Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Skinny Local just made history by creating a mashup of Indian (India) and “Indian” (Turtle Island) cultures in their latest song “Screaming Indian”.
The duo of Yung Trybez and Young D, hailing from the Haisla Nation, teamed up with Surrey-based South Asian trap wave producer Skinny Local, in a collaboration that blends trap beats with provocative lyrics that challenge Indigenous stereotypes.
In a celebration of solidarity, “Screaming Indian” builds bridges between two marginalized communities, while engaging in important political and racially charged discourse.
Just in classic Snotty Nose Rez Kids taste, the song blatantly points fingers at colonizers and government sanctioned racism.
The line: “Imma run for Prime Minister and still won’t pay my taxes,” is a direct reference to the systemic racism that Indigenous people endure through colonialism, and points at the attempts of poor compensation such as reduced government taxation.
The music video for “Screaming Indian” does an incredible job of visually presenting the themes addressed through the lyrics.
Directed by Vancouver-based filmmaker Alfonso Chin, the video for “Screaming Indian” features a blending of cultures that echo the inspiration behind the song. It includes Indigenous Pow Wow dancers and Indian Garba dancers in a collaboration of colour, character, and a cross-cutting of two shining cultures.
Under a backdrop of unique beats and powerful lyrics, the physical blending of these two cultures is undeniably awe-inspiring, and something we haven’t seen before.
"To our knowledge there hasn't been an Indian and 'Indian' (Indigenous) mash-up in hip-hop," Snotty Nose Rez Kids said in a statement.
"It seems like an obvious choice that Indigenous people and Indian people would collaborate, as their histories are intertwined in one colonial historical moment where, thinking he'd reached India, Columbus dubbed the people he sought to conquer and eradicate, ‘Indian.'"
As many are aware, the term “Indian” was coined by Columbus when he referred to the entire Indigenous population on the continent as “Indians” because he believed he’d arrived in Asia, his intended destination.
Although it was evident they hadn’t arrived in India, the name stuck. The first act of settler-colonialism was thus not the taking of Indigenous lands for settlement, but it was the act of naming, or more accurately, misnaming, and the continued use and perpetuation of this name and stereotype.
The history and connection that ties these two cultures together is a large standpoint by which Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Skinny Local paired up. In speaking with Bhaveek Makan, aka Skinny Local, 5X Press learned more about the importance of this collaboration, and the power it reclaimed through music.
“I feel this collaboration is important in showing that the bridge is connected between communities that may be different, but also share similarities between cultures,” says Skinny Local.
“It’s vital that we all work together in raising awareness for these issues, as many of the issues at hand come from something bigger that could also affect many other communities. With immigrants coming into Canada, I feel many do not know much about Indigenous communities here, and that is a big issue.”
“Screaming Indians” is about reclaiming power and space. It blends traditions together by empowering their voices and celebrating the similarities of each culture.
“This was a very unique collaboration, where both cultures get to be unapologetic in unity...and being a bit rowdy with it,” said Skinny Local.
In a blend of hip-hop, electronica, vexing lyrics and a plethora of colours, you’re not gonna wanna miss this creative collaboration. Check out the music video for “Screaming Indian” here:
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