Native american rappers list

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Top 5 Native American Rappers in the Game

5. LightningCloud

Coming in fifth place, I simply had to give it to the indigenous duo of RedCloud and Crystal Lightning. While RedCloud's freestyle skills alone are worthy of putting him on this list, LightningCloud would be incomplete without Crystal Lightning. Not only does Lightning's smooth flow and swagger make it easy for her to play a male-dominated game, but her career provides much needed representation to women in the Native community. RedCloud is known for his Chicano identity and influence in his music, yet still effectively draws attention to Native American issues, such as when he broke the world record for the longest freestyle while rapping about the epidemic of missing/murdered indigenous women in Canada (as suggested by Lightning). The combination of RedCloud and Crystal Lightning is the very definition of intersectionality, their reach extending to those effected by poverty, California natives, and the indigenous people of not only just the United States, but of Canada and Mexico as well due to their respective Cree (Crystal) and Huichol (RedCloud) roots.

4. Tall Paul


Tall Paul is next on my countdown due to unapologetic use of Anishinaabe native language in his music and his efforts in giving back to his community in Minneapolis. After graduating high school, he continues to go back and tutor children at the Anishinaabe Academy through the American Indian Math Project in order to help more Native American children do well in school while also staying in touch with their culture. His music has a great beat to it that can be appreciated by those outside of the culture as well, while also using songs such as Prayers in a Songto speak to those whose language has been diminishing for centuries. These are the lyrics to that song, which is a great mixture of old and new; the ancient language and the modern music:

Gichi-manido wiidookawishin ji-mashkawiziyaan // Mii dash bami'idiziyaan // Miizhishinaam zaagi'iiwewin // Ganoozh ishinaam, bizindaw ishinaam // Mii-wenji nagamoyaan // Nimishomis wiidookawishinaam ji-aabajitooyaang anishinaabe izhitwaawin // mii-ji-bi-gikendamaan keyaa anishinaabe bimaadiziwin

Translation: Great Spirit help me to be strong // So that I can help myself // Show us all love // Talk to us, hear us // That is why I am singing // Grandfather help us to use the Native ways // So that we'll know how to live the good life

3. Nataanii Means


If you want to talk about fighting for Native visibility, look no further than Nataanii Means. He comes from a long line of Native American activism, his father being the famous Russell Means, who has worked tirelessly for Native American rights and was even featured in the bridge of Nataanii's song The Radical. On that same track Nataanii also proudly states "I'm not a rapper, I'm an activist that rhymes', which is a statement that he seems to be living up to as of late by standing in solidarity with Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline. His album is rightfully entitled "2 Worlds" because his music focuses on bringing two worlds together to create music that shows what it's like to be Native American in the 21st century.

2. Frank Waln


Coming in as the first runner-up on my list is the amazing Frank Waln! He is a three-time NAMMY winning Sicangu Lakota rapper that heavily focuses on issues effecting Native Americans today such as assimilation, fracking on native lands, educating native youth, and stereotypes surrounding the Native American community. Waln also travels around the U.S. performing and doing workshops that focus on self-empowerment and following your dreams. He is one of the most passionate and active rappers on this list, which is why I ranked him so highly. Every song from Oil 4 Blood, to AbOriginal, to Hear My Cry takes the listener into Frank's world and offers them the perspective of the modern day Native American, as according to him. Waln even went as far as remixing a popular Disney song to expose and draw attention to the vicious and 'savage' treatment and mockery of the Native American people in the United States.

1. Supaman


And here he is! The very best Native American rapper, in my humble opinion. What I love about Supaman is that he creates his music from scratch, which you can see for yourself in the music videos for Prayer Loop Song, Why, and Somewhere. Due to the sheer talent and artistry that it takes to do that, I felt like he belonged toward the front of the list. Like several others on this list, Supaman draws inspiration for his music from his real life, which is heavily influenced by his culture as a member of the Crow tribe. But Supaman has the age and the experience that some of these other rappers lack, which is what drove him to his first place slot on this list.

