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Liberian rap star MC Caro sings catchy lyrics and tosses out money in her flashy music videos. For Liberians who like to “celebrate everything,” Warleah Love Teamah, a concert promoter and small business owner, expects Liberia’s top female rapper to excite Des Moines concert-goers on Nov. 28.
“They say she’s like the Missy Elliott of Liberia,” said Teamah, the force behind the show. “That’s how big she is.”
MC Caro will headline a concert, with Bigg Timee, Fada Bless and Wisdom, at Franklin Junior High, an entertainment venue in Des Moines, which can seat 4,500 people. Teamah, CEO of Love Vegas Lingerie Boutique and Mislovely Management, wants concert-goers to put on their finest clothing and arrive early to meet MC Caro at Budu/Bu, a smoke shop, art collective, African fashion and spiritual shop. Attendees will be able to have their photos taken with the artist and refreshments will be served. The concert begins at 8 p.m. on Nov. 28 at Franklin Junior High in Des Moines.
Teamah said MC Caro is an amazing talent. MC Caro won best female artist of the year at the Liberia Music Awards in 2021.
Teamah had wanted to bring MC Caro to Des Moines last year but the coronavirus pandemic delayed the rapper's travel plans, she said. Now the rap star is in the middle of her U.S. tour, with a stop in Minnesota before Sunday’s concert in Des Moines.
Teamah said the concert is open to everyone, and she expects several hundred attendees. She enjoys seeing people of all cultures interacting with each other, she said.
“One of the things that brings people together is music, food and alcohol,” she said.
The venue is the perfect location, she said.
“This is way more (space) than she needs but it'll feel good for the performers,” said Jeff Young, the developer who purchased the venue, a former junior high school, which sits on 12-acres in a Des Moines neighborhood.
Teamah said because many Liberians have experienced civil war and political unrest in the 1980s and 1990s in Liberia, with some having stayed in refugee camps before arriving in the U.S. decades ago, many seek to “transfer all that negativity into a positive outlet." They like to host lavish events and stay out late, she said.
“We celebrate everything,” she said. “Everybody comes out. We dress up. We present ourselves. We shower each other with money. We toss money on each other. We celebrate life. We celebrate death.”
Teamah hopes everyone will be fashionable on Sunday — but not fashionably late, she said. She hopes everyone – not just Liberians – will attend the concert.
Teamah, who moved to Iowa from Minnesota and has experience managing artists and running small businesses, has big plans. She wants to bring Liberian comedians to Iowa. Ultimately, she’d like to create an African Events Center and sit down with city leaders, police officials and community leaders to discuss the project and explain how it could be beneficial to the city.
“How do we protect each other? How do we understand each other culturally? So we’re not looked at as: ‘Oh, you guys like to party late,’" she said.
Her grand plan is to celebrate diversity and bring people together through music and comedy — starting with MC Caro. Teamah can’t wait to see the rapper on stage on Sunday.
“A lot of people have been anticipating her coming,” she said. “It has been a year long wait. Everybody is really excited. There’s high intensity for her. Everywhere she goes has been a massive turnout."