June 05, 2011

Ojibwa rapper Plex

Plex, Ojibwa Rapper:  From the Streets to the Suburbs

By Wilhelm MurgIn 2009, Plex released his first solo album, the socially conscious Brainstorm, which concerns itself with both local and global issues. His new album, Demons, is being finished now and is due out later this year on the Canadian label Urbnet.

While the once-underground hip hop movement has become mainstream pop music over the decades, Plex sees the involvement of Native people as still something relatively new, and thus Native hip hop resembles old school rap, which wrestled more with social and political issues. “Hip hop has been in African-American culture for over thirty years, but for Natives, as hip hop artists, it’s something new to us,” he says. “Some of us have been doing it for years, but we really just got on the radar. Because it’s so new, we’re kind of where African-Americans were with hip-hop thirty years ago, when it was about the message. These are intelligent people, they see how the world is run, they come from low income areas with a lot of poverty and abuse, carrying shame, fear, and guilt along with them, and this is how they express themselves, this is how they let that stuff go. We’re still in the beginning stages, because with the exception of one artist—Yelawolf, who is working on his first studio album with Eminem—none of us have hit the mainstream.”
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Hard Rock Promotes Native Musicians and Natives in Flying Wild Alaska.

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