During an interview with NPR, Supaman talks about his love for rap, and about the messages in 'gangsta rap' leading him down a dark path that could have ultimately cost him his wife and daughter, at which point he then decided to turn to his religion to lead a more positive life and rap about more positive things. I think that is what I value most about Supaman's music: he is a Native American man rapping about every day life and every day struggles. He doesn't need a 'hard' persona, he doesn't need to rap about drugs, or crime, or sex. He draws attention to issues that affect his people and his life without disrespecting anybody or influencing his listeners to participate in unhealthy behavior and habits.

This is a lesson that I think a lot of rappers should learn from because, yes, bad things happen in the world. Negativity and crime and drugs are everywhere, and young people should not be sheltered from that. But at the same time, kids look up to these rappers, especially if they represent a group that typically lacks representation. With poverty and alcoholism and broken families already plaguing so many Native American communities, it's nice to see somebody rapping about family ties, peace, and Native American pride for a change. Supaman is the best of both worlds: a talented musician and a positive role model. What more can you ask for?

Sours: https://www.theodysseyonline.com/top-5-native-american-rappers-game

Native American hip hop

Native American Hip Hop is hip hop culture practiced by people of (often urban) Native American heritage; this also includes Canadian First Nation hip hop artists. It is not a specific form of hip hop but varies in style along the lines of hip hop in general. Native Americans have been present in hip hop culture since its inception as breakdancers, DJs, rappers, and graffiti artists. The Native American contribution to hip hop can occasionally be veiled by the ethnic umbrella term of Hispanic or Latino, terms that do not specifically refer to race.

Hip hop has grown in popularity not only in urban settings but also on reservations since it has become ubiquitous on television and radio. Political activism and its expression in art has also been of great influence due to the many social issues present in indigenous communities. Artists such as John Trudell (with his spoken word poetry) and Russell Means (with what he calls his rap-ajo music)[1] have been of some influence with their artistic endeavors.

Notable artists[edit]

Melle Mel, the first rapper to ever use the epithet MC, is Cherokee and Ernie Paniccioli, a photographer of hip hop culture who grew up in Brooklyn, is Cree.[2]Funkdoobiest, Solé,[3] and Litefoot[4] (winner of the Native American Music Award), are also well-known Native American hip hop artists. Wu-Tang affiliate King Just is also Native American and the Ol' Dirty Bastard also claimed to be of Native American descent.[5]Flavor Unit member Apache has also been assumed to be Native American, though a reliable source has yet to be found. In the past, the majority of Native American hip hop was to be found in the underground scene, rarely gaining exposure beyond regional hits. However, artists such as Drezus, Frank Waln, Supaman, DJ oTTo and Red Eagle are just a few newer artists that have gained substantial popularity in recent years. [6][7]

Some Indigenous artists worry that their blend of traditional music with their own may be seen as disrespectful to their ancestors. However, many elders and hip hop listeners are able to appreciate the mixture, as it can bring multiple generations together through music.[8]

Hatchet Warrior, the second album by Native American hip hop artist Anybody Killa,[9] was released in 2003, and peaked at #4 on the Billboard Top Independent Albums chart, #42 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart, and #98 on the Billboard 200.[10]

The organization Beat Nation is a Canadian not-for-profit Indigenous hip hop collective with the goal of giving public space to Indigenous artists and their listeners. It is run through a website and exhibits which aim to share Beat Nation's work and music, as well as give space for Indigenous hip hop culture to operate.[11]

Rapper Young Kidd from Winnipeg, Manitoba is of Jamaican and Aboriginal heritage, and two of the trio group, Winnipeg's Most, are Aboriginal - Jon C and Brooklyn. Winnipeg's Most have won several Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards. Both Young Kidd and Winnipeg's Most have achieved high levels of local success in Winnipeg.

