March 23rd, 2014 Last Updated on: March 23rd, 2014
Indigenize the World! One Indigenous activist hopes to do just that by using his Navajo culture and lyrical talent. Hip hop artist Indigenize plans to fire up and motivate Native America through his music. Nothing is off limits in this talented performer's interview with Powwows.com.
Q) Indigenize the World! That's a mighty message! Who is the man behind such a powerful phrase?
A) I'm towering house people clan and red house people clan. I am a Hip Hop emcee from the Dine’h ( Navajo) territories. I am a Indigenous rights activists with a message of rekindling our warrior societies.
Q) Such passion for Indigenous rights must have a story behind it?
A) My journey with music started when I was young. The power of music didn’t come to my understanding until I got shot at the age of 17 in my home town of Gallup, New Mexico in 2008. What kept me sane was a Tupac Album titled “Me Against the World”. After my experience with death, I NOW understood what Tupac and what ALL great musicians talk about when Speaking on the struggles of people instead of exploiting the issue and expose the issue at its core. Then, I came to realize we as Indigenous here on Turtle Island have become part of this systems history.
So just exposing our truth and history brings out a lot of contradictions in today's world. So as an artist,, I started educating myself on government, Education, self identity, tribal history, economics, everything and anything that is influencing today and tomorrow. So now, Music is Life to me and every song is a rebirth of struggles I once lived.
Q) So now we know why you want to Indigenize the World…how do you plan to do that? Is your music a part of your movement?
A) I started rapping at the age of 13 with some friends.my first goal was to master song writing. My second goal was to break out of my shyness and fear of speaking. Third was betting my stage presences. After 9 years of finding myself in Hip Hop, I see the BIG goal with my music is to remain studying my culture and the cultures of the world an to show we are united in the struggle.
Q) As an activist for Indigenous rights, how does your tribal heritage influence your music and your movement?
A) Well as an artist, my heritage has become intertwined with hip hop. The 80’s and 90’s generation of my people have made it even more so. I am glad to see more indigenous artists rising to the global scene. It is humbling to see as a youth and experience unity through music!
My culture and ties with music is a ancient relationship. I now interpret the process of making music through my ancestors' perspective and say it is medicine for me but the goal is to make it medicine for the listener. The musical journey of today takes people to the limit of fear and happiness either way you create the experience or “paint the picture” as some would say. When I write, I want to create a Strong image, never a weak betrayal of life. For that is what my culture teaches me… be a humble strength .
Q) As your culture and music intertwine, how does your culture inspire you in your personal life?
A) In our way as Dine’h we are taught to be very mind full where you walk and how you walk. Participating in ceremony helped me to break my fear of speaking. As I spoke with the elders, more often I started to see growth and see more unity around me. So that was the freedom I was looking for. After getting over the fear and shame of not knowing, I had more comfort asking questions about our way a life as a Dine’h and as people. It all starts with someone being the example and starting the conversation. Watch what you say!
Q) Indigenizing the world is a big project…how do you plan to indigenize the future?
A) My message for the next generations is to remember the past struggles and forgive but not forget the generations who took the bullet for us so can keep walking home to freedom.
Q) While you're considering past struggles and overcomers, what do you want future fans to think when they reminisce over you?
A) My main challenge was to find my place with in Hip Hop. Now that I got my position the only way is forward. I am not there yet to where I want to be so haven’t had to chance to see the fruits of my labor, but I know the music is being heard. One thing is at least I got more shows and more travel to meet new friends and create ideas along the way.
Q) What is the key to finding your place as a performer and overcoming obstacles?
A) Humbleness is the greatest quality in a performer. The most destructive is low self esteem with that you get drug and alcohol abuse not to mention suicide.
Q) Who are some musicians that embody the qualities that you admire?
A) Bob Marley and The Wailers are my top choice. Why? Because they took their people's struggle in Jamaica and showed the world we struggle the same and modern politics do not work for all nations. Also to mention the Reggae movement shedding light on slavery, past to present. They gave a Voice to the younger generations within their country and outside their borders.
Q) Crash course…quick, offer us an introduction to making it in music???
A) Listen to all music.. Educate yourself on the history of the Arts and Music as much as possible. Never be afraid to say wht you what or try what you what. Don’t see you soul.
Don’t rely on one. Don’t trust no one with your money. Don’t get BIG headed. Don’t think your work is set keeping working to where you are limitless. Watch out who you surround yourself with.
Q) What would you like us to know that we don't already know about you?|
A) Just know respect is my intention.
Q) Thanks for visiting with us.
A) Much respect to Powwows.com! To Hear and Download all my latest tracks go to:
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