a start-up called Unity Biotechnology which is also working to "halt or reverse diseases" of ageing.

A group of scientists met last year for a two-day conference to discuss technology to reverse ageing. This conference culminated in the creation of Altos Labs after scientists pitched their attempts at rejuvenating animals. The company hopes to revive dying cells, with the goal to stretch the lifespan of a human being. 

Do you think it's a noble goal to pursue immortality? 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Liberian Girls Rock CEO ‘ Eugene Rogues’ speaks on the decision to host event in Liberia

Eugene Rogues, a Liberian businessman who is based in Minnesota, has embarked on a journey to fight hunger in Liberia through his non profit organization, Liberian Girls Rock. Check out our interview with Eugene Rogues. 

What is the essence of Liberian Girls Rock?

Ans: Fight hunger in Liberia and in Liberian Communities around the world, Provide Educational Assistance through LGR scholarship program, Provide Medical Assistance to Women and children in Liberia and award women for providing Community activist services that helps Liberians around the world. 

 Why Liberia this year? 

Ans: Lot of Liberians are afraid of going back home.  We believe as an organization, hosting LGR in Liberia will open positive doors which will allow some people to return. Liberia needs us, Liberia needs positive services, Liberia needs good things, Liberia needs good programs that will empower youth, women, and children.  Liberian Girls Rock can no longer wait on the side and hope someone will make our country a better place for us all.   We as people, we need to give our country the best part of us, and Liberian Girls Rock will do whatever it takes to shine positive light on Liberia. Now is better then later… 

 What should we expect different from the prior Liberian Girls Rock?

Ans: Better Organization and better services output.  Liberian Girls Rock currently has 12 employees working full time in Liberia. Some of their daily work involve researching women who are providing positive services to Liberia around the world, going to different communities to fine people who will benefit from LGR Hunger, Education, medical assistance program. LGR currently have employees working full time, will eliminate mistakes made in the past. 

 Is the move to Liberia permanent? 

Ans: Yes. The move to Liberia is permanent. The work that Liberian Girls Rock do, Fit better in Liberia

What are some of the challenges you are facing so far?

Ans: Getting people involve without putting themselves first, getting support from our own Liberian People, lack of donations.

There are a lot of people to help with less support. 

 What message do you have for the fans Liberian Girls Rock?

Liberian Girls Rock pledge to Fight hunger, Provide Educational, Medical & Security Assistance to Liberian Women & children of Liberia. Please support us in this endeavor. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Behind the Scenes of HEAVEN, Monrovia, Liberia’s Newest Night Club

On July 12, 2021, Monrovians seeking an elite nightlife experience in the city were able to enter Heaven through its large doors. The nightclub and bar's interior is designed for social media, giving it a luxurious vibe. It's located in a $500,000 US building in the Rehab, ELWA area. 
The club is courtesy of James Peabody, the CEO of Liberian record label Overseas Records. Peabody's newest nightlife initiative aspires to be the neighborhood's premier club, despite the neighborhood's near-nil entertainment culture. The majority of his competitors are located in the downtown area. 
He had a good sense of timing. Liberia will host all major Liberian award events this year.
To complement its in-house DJs, the upscale nightclub wants to bring in local talent and celebrity guests. Let's take a look at how the Peabody's nightclub stands out in the city's crowded nightlife scene.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Guinea-Morocco game postponed after coup; Salah back but Egypt draws

While an apparent coup d'etat occurred in Guinea on Sunday, a World Cup qualification match was postponed, and the visiting Moroccan team reportedly departed the country safely after being confined to their hotel as gunfire rang out nearby. 
Guinea's capital, Conakry, was set to host Morocco in a Group I match on Monday. 
President Alpha Conde, on the other hand, was apprehended by mutinous soldiers the day before the game, hours after heavy gunfire was heard near the presidential palace in Conakry. Soldiers then proclaimed the dissolution of the administration on state television. 
The Confederation of African Football announced in a statement that the qualification had been postponed "to guarantee the safety" of players and match officials because "the political and security situation in Guinea is highly unpredictable." CAF and FIFA were keeping a tight eye on the situation, according to CAF. 
According to local news sources, Guinea's borders were closed, but the Moroccan squad was allowed permission to leave. 
When the team was stranded while an airplane waited at the airport earlier in the day, Morocco coach Vahid Halilhodzic told French newspaper L'Equipe, "We're in the hotel, gunshots can be heard close."

