Music Artist Profile: Tufawon (Rafael Gonzales)

Music Artist Profile: Tufawon (Rafael Gonzales)

Posted By Corinne Rice February 3rd, 2019 Last Updated on: February 7th, 2019

Have you heard or seen Tufawon in concert?

If you have, you're not soon to forget it.

Rafael Gonzales known on stage as Tufawon has a command of the stage from the second he walks on, but his command is more than a good lyric and a sick beat. (Though he has both of those.) Tufawon raps about growing up in Southside Minneapolis MN, being Spirit Lake Dakota and Puerto Rican, and his life's calling to protect the water.

If your Native musician isn't producing music while also actively protecting or raising awareness for the earth, are they even worth supporting?

Rapper Tufawon, at 32 years old has been on multiple tours with his music, using that enormous platform to speak out against Pipeline 3. He's been involved in music for his whole life, born in the hip hop movement in Minneapolis, his youth was surrounded by this lifestyle and culture.

He played both the Trumpet and Clarinet as a child, both instruments teaching him the basics of movement and music, song structure and harmonies. His first group out of High School was called Illuminous 3, and they played in and around the Minneapolis area. They even released a full-length album when Tufawon was in his early 20s.

In his late 20's Tufawon began releasing solo albums, his most recent released in 2017 titled Self Care. (Available on iTunes and Spotify)

Tufawon says his most requested song is “Sage Patch Kid” (Video below) A song about living as Dakota and reclaiming traditional ways.

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About Corinne Rice

Corinne Rice (Mohawk/Lakota) has been a writer with since 2014. She lives in the state of CA, and enjoys attending and photographing many of the Northern CA powwows and events. She owns her own photography business and is also a Fellow with Changemaker Initiative in partnership with Ashoka.

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