Things To Do: Snotty Nose Ground Kids, Warehouse Live, April 25, 2022

When we spoke on the phone with Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce and Darren “Young D” Metz — the native hip-hop duo known as the Snotty Nose Rez Kids — they were only a few hundred miles away in Austin. for the SXSW festivities. Though they delighted South By audiences with their finely tuned rapping skills and empowering lyrics, they had their eye on their very first date in Houston, an April 25 show scheduled for Warehouse Live.

“We’re really looking forward to it because we’re heavily inspired by southern music and southern hip-hop in particular, from Texas to Louisiana to Atlanta to Tennessee,” Young D explained. “As , I know Austin isn’t Houston, but when I landed here in Texas, I was bumping into DJ Screw because I wanted to get the Texas vibe.”

It’s called “putting respect on it” and Young D and Yung Trybez are used to not only giving respect but also getting their own. The Vancouver-based First Nations duo are killing it at home, where they’ve been shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize and Juno Awards thanks to their albums The average savage, TRAPLINE and their latest album, life after. They’ve only been active since 2016, but they both suggest their brand of hip-hop took a lifetime to create.

“Hip-hop has always been around us, we were kind of brought up with that in the background at all times. All of our older cousins ​​listened to it, especially West Coast hip-hop. For us, it came naturally,” said Yung Trybez. “And obviously, you know, hip-hop is like the music of the underdog, so it was a perfect way to tell our story. I know there’s other music that’s like that, punk and blues, but for us it just wasn’t accessible. We never had instruments around us growing up. Our families weren’t really into music like that, but for us, our voice was our instrument and always has been. It was such an easy way for us to get into the music.

“I know for us, we’ve been obsessed with hip-hop since the moment we learned to speak,” Young D said. hip hop. There are people who came before us like Rezofficial and War Party, there are definitely people here in the US who were making noise, you know what I mean? “

As Young D hinted, Snotty Nose Rez Kids align themselves with other native hip-hop groups. The band fully embraces its culture, so we asked if the music — with song titles like “Creator Made an Animal,” “Skoden,” and “Boujee Natives” — is primarily aimed at other “rez kids.”

“First and foremost, we make music for ourselves,” Yung Trybez said. “We’ve always used it as a healing tool to get over trauma and life experiences and things like that. Second, we make music for people who grew up like us, right? The same ideas, the same situations, come from the same backgrounds and believe in the same things. So when you listen to our music, you can tell it resonates with the children of the residence, the people who grew up in the residence, the people who grew up on their land and who fight for their rights to this day.

“At the same time, our allies are there with us,” he continued. “People who want to learn, you can learn through our music. We don’t need to sit down and have a 45 hour long conversation. You can just listen to our music if you want to learn a thing or two about us. So we make music for everyone, like-minded people.

The lyrics could focus on issues important to Indigenous peoples, with songs like “The Warriors” calling out the Canadian government and its plan to extend a pipeline into Indigenous lands. The rap could include the vernacular associated with reservation life. But SNRK’s ​​songs reflect human themes that cross cultures. On songs like “No Jesus Piece”, they tackle organized religion and authority the same way a punk band would. “Something Else” is your standard MC boast with a twist. They say their music bridges the gaps between indigenous cultures and mainstream culture.

“The Scrapbook TRAPLINE It was just that, we made this album to bridge the gaps between different people of different ethnic backgrounds and just different backgrounds in general,” Yung Trybez said. “So we’ve had music with people from Australia, we’ve had music with people from the black community, the LGBTQ community, and we try to represent everyone in our music while reminding people that we can only speak from our own context. We can only tell our own story, we can only paint our own picture. So what we did was we brought other people onto our albums to tell their story.

Telling Native American history has gained increased interest lately thanks to the popular Hulu television show Reservation dogs and outlets like The Red Nation Podcast. It’s good to see people seeking to better understand cultures outside of their circles. In the rush to embrace them, even if sometimes appreciation breeds appropriation. We asked the band if this concerns them as their music becomes more popular.

Click to enlarge

Yung Trybez (L) and Young D

Photo by Josue Rivas, courtesy of The Syndicate

“You know, from now on we just want to tell our story, you know what I mean?” says young D. He thinks it’s okay “When it comes to saying words like ‘neechie’ or ‘minay’, whatever, as long as you know where it’s coming from and say it with respect .”

“We as indigenous people are born storytellers and it was only a matter of time before our stories started reaching the masses, whether it was hip-hop, TV, film. or art,” he added. continued. “All we want to do is tell our stories and we don’t just want to tell our stories, we want them to be heard. What better than when it comes from the source?

We agree that the characters depicted on Reservation dogs are hip-hop heads. Is this the new hip-hop growth movement? We ask Young D if Res Life will be rap’s new “coast” and if there are other indigenous rap artists who can help grow the genre.

“A lot of indigenous artists and groups, they’