Hip-Hop doesn’t often cross the cultural, political and physical divide between urban areas and sovereign tribes in the United States, but when it does the results are surprisingly powerful. After all many of the issues that shape forced African relocation to the Americas shaped the forced relocation of indigenous people within the same lands – namely the racism of European colonists and settlers who believed they had a greater right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness than those they dealt with who were not like them. That’s why Thanksgiving is not something everyone gives “thanks” for.
I wish I had more examples of Native American hip-hop artists protesting against the racism, segregation, poverty and disenfranchisement they’ve suffered than the 10 videos I’m selecting to show you here, but as always I’m counting on your feedback to point out artists or songs I’ve missed that shed greater light on this subject. Every disenfranchised group on this Earth has a right to protest no matter what their background or what country they live in, and from where I stand there’s no better music and culture to give voice to protest than hip-hop, so hopefully these examples are the starting point for a much broader conversation about the indignities suffered by indigenous people for centuries in the Americas and what ultimately became the United States of America.
1.) Taboo (Black Eyed Peas) – “Stand Up/Stand N Rock”
2.) A Tribe Called Red f/ Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) – “R.E.D.”
3.) Red Eagle – “High Above the Clouds”
4.) Nataanii Means – “Warrior”
5.) Supaman – “Why?”
6.) Joey Stylez – “Indian Outlaw”
7.) A Tribe Called Red – “Burn Your Village to the Ground”
8.) Carradine – “Still On Da Rez”
9.) Chase Manhattan, Tha Native, Joey Stylez, Sten Jodi & Adrian Harjo – “It’s a Native Thang”
10.) Willson Clark – “NativePride”