Native American recording artist, producer and activist, David Strickland today announces his debut album Spirit of Hip Hop and shares the first two singles, “Window (feat. Drezus & Hakeem Roze)” and “Rez Life (feat. Que Rock, Drezus, Violent Ground, Joey Stylez & Hellnback).”
“Rez Life” features six of Canada’s best Indigenous rappers and producers outlining their experiences growing up on the reservation and what it’s like for Native youth in today’s world. It was strategically released on Canada’s 150th Anniversary in protest of the country’s treatment of its Indigenous population, serving as a reminder of the many broken treaties and promises to the Indigenous people throughout history.
David has also released the uplifting “Window” featuring Indigenous rapper Drezus and Toronto singer/rapper Hakeem Roze. “Window” talks navigating life’s sudden changes and finding the strength to move forward despite your past and the people who may be holding you back. Drezus’ sharp flow perfectly cuts against Hakeem Roze’s smooth, dreamy vocals and the rolling, pensive beat.
Spirit of Hip Hop represents a time for healing and a call for unity amongst the tribes of Turtle Island – David Strickland
Citing similarities between hip hop’s foundation and the Indigenous story in North America, David strives to showcase these connections by creating a unique blend of traditional Indigenous sounds and mainstream rap rhythms. David equates the four elements of hip hop with Indigenous expression – DJ is the Drummer; MC is the Storyteller; B-boys are the Dancers; Graffiti Artists is the . From Drezus to Def Squad to Winnipeg Boys to Young Buck, Spirit of Hip Hop brings together an all star line up of Indigenous and mainstream hip hop artists to create this culturally relevant sound.
Bridging the gap for Indigenous artists in North America is inherently important to David. As a leading role model for First Nation’s Youth, David combines traditional and cultural teachings in his work and is committed to raising awareness on major social issues. David talks more about this passion in the VICE documentary First Out Here, a documentary about the rise of Indigenous hip hop artists in Canada. Through his storied career, David Stickland has persevered through many challenges to reach the top of the Canadian music industry and he is excited to share the story of the Spirit of Hip Hop.
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