Florida rapper Denzel Curry, a pioneer of the Cloud Rap and Soundcloud Rap scene, is of Bahamian and Native American heritage.

Early Internet pioneering[edit]

The first URL dedicated to Native hip hop in the north was Redhiphop.com,[12] which was started in December of 1999. It was unlike other existing online databases in that it was a standalone site with its own domain name. The site had individual artist sections and playable and downloadable MP3s. Unlike the Native Hip Hop Geocities page, this site had working contracts with artists involved - it was started by Manik out of the Redwire Magazine office. At that time there was already a Geocities page which served as the first online database. After Redhiphop.com, the Geocities page followed suit and bought its own URL - NativeHiphop.net.

Stretching back as early as October 17, 2000,[13] one of the main websites promoting Native hip hop performers has been NativeHipHop.net, a collective effort with submissions from various artists and members of the public.

Offering a wealth of website links, artist reviews and MP3 downloads – NativeHipHop.net was, in the early days, instrumental and invaluable in networking with Indigenous North American hip hop artists and groups such as Shadowyze, Atzlan Underground, Anishinaabe Posse, Gary Davis, Manik, Natay, 7th Generation, Red Power Squad, Quese The Emcee, Night Shield, Reddnation, Rollin Fox, Supaman, King Blizz and War Party, giving them a voice online.

In the five years proceeding after the Millennium Year, the website grew in popularity and acted as a 'spring-board' for many of the Native hip hop artists around today.

References[edit]

  1. ^"Russel Means Homepage".
  2. ^Wiltz, Teresa (2002-12-26). "The Ever-Changing Face of Hip-Hop; As It Went From the Streets to the Suites, Photographer Ernie Paniccioli Was There". The Washington Post.
  3. ^"Solé website".
  4. ^"Litefoot".
  5. ^"Ol' Dirty Bastard of Shinnecock descent". Archived from the original on 2008-07-24. Retrieved 2010-05-14.
  6. ^Navarro, Jenell (2014-05-16). "Solarize-ing Native hip-hop: Native feminist land ethics and cultural resistance". Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society. 3 (1). ISSN 1929-8692.
  7. ^Article in Indian Country
  8. ^Przybylski, Liz (2018). "Customs and Duty: Indigenous Hip Hop and the US-Canada Border". Journal of Borderlands Studies. 33 (3): 498, 499. doi:10.1080/08865655.2016.1222880. S2CID 152234537 – via University of Waterloo Library.
  9. ^Loftus, Johnny. "Review of Hatchet Warrior". Allmusic. Retrieved 2 January 2009.
  10. ^"Charts and awards for Hatchet Warrior". Allmusic. Retrieved 2008-08-25.
  11. ^Gorlewski, Julie (2012). "Revolutionizing Environmental Education through Indigenous Hip Hop Culture". Canadian Journal of Environmental Education. 17: 49, 51, 52 – via University of Waterloo Library.
  12. ^"Red Hip Hop website". Archived from the original on August 17, 2000. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  13. ^"Native Hip Hop website". Archived from the original on October 17, 2000. Retrieved January 26, 2017.

External links[edit]

Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_American_hip_hop
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8 Songs by Native American Rappers That Deserve to Be Heard

When hip-hop was born in the Bronx in the 1970s, it offered an unprecedented and powerful voice for the voiceless. The movement has since gone global, lending a vocabulary to people struggling for liberty and safety in places as far-reaching as Palestine, China and Russia.

Hip-hop still has work to do in the States, though, and nowhere do hip-hop's stories of liberation and resistance resonate with greater urgency than with the country's longest oppressed group: its indigenous population. "Native Americans grasp that culture of hip-hop because of the struggle," Crow rapper Supaman told NPR. "Hip-hop was talking about the ghetto life, poverty, crime, drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy; all that crazy stuff that happens in the ghetto is similar to the reservation life. We can relate to that."

