Hipco rapper Takun J and Kanvee Adams
By Robin Dopoe, Jr.
The stunning loss of popular rapper Takun J and gospel musician Kanvee Adams who advocated against corruption, injustice and other societal ills through their songs came as a shock to many people, who are still wondering how it happened.
Jonathan Koffa, the Hipco rapper commonly known as Takun J, contested in District #8 and Kanvee Adams in District #6, Montserrado County. Both artists, despite their strong and huge fan bases, performed poorly and were unable to turn their huge followings into votes. Incumbent Acarous Gray won the District #8 election, while Samuel Enders won District #6.
Despite voters’ frustration with mainstream politicians and their failed promises, yet they did not see these artists as the right persons to lead them.
This is because both Takun J and Kanvee Adams ran poor campaigns that did not really relate to the people.
For Takun J, his first failure came when the rapper failed to sell his narrative, which has to do with the fact that he was born and grew up in poverty; and that he understands the problems his poor constituents are facing.
Takun failures to do so broke his strong connection with the youth, who this gone election constituted the highest voting population, but mostly live in abject poverty. They were also seeking a leader who understands their problems (like unemployment), and who is willing to help alleviate it.
And since Takun J did not position himself as that person, who if elected could push legislation that would mitigate their sufferings, he found it difficult to win their votes.
And for Kanvee Adams, who also did not sell a good narrative alienated her broad music fan base that was mostly made up of women. This is because she was unable to make them understand that she feels their pain and the neglect they go through on a daily basis. She also did not speak directly and forthrightly to their issues, like more rights for women, so they not see her as someone who could solve their problems.
As the country is presently defined by the huge economic inequality between the rich and the poor, high unemployment level among the youth, epidemic corruption and high gender inequality between men and women, what the voters in these artists’ separate districts needed was a candidate with a better solution to both their problems in the short and long term. So Kanvee and Takun did not present themselves as those candidates, and that’s why they did not get the needed votes to win.
Their campaign messages were also not really in touch with their constituents. And that was why they did not talk about bills that they would design when elected that will solve issues some of the country problem, like cutting tax incentives for lawmakers, redistributing wealth, cutting wasteful spending in government and increasing the salaries of civil servants, which they advocated for through their songs always.
This was a huge mistake from the part of the two candidates – not having messages that resonated with middle and low-income voters.
In addition, the shortcomings from their campaign messages not to paint their opponents as candidates who are out-of-touch with the suffering masses and therefore don’t understand their struggles, left the voters with no choice, but to see Acarous and Samuel Enders as their choices.
Both candidates also failed to use the media to their advantage, which cost them votes from the middle class, by whose votes they could have at least made good showings.
Lastly, the police raids in ghettos where Takun J had gone to campaign – which his opponents used to make the people believe Takun J was just not there to the campaign, but to use drugs, and his alleged arrest with drugs harmed his campaign.
Future artists with representative or senatorial, even presidential ambition should take heed.