Q+A With Seminole Rapper and Gathering of Nations Performer Doc Native

Posted By BrittanyLCerny April 28th, 2022 Last Updated on: April 29th, 2022

If you’re a fan of Native American culture and hip-hop, you won’t want to miss Doc Native’s appearance when he performs at Stage 49 at Gathering of Nations this weekend (You can watch the performance here!)

This up-and-coming rapper has a fresh sound that’s caught the attention of heavy hitters throughout the music industry. His Native heritage and experiences inspire his lyrics, and his performances are always on-point. 

Who is Doc Native?

Spencer Battiest Doc Native

Seminole brothers Spencer Battiest, left, and Doc Native. (Photo Courtesy: Time Honored Media, Matt Gagnon)

Doc Native, also known as Zachary Battiest, is from Hollywood, Florida, and of the Seminole Tribe in Florida, although he is also part Choctaw. He is a father, a rapper, a musician, and an inspiration for young indigenous people. His music is well worth your time, and his presence on stage is uplifting and empowering. This artist is someone to watch out for as he continues to make big waves in the music industry. 

Growing up surrounded by music (mostly gospel hymns) in his traditional tribal language, Doc had inspiration all around him. His younger brother, Spencer Battiest, began singing professionally at the age of 11, and later on, both brothers would collaborate to create award-winning songs and music videos. In 2011, Doc and Spencer came together to write and produce their first joint song and music video called “The Storm.” From there, Doc Native’s music career took off.

If you tuned into the MTV Music Video Awards in 2017, you may remember The Magnificent Seven, which includes Doc, Spencer Battiest, Taboo from The Black Eyed Peas, and other Native artists, won an award for their “Stand Up / Stand N Rock” music video. The video, which won in the Best Fight Against System category, is about protesting against what they believe to be historical wrongdoings at Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

Taboo commented on the song’s meaning

I am part Shoshone, but this issue is deeper than my Native American heritage,” Taboo said in a statement. “The Dakota Access Pipeline is a shameless example of corporate interests being put ahead of human rights and our environment. This song is a ‘thank you’ to the protectors that have stood against the pipeline and a call to action for all native peoples to stand proud and unify for our human rights and to protect our land.

Fast forward to 2021, Doc and his brother dropped their first collaborative song and music video in 10 years called “Dream.” Within a few days, the views on YouTube skyrocketed, leaving people wanting more. Watch the video below:


Our Quick Q+A With Doc Native

We interviewed Doc Native about his upcoming participation in the Gathering of Nations and what inspires him to get up on the stage. 

What made you want to be a part of GON? 

I’ve been wanting to perform at Gathering for quite some time! I finally got the invite, so I jumped at the chance! And I’m super thankful for Native Reel cinema fest for sponsoring this performance and getting me and my crew out here and David Bearshield for extending the invitation. 

What artists have inspired you to become a musician? 

My father and my grandpa are my biggest inspirations. They are some of the greatest singers I have heard in my life and have amazing stage presence. They taught me everything I know. 

What are your goals as a Native American artist? 

One of my goals is to break out into the Billboard Top 100 and to win a Grammy one day. 

What events are you looking forward to watching at GON? 

I always look forward to the grand entry and the fancy dancing competition. I have some friends that are competing, so I’m excited to cheer them on as they compete. 

What is the best part about getting to be back at full-capacity events in 2022? 

The best part of being at full capacity is getting to see all of my people happy and smiling and laughing together once again. I’m still taking precautions, making sure that when I interact with everyone, we’re as safe as possible, but it’s great to be among our people again!

Tune in to Doc Native this weekend!

The Gathering of Nations’s Stage 49 has been and continues to be a launching pad for new talent and an opportunity for artists to showcase their gifts. Expect Doc Native to do just that. Get ready for an amazing show! Watch Doc Native perform via the Powwows.com Livestream here!

Keep up with the Gathering of Nations schedule to watch Doc Native live on stage. Follow Doc Native on Instagram and Facebook.

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