Video | In search of new tools to rediscover First Nations culture: Popular music that connects American and Canadian artists – Canada

Montreal film director Mathieu Favreau’s most recent video on Canadian native rapper Daybi is a tribute to the artist and his community. Currently residing with his son on the Kahnawake Mohawk reserve on the outskirts of Montreal, Daybi grew up in Vancouver and Winnipeg, where he began rapping at an early age. His music brought him to connect with a number of American and Canadian artists such as Swollen Members, Aceyalone, and the Freestyle Fellowship. […]

This site focuses on the development of hip hop culture within Aboriginal youth communities and its influence on cultural production.

There has been some criticism over the years by older community members who see this influence as a break from tradition and the movement of the culture towards a pop-based mainstream assimilation. But in Beat Nation we see just the opposite happening. These artists are not turning away from the traditions as much as searching for new ways into them. Hip hop is giving youth new tools to rediscover First Nations culture. What is most striking about this work is how much of it embraces the traditional within its development.

In many ways, the greatest achievement of Haida master carver Bill Reid was in taking the carving tradition from wood, silver and argillite into other sculptural media. The artists in Beat Nation do the same thing in their media of spray paint, live mix video, turntables, and beat boxes. There is a strong sense of activism present in the work and recognition of the responsibility the artists hold towards their communities.

At grunt we have been committed to making quality First Nations contemporary art available online through the support of Heritage Canada’s Gateway Fund program. I regret to say this is the last web site we will produce for this program, as it is set to disappear in March 2010. The eight sites grunt has produced through Gateway have allowed us to develop a capacity for website production and to get a vast array of First Nations artists online in curated, themed presentations. We will endeavor to find new ways to continue this production. […]

Glenn Alteen
Producer, Beat Nation

Source: Home | Beat Nation – Hip Hop as Indigenous Culture
Address: http://www.beatnation.org/
Date Visited: Tue Apr 07 2015 12:01:42 GMT+0200 (CEST)

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