Sierra Leone is a country ravaged by civil war. But the West African nation is trying to overcome its violent history. Sunday's presidential elections in Sierra Leone went relatively smoothly. The results are still coming in though and tensions are rising again. Enter three voices from Sierra Leone, urging everyone to stay calm.
The World's Marco Werman has today's Global Hit.
Those three voices go by one name, Dry Yai. The hip-hop trio are from Freetown, Sierra Leone's capital. "Land That We Love" is Dry Yai's patriotic ode to their country.
The three twenty-somethings follow a tradition in Sierra Leone of fusing pop culture and national issues in music. It happened in the 30s and 40s with the country's breezy palm wine ballads. And even during the brutal civil war, the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars sang the astute tune "Weapon Conflict."
Dry Yai raps tunes of a different sort. The one that's gotten the trio the most attention was released just as candidates were vying for the presidency in Sierra Leone last month. The song is called "Ease di Tension."
Dry Yai works the always-popular Jamaican dancehall sound in Ease di Tension. The song had been in regular rotation on Sierra Leone radio prior to the August 11 vote. And it has continued right through last Sunday's runoff to serve as a Greek chorus of sorts for Sierra Leoneans going to the polls.
This is an historic election. Many in Sierra Leone are hoping the new president will start writing a chapter in the country's history that is free of war stories.
There's even a clever line in Dry Yai's song that goes: "turn a new page, get out of the cage, and start to live a life that is average."
'Ease di Tension' offers a sobering look at how much work the next president of Sierra Leone will have.
Dry Yai raps about corruption. They say the country needs basic dependable services like light and water.
The band is even considering ways to rebuild the country.
They spend a couple of lines asking Libyan president Muammar Qadaffi -- Africa's dependable sugar daddy -- to send water pumps and tractors to Sierra Leone.
Any of Sierra Leone's candidates could have written down Dry Yai's lyrics and easily transformed them into a winning platform. Whoever wins the presidency in Sierra Leone may have other plans.
But the central message of these three young men in Dry Yai is well worth listening to: if you want a country that is free of war, you need to figure out how to Ease di Tension.
Click here for the lyrics to 'Ease di Tension'