Indigenous Pride: Native Artists Repping Their Tribe

When I asked my hipster neighbors about the first things that come to mind when they think about indigenous cultures, they said the following: feathered headpieces, teepees, dream catchers, tobacco, ritualistic ceremonies, genocide, and the worship of mother nature. Not all these terms are positive, to say the least, and it’s important to recognize the centuries of historical oppression the native population has endured here in the U.S., as well as in other regions of the Americas. It is also utterly important to celebrate their rich, beautiful traditions — traditions that respect life in all its forms. With the rise of social media, more and more indigenous artists are stepping into the spotlight, recounting their stories via songs with a modern spin, which is in itself an act of resistance. Ottawa Canada DJs A Tribe Called Red incorporate powerful powwow drum and chants into hard-hitting EDM, while Ecuadorian beatmaker Nicolá Cruz blends hypnotic Andes Step into his mix. Dakota rapper Frank Waln ferociously spits eye-opening tales that take place at the “rez” (or reservations), and Bolivian Quechua singer gets the ZZK treatment in her charango and zampoña-driven hymn. The artists, featured on this playlist, are multifaceted, inspiring, and sincere. Ultimately, the music empowers their tribes, their communities and the listener.