To this day, Native American reservations still make up some of the poorest regions in the country. There, Native Americans face some of the highest rates of high school dropouts, crime and suicide. Here are eight songs from Native American rappers that perfectly capture the scene.

1. "My Land" by Litefoot

Hip-hop lore holds that Litefoot is the first Native American rapper to hail from a federally recognized reservation. The legend further holds that an RGA record label once agreed to give him a deal as long as his lyrics weren't "Indian ... because Indians don't buy tapes — they buy alcohol," according to E. K. Caldwell in his book, Dreaming the Dawn: Conversations with Native Artists and Activists. 

Litefoot's response was to build his own label, Red Vinyl Records. He's since released 12 studio albums, featuring songs like "My Land," which tells the story of all the pain white America has showered on Native Americans throughout history: "Raped our women and killed our children," he raps. "Replaced all the greenery with concrete buildings." 

He finishes by flipping a classic American anthem on its head: "This land is our land / This land ain't your land / From California to the New York islands."

2. "I'm a Lucky One" by Tru Rez Crew

Tru Rez Crew pieced together their breakout single, "I'm a Lucky One," on a home computer, with a live guitar track and a group of Inuit throat singers. The video was filmed entirely on their home reservation on the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, an hour south of Toronto. Seeing their homes and landscapes helps to emphasize their message of resilience: "Even though we may have grown up poor on the rez we can still succeed if we try."

3. RedCloud's freestyles

RedCloud, part of the group LightningCloud, set a world record last year by freestyling for 18 hours straight. It was an impressive feat, but even more moving was the way he used the opportunity to draw attention to an overlooked tragedy affecting indigenous women in Canada. Since the 1980s, 1,200 Native Canadian women have gone missing or been murdered — a rate three to four times greater than the rest of the population, as Mic's Zak Cheney-Rice reported via the Globe and Mail.

In his 17th hour, RedCloud rapped the names of every one of the missing women. "I've always wanted to break the record, but do it for something bigger than myself," RedCloud told Micin November. "This issue is so deep in Indian Country. If I can freestyle about [these women] and get media involved, it could get the whole thing amplified."

4. "Warpath" by Drezus

Drezus, a Plains Cree-Saulteaux rapper, released "Warpath" in July 2014, intending it to be a rallying cry for indigenous men. "We are overlooked," Drezus explained to APTN National News. "Our people are overlooked and we are the people of this land and we're treated as if we're nothing ... [This song is] kind of like a roll call for Native men of who we are and what our roles are as men. It is to ignite a spirit in all of us."

The video features provocative imagery of his native traditions — "colorful buckskin," and "beautiful headdresses, the culture so impressive," as Drezus raps — remixed with modern stylings like black lights and flat brims. The white hand painted over his mouth symbolizes white European institutions trying to silence his people. "[B]ut they can't," he told APTN National News. "And I'm speaking through it."

5. "AbOriginal" by Frank Waln

Frank Waln, a rapper from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota who recently appeared on MTV's Rebel Music, is hyper-conscious of how his depictions of Native American culture are so often twisted into "poverty porn."

"There will be no poverty porn in music video," he tweeted about his video "AbOriginal" in October 2013. "No models. No bling. Just some Lakota people smiling, riding horses and being a community." The video shows children on the reservation playing basketball, hanging with family, living ordinary lives  — lives that are frequently misunderstood and overlooked.

"There are people who aren't even aware that we exist in real life," Waln told the Chicago Tribune. "They go to (natural history) museums and see exhibits about Native Americans and think we're a people of the past. But we're a people with a past, not of the past."

6. "My People" by City Natives

Earlier this April, City Natives won the East Coast Music Association's award for Aboriginal Album of the Year for the second year in a row, for their album Red City. "As a people, we're red (aboriginal), making it in the city doing what we love," Beatz from City Natives told Halifax Pop Explosion. "The title just fit the project in all the right ways."