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Real Housewives of Atlanta's Gregg Leakes, Husband of NeNe, Dead at 66

Gregg Leakes, who appeared alongside his wife NeNe Leakes on Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Atlanta, has died at the age of 66, our sister site Variety reports.

“Today the Leakes family is in deep pain with a broken heart,” a publicist said in a statement. “After a long battle with cancer, Gregg Leakes has passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by all of his children, very close loved ones and wife NeNe Leakes. We ask that you pray for peace and strength over their family and allow them to mourn in private during this very very difficult time.”

Gregg was a familiar face to Real Housewives of Atlanta fans, appearing on camera with his wife NeNe consistently since the reality series debuted on Bravo in 2008. NeNe quickly shot to fame as Atlanta‘s breakout star, and her home life and marital issues with Gregg became a hot topic on the show. (NeNe and Gregg separated in 2010 and later divorced, but they reunited and remarried in 2013, with their wedding airing as a TV special on Bravo.) NeNe revealed that Gregg had been diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer in 2013, and his cancer battle was also chronicled on the show. NeNe officially left Real Housewives of Atlantalast year ahead of Season 13.

Those that rock with me, I love them, those that don’t, it’s still all love: Coz (Exclusive Interview)

Coz is definitely an artist that speaks to the isuess, both social and political. The award-winning rapper left no stone unturned, when he dropped “The Ghees” in 2020. Check out our exclusive interview below. 

Do you remember when you first received a compliment as a rapper? What did it feel like? 


I can't remember the actual first time I was complimented but an early compliment that stood out was from a friend when we were just out of high school. My bro Roy aka Pretty Boy Roy told me "there's people that can rap but CO.Z can really RAP RAP". It felt fulfilling. It didn't have to be someone of a so called big status. The fact that my friend approved it was enough for me. I knew if he liked my flow, the rest of the hood and even the world would like my flow. 

Which one of your songs was the hardest to write? Why? 

hardest song

“Hands High” was one of the hardest songs I wrote. Venny Beats, the producer introduced me to the trap sound and pattern. It took me some time to catch it. The chorus I came up with instantly alongside Venny, when he played the beat for me but I had to sit on it for a while to come up with the verses.

Which one of your songs was the easiest to write? How did you get the inspiration? 

The easiest song I wrote was Scrapper Food. Sean Wrekless was the key inspiration and driving force to the song. He is the producer of that recorded and he gave me the concept for the song. I was so inspired by what he wanted me to do that I wrote  and recorded the song in 30 minutes after getting the instrumental. The concept of the issues surrounding the current economic state of Liberia was too relatable. I didn't have to think too hard. The words came to me like an angel whispering in my ear as I jotted down the scripture

Describe your target audience. 

My target audience is true hip-hop and music heads of any ethnic background ranging from all ages. I make music to be felt by all souls no matter your color or creed. Those that rock with me, I love them. Those that don't, it's still all love. They'll feel me one day hopefully.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years? 

Five years from now, Spiritually I will work on getting more in tune with my higher power and my family. Professionally, I will continue to explore opportunities that will help in the development of my country. My businesses would have expanded, allowing me to employ more Liberians and give back to society. Musically, I will be retired as a recording artist but I will still operate Liberty Entertainment as a record label. We will continue to sign underground artists, manage artists and develop talent in Liberia.

What do you need to do to take your craft to the next level? 

What I need to do:

I just have to stay consistent. Trust God, trust myself, trust my team and vice versa. I am always open to room for improvement in any area of my music career. I have to make sure I'm moving smart as it relates to the business side of the music. No laziness. No slacking. The game is always just one hit away.

Which foreign artist would you like to do a feature with? Why? 

Foreign artist

As an MC I would want to do a record with Jadakiss. Kiss has been one of my favorite rappers and a major influence on my career. He represents an era of hip hop which I was raised in and became a part of. The golden era. Here in Africa though I would love to Collab with 2face. He is a great artist. I been rocking with him for over a decade now. His voice is unique and his style is so smoove. He is for the culture for real.

What message would you give to a younger version of you?

Younger self:

Pray more. Believe in yourself more. Leave the streets alone. Keep your circle tight. Attract what you want, dont chase it. Work hard but most importantly work smart. 

And there it is, check out Coz on YouTube.