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Native American hip hop

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Title: Native American hip hop  
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Subject: Native American music, Hatchet Warrior, Hip hop music, Comedy hip hop, List of hip hop genres
Collection: American Hip Hop Genres, Native American Music
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Native American hip hop

Native American hip hop is hip-hop culture practiced by people of Native American heritage; in colloquial terms, this also includes Canadian First Nation hip hop artists. As such 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 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. The U.S. Office of Management and Budget currently defines "Hispanic or Latino" as "a person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race". [1] Hip-hop is most often described as originating in the 1970s in the inner city African American and Latino American communities of New York City.[2]

Hip-hop has, in more recent times, 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. Activists such as John Trudell with his spoken word poetry and Russell Means with what he calls his rap-ajo music[3] have been of some influence with their artistic endeavors.


  • Notable artists 1
  • Early Internet pioneering 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Notable artists

In 2013, longtime Native Hip Hop advocate MANIK started the Nativehiphop Festival in Vancouver B.C. Canada. This is an annual 3 day festival which includes all elements of hip hop. It features Native Graf artists, b-boys, DJs, MCs and many others elements.

Melle Mel, the first rapper to ever use the epithet MC, is Cherokee and Ernie Paniccioli, a famous photographer of hip-hop culture who grew up in Brooklyn, is Cree.[4] Funkdoobiest, Solé,[5] and Litefoot[6] (winner of the Native American Music Award), are also well-known Native American hip-hop artists. Wu-Tang affiliate King Just is also of Native American and the Ol' Dirty Bastard also claimed to be of Native American descent.[7] Flavor Unit member Apache is also Native American. Except for perhaps a few other artists, the majority of Native American hip hop is to be found in the underground scene, rarely gaining exposure beyond regional hits.

You can find early rock rap groups such as WithoutReservation and Atlan Underground , were the first to bridge the gap between rez rock , punk and hiphop.

Kemozabi, a Wyandot DJ from the all native FBI crew, is well known in the underground for his participation in many DJ competitions such as the DMC and Scribble Jam. He was consistently placed second and third in many competitions such as the 2004 Montreal and Edmonton DMC competitions,[8] and the 2005 Moncton[9] and North Bay[10] DMC competitions. War Party, became the first native performers to host RapCity.[11] War Party is one of a number of Canadian groups to gain some chart success, including Tru Rez Crew and Slangblossom.[12] Hatchet Warrior, the second album by Native American hip hop artist Anybody Killa,[13] 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.[14] Reddnation, a group from Alberta has become decorated – having received awards for 'Best Rap/Hip Hop CD' and 'Best Duo/Group'[15] at the Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards for their second album Now or Never, Best Rap or Hip-Hop Album at the 2006 Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, 'Best Group or Duo' & 'Best Rap or Hip-Hop Album' at the 2007 Alberta Aboriginal Music Awards, and 'Best Group or Duo' at the 2007 Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards.[16]

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.

Frank Waln, a Sicangu Lakota, and other newer hip hop and pop artists of Aboriginal descent were featured on MTV's Rebel Music in late 2014 for both their music and community advocacy work in various Aboriginal causes.[17]

Early Internet pioneering

The first url dedicated to native hip hop in the north was REDHIPHOP.COM which was started in DEC. of 1999 it was unlike other existing online databases where is it was a stand alone site with no umbrella site, ie Yahoo or beocities. This site has individual artist section and playable and even downloadable mp3s. Unlike the native hip hop geocities group this iste had working contracts with artists involved - This site was started by Manik out of the REDWIRE MAGAZINE office. At that time there was already a geocities group which served as the first online database. After REDHIPHOP.COM .. followed suit and bought its own url.

Stretching back as early as October 17, 2000,[18] one of the main websites promoting Native hip hop performers has been '' a collective effort with submissions from various artists and members of the public.

Offering a wealth of website links, artist reviews and MP3 downloads – 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.


  1. ^ OMB, Revisions to the Standards for the Classification of Federal Data on Race and Ethnicity (1997)
  2. ^  
  3. ^ "Russel Means Homepage". 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ "Solé website". 
  6. ^ "Litefoot". 
  7. ^ "Ol' Dirty Bastard of Shinnecock descent". 
  8. ^ "Montreal DMC 2004". 
  9. ^ "Moncton DMC 2005". 
  10. ^ "North Bay DMC 2005". 
  11. ^ "Warparty: The Great Natives from the North". Redwire magazine. Archived from the original on 2006-05-19. Retrieved June 21, 2005. 
  12. ^ "Native hip hop poised for breakthrough". March 5, 2004. Archived from the original on 2004-11-07. Retrieved June 21, 2005. 
  13. ^ Loftus, Johnny. "Hatchet Warrior"Review of .  
  14. ^ "Hatchet Warrior"Charts and awards for .  
  15. ^ "Aboriginal Peoples Choice Music Awards". 
  16. ^ "ReverbNation". 
  17. ^ 
  18. ^ "".  link for the Native Hip Hop website.

External links

  • Native Hip Hop The original showcase for Native American and Aboriginal Canadian hip hop and rap artists.
  • Movement Music: Hip Hop and Aboriginal Youth Activism Interview with Manik of the Native Youth Movement and Skeena Reece
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