By Aaron Wherry - Wednesday, January 23, 2013 - 0 Comments
Wab Kinew, the rapper, journalist and director of indigenous inclusion at the University of Winnipeg, talks to George Stroumboulopoulos about Idle No More.
By Aaron Wherry - Tuesday, December 18, 2012 at 9:06 AM - 0 Comments
Wab Kinew explains the Idle No More protests.
2. #IdleNoMore is about the Environment
Idle No More started in part because of outrage that Bill C-45 reduced the number of federally protected waterways. The environment continues to be a regular topic at Idle No More protests. Dr. Pam Palmater, one of the leading voices in the Idle No More conversation, argues this is indigenous environmentalism is significant since the crown has a duty to consult with Aboriginal people before natural resource projects proceed. She says, “First Nations are Canadians’ last, best hope of protecting the land, water, sky and plants and animals for their future generations as well.”
1. #IdleNoMore is about Democracy
Democracy thrives when well-informed people are engaged and make their voices heard. Idle No More started with four young lawyers trying to inform the people in their communities about an issue they were passionate about. Now many people are engaged. Even more information is being shared, and even more voices are being heard. There is no one leader or “list of demands” attributable to Idle No More. While this may seem chaotic, this is what democracy is all about. Democracy is messy. Democracy is loud. Democracy is about hearing a wide ranges of voices and trying to build a path forward among them. It is not about shutting off debate or trying to rush things in through the back door.
By Martin Patriquin - Monday, December 6, 2010 at 1:52 PM - 13 Comments
A selection of videos from some of the city’s rappers and groups
This week, Maclean’s looks at the huge hip hop scene in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
There is a great, thumping noise emanating out of Winnipeg these days, propelled by a crop of artists bent on telling tales of their rough, windswept city. The city famous for the “Winnipeg Sound” of Neil Young, the Guess Who and a more recent crop of well-regarded indie rock bands is becoming better known for its beats and rhymes than its drums and guitars. There’s another twist: almost all these artists are native.
What follows is a selection of videos from some of the city’s rappers and groups. It’s not exhaustive; anyone wanting to see more should spent a couple of hours on YouTube. This is stuff that I really like.
Hellnback, Keep It Movin’
Young Kidd, Hometown
This is a track from half-black, half-Native rapper Young Kidd. A tale about Winnipeg’s infamous
‘North Side’Central neighbourhood, Hometown is produced by Boogey The Beat (see below). Kidd is considered by many to be Winnipeg’s breakout star, and Boogey’s track is heartbreaking. The video is directed by Wab Kinew (see below), another hip hop artist who daylights as a CBC reporter.
Winnipeg’s Most, What You In It For?
Winnipeg’s Most recently won the best artist and best CD honours at the APTN awards held in Winnipeg earlier this month. The band’s performance of All That I know has garnered nearly 465,000 YouTube hits. Loud, gruff and angry, Winnipeg’s Most best typify the city’s hardcore rap style.
Pip Skid, Pip’s Kid
I know I’m supposed to post something from Skid Row, Pip’s freaking amazing new album, but this video is just too great to miss. Pip is a (non-Native) native of Brandon, Man., and has about the coolest day job on the planet: he teaches rap to disadvantaged kids in Winnipeg.
Lorenzo, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?
Originally a country singer, Lorenzo now raps about his life in Little Saskatchewan, a reserve north of Winnipeg. He had one of my favourite quotes from the trip. “On the reserves, I’ve had friends who were killed at parties. There’s a lot of violence. Maybe that’s what’s inspiring people to try to change, to send a positive message. That’s what I try to do. What’s me rapping about a gold chain going to do?”
Drezus, Never Be The Same
I like this track because Drezus, another heavy hitter on the scene, manage to sound both hurt and menacing as he raps about growing up without a father. “I hate your fucking guts/Call me stomach acid/You the only reason they always call me bastard.”
The Lytics, Big City Sound Girl
The members of this three-brothers-and-a-cousin band have Jamaican/Sierra Leone roots. Their music is catchy, poppy and relentlessly positive. Great stuff.
Wab Kinew, Last Word
Wab is a CBC reporter by day, hip hop artist by night. I love the chorus on this song, and dude can rap. “They ask me why I’m rapping/You really want the answer?/My mind is full of cancer/The relief is in the stanza/Advance the cause/For all the people who’ll never have the chance to pause.”
Magnum KI, No Way
Old school production, tasty scratching, addictive hook, killer track.
Boogey the Beat, The Making of a Beat
Not a song, strictly speaking, but this gives you an idea of how one of the city’s best producers operates.