Native rappers in Canada represent a unique struggle in a country where the portion of the population to most likely have problems with the law is indigenous. This music talks loud and clear about the conflicts of being a minority with a vast tradition on the brink of extinction.
The interesting thing here is that these artists emerge to in some way show relevant issues as the crisis of Aboriginal Women Missing and Murdered, the brutal treatment and discrimination against the natives, the conflicts about the indiscriminate extraction of natural resources in native territories and the protest movement Idle No More.
All this have made even more hermetic to the aboriginal communities from coast to coast of North America, especially in Canada. But is not all bad news, some artists have found inspiration on the adversity, keep reading to get to know some of them.
A Tribe Called Red
Honestly, the indigenous rap doesn’t get the attention it should out of its vibrant local scene. However some names like Rich Kidd’s sound outside of his hometown, Toronto; In addition to other big names like Drezus, the Winnipeg Boyz, David Strickland and T-Rhyme resonate in big cities such as Winnipeg and Toronto, at the same time they attract our attention and satisfy our curiosity about their particular situation and local scene through the Internet.
The genre they exhibit is known as powwow step and has a lot to do with the classic beats of hip-hop, reggae, and dubstep, all mixed with elements of the traditional dance music of Native American powwows, which makes the powerful and catchy sound of this branch of hip-hop in the most authentic we can find.
His real name is Christian Takes Gun Parrish, rapper SupaMan is original from the Indian Reservation Crow Nation near Billings, Montana, and his style is said to blend the best of 90’s hip hop from New York with the rich heritage of his people native, the Apsaalooke. He also is a dancer, flute player, aspiring comedian and father of three that lives drug and alcohol free.
However, beyond the unique musical quality of these artists, it’s important to emphasize that native hip-hop it’s a whole movement and that aboriginal artists have taken up the Inuit symbology and have taken it to contemporary art, through successful exhibitions and galleries.
All this movement is being pushed by local native artist in an attempt to make known their culture, heritage, and ancestral traditions but also as a way to be accepted, understood and respected for what they are, as collective, all this using the legacy of their ancestors to make themselves known and differentiate themselves on the world stage.
Regarding criticism, there are all kinds of it. There are those who don’t approve of the daring of this movement and those who consider it to represent Native American pride, the truth is that the message they transmit and their powerful beats make native hip hop a genre worth including in your playlist.