November 02, 2008

Indigenous Hip-Hop Gathering

Natives get up for hip-hop

International Indigenous Hip-Hop Gathering brings artists, fans togetherIn its second year, the event’s aim is to highlight Native artists within the hip-hop industry, most of whom are independent artists on the outskirts of the mainstream. That’s where artists like Prophecy are most comfortable--speaking directly to their communities about problems only they have experienced and understand, he said.

“Our goal and our focus is to emphasize the youth to our people,” said Prophecy, Anishnabe/Potawatomi, of Antithesis. “They’re the most underserved community in the nation.”

And hip-hop is a medium that can bridge the gap between youth and elders, he said.

The event began with workshops tailored to youth, including one by the creator of the Arizona skate-wear company Apache Skateboards. Performances by groups across Indian country followed, with emcees hailing from such tribes as Oneida, Navajo and Pomo, and regions including Chile, Puerto Rico, Mexico and El Salvador.

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