Snotty Nose Rez Kids are a trailblazing voice within North American music.
Two Haisla hip-hop musicians from Kitimat, BC, the duo have smashed down doors previously left closed to kids from their background.
Potent Indigenous voices speaking their truths, the project's opening two albums were both shortlisted for Canada's prestigious Polaris Music Prize.
Opening 2020 with a new EP, the pair round up this somewhat dystopian year with their new burner 'Where They At'.
Yung Trybez and Young D reconvene as Snotty Nose Rez Kids, with the duo sparring alongside Drezus on the fresh single.
A song about life, and trying to get by under difficult circumstances, we're able to share the video for 'Where They At' before anyone else.
As a bonus, Clash invited Snotty Nose Rez Kids to discuss the hip-hop and rap leaning culture emerging from First Nations communities...
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Indigenous culture and hip-hop culture go hand in hand in hand. Let's look at the elements of hip-hop. You have the emcee, and we have our storytellers. In hip-hop you have the DJ and we have our drummers. In hip-hop you've got the b-boys and b-girls and we've got our pow wow dancers. In hip-hop you've got your graffiti artists and we've got our painters and our carvers. Shout out to the legendary Cree photographer, Ernie Paniciolli, for first sharing that analogy.
In all the ways that hip hop was born from the struggles faced by Black people and became an expressive outlet for articulating hardship, calling attention to injustice, police brutality, poverty and all that, we as Indigenous people have faced many issues since colonization began. From Potlatch bans, to being forcibly removed from our lands, to Residential schools, to the many missing and murdered Indigenous women, lack of resources and clean drinking water, and the list goes on.
For us, SNRK, and for many emcees hip hop was and is that creative outlet we've needed to articulate our experiences. From early Canadian Indigenous hip-hop group, War Party, to our big bro, Drezus, we had a few influences to look up to, but most of our influence came from a lot of hip-hop artists in the States.
When we formed Snotty Nose Rez Kids, we also found in many ways we were trailblazing in ways for Indigenous hip-hop in Canada. We developed a sound we call 'Indigenous Trap'. Other genre artists like A Tribe Called Red really opened the path for other Indigenous artists to gain recognition by a larger audience and that turning point began to reshape how people thought of us. Our music is varied and spans across all genres, but we've often all been lumped together as 'Indigenous music'. The shift is that we are seeing the embracing of A Tribe Called Red as electronic artists, and SNRK embraced as hip-hop artists and that's really helped grow our audiences.
We gotta give a quick shout out to Buffy Sainte-Marie, the true trailblazer who has been carving a path for Indigenous recognition and celebration in music for decades. The Indigenous hip-hop scene in Canada is growing with artist like our Haisla cousin, Boslen, doing big things, our bro's, Mob Bounce, OG's like Joey Stylez (another one we looked up to), Leonard Sumner, our sis, Mamarudgyal, the fam, T-rhyme, and our homie, Shanks Sioux.
Here's a list of artists to check out...
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