Their music is not as overtly political as many of the other rappers on this list, though "the difficulties faced by Aboriginal peoples and communities come up in their lyrics and political issues often seem to be lurking just below the surface," as Quirks and Quiddities wrote in their review of Red City. City Natives replace that political focus with messages of hard work and determination.

"It's not often that you see four young musicians make it off the reservation doing what they love, to make it in cities and perform nationwide," Beatz told the Eastern Door. Though the tide may soon be changing.

7. "The Radical" by Nataanii Means

As Nataanii Means describes himself on "The Radical": "I'm not a rapper, I'm an activist who rhymes." His songs seek to encompass all the "hardships of the everyday life of the modern 21st century indigenous person," as he wrote in the description of his 2013 debut, 2 Worlds.

Means is the son of distinguished Oglala Lakota activist Russell Means, a prominent leader in the American Indian Movement. "He had a huge influence on me," Nataanii Means told Indian Country Today. "I speak on subjects he talked about often: freedom, identity, the government and genocide. ... I feel like I have the voice to speak to my generation, to awaken the masses and make a country see the forgotten people of America."

One of the most cutting lines of "The Radical" targets all the festival-going hipsters of the world who have forgotten that Indian headdresses have a deep spiritual meaning for Native America. "I got two braids and a beaded necklace / Livin' young and livin' reckless / I've got a bullet for the next hipster in a headdress," he raps. 

Take heed, Coachella.

8. "Mutiny" by Witko

Mike "Witko" Cliff is a visual artist, rapper and close friend of Nataanii Means. They appeared together on the MTV series Rebel Music, telling their stories and talking about the mission guiding their art. "Making it off the reservation, I just want kids to see that they can do whatever they want to do," Witko says in the doc.

The two rappers are specifically dedicated to combating suicide among Native teens, which are the highest at-risk population group in the United States. Witko's raps serve as a release for the frustrations and anger Native kids feel. He discusses instances ofpolice brutality among indigenous populations with honesty and rages against the presidents depicted on Mount Rushmore. "How could history change in a century?" Wiko raps. "Now we sittin' here holding on to memories." History won't change, but the future may in the hands of leaders like these.

Sours: https://www.mic.com/articles/116942/8-songs-by-native-american-rappers-that-deserve-to-be-heard

8 Great Native Hip-Hop Artists

Originating in the streets of the Bronx in the early 70’s, the earliest forms of hip-hop music were blasted on street corners and shared at community block parties.

Decades later, hip-hop has transformed from its core, but maintained its vocal component of “rapping,” which has become the most popular form of rhythmic poetry and music today.

Much of the lyrical content of hip-hop deals with the struggles of living poor, the desire to be great, the acquisition of fame, and the drawbacks of said fame. It also deals with larger issues, such as police brutality, race relations and corruption.

In this sense, hip-hop is a response to the struggles of cultural trauma, and Native peoples are certainly familiar with that issue.

Many cultures have taken to hip-hop to share their experiences and culture with the rest of the world. Here are some Native hip-hop artists to check out.

A Tribe Called Red

A Tribe Called Red - courtesy

Ottawa based DJs A Tribe Called Red blend genres such as tribal drum, reggae, and dubstep. They are also known for their instrumental hip-hop beats that mix particularly well with First Nations style vocal chanting. This group won multiple Juno Awards for Breakthrough Act of 2014 and Electronic Album of the Year. In the U.S. they’ve started to garner attention by collaborating with hip-hop artists Das Racist, Angel Haze and Yasiin Bey (formerly known as Mos Def). If you are a fan of heavier electronic music, instrumental hip-hop, or the familiar sounds of a Pow wow, be sure to check these guys out.

See Related: A Tribe Called Red’s Video with John Trudell’s Words Featured in TIME

R.E.D. (via YouTube)

Gearl

Gearl is an Indigenous Canadian MC from the province of Nova Scotia. He is also one part of an award-winning collective known as City Natives, along with MCs- Beaatz, IlllFundz, and BnE. City Natives make a wide array of bangers that have cross-over appeal for a more mainstream audience. Individually, each MC creates more personal tracks with familiar Native themes. Gearl’s lyrics display a level of maturity that is rare in his industry. Check out this track “D.R.E.A.M.” meant as a sort of homage to the Wu-Tang classic “C.R.E.A.M” but instead of glorifying the use of drugs or the profit to be made by selling them, he paints an honest picture about how drugs are negatively influencing his community.

D.R.E.A.M (via YouTube)

Tall Paul

Hailing from South Minneapolis, this young Anishinaabe MC crafts deeply-reflectional rhymes laced effortlessly on head-bobbing beats that any fan of the 90’s era of hip-hop will love. His lyrics deal with personal loss, his Native roots, historical inaccuracies taught in the U.S. education system, problems within his own community, and much more. Check out this standout track “Prayers in a Song” in which he flows between English and his Native tongue without missing a beat.

"Prayers in a Song" (via YouTube)

Frank Waln

Frank Waln - courtesy

One of the biggest names in Native hip-hop, Frank Waln is a songwriter and activist from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. Frank’s storytelling ability is matched by his intelligent observations about what the struggles of his community are and more importantly, possible solutions to those problems. His music is available through major streaming services such as Spotify and Google Play. He has also been featured on a MTV mini-documentary called Rebel Music- Native America: 7th Generation Rises along with other artists Nataanii Means and Witko. Check out this live performance of a song that Frank dedicated to his mother on NPR.

My Stone- Live (via YouTube)

Nataanii Means

Self-described as “barely over 20,” Nataanii Means spits gritty rhymes about his experiences as an American Indian man in the 21st Century. He deals with the same issues as most young men his age- peer pressures, women, anxiety for the future; but he also writes about them through his personal Native lens which makes his music so unique. On “Warrior” Nataanii laments

“Call the coroner on another fallen warrior in the land of the forgotten- bad seeds already rotten. Poppin pills to fill the void of death knockin, you can guarantee the feds watchin, cuz we grew up around these revolutionaries who went to Wounded Knee to get their hearts buried.”

As the son of the great Russell Means, Nataanii shares his music almost as an extension of his father’s impassioned speeches, hoping it has a similar impact on the youth.

Witko

Representing Lakota, South Dakota, Mike “Witko” Cliffs emotional rhymes are authentic on his most recently released track, Alive. On the track, Witko repeats a somber chorus about the realities of life and death - “I’m alive so you judge me, when I die I’d bet you love me- that’s the way the f-ing world go.” - that is raw and honest like so much of the best hip-hop out today.

Shibastik

Chris G. Sutherland (aka Shibastik) is a multi-talented artist out of Thunder Bay, Ontario. He has been in the industry since 1998 but has also branched himself out as a visual artist, public speaker, and youth organizer. As a rapper, he flows nimbly over his own airy beats but his greatest strength has to be his uplifting messages about how communities should act when they desire change. On “Fire and Water,” he teaches “war makes war, peace makes peace, hate makes pain and love makes it cease.” A simple-enough message, but it is very refreshing to hear a message so easy to understand in these trying times.

Fire and Water (via YouTube)

Eekwol

Representing for female MCs and the Muskoday First Nation is Lindsay “Eekwol” Knight. This versatile MC performs with a wide array of flows, vocal inflections, and subject matter which all serve to prove that she is one of the most talented Native artists around today. Eekwol hasn’t released an album on her co-owned indie label Mils Productions since 2007, but just 8 months ago she dropped “Kisay’s Song,” a beautiful ode to her daughter and daughters everywhere. We hope this signifies more work coming in the future!

Sours: https://indiancountrytoday.com

Rappers list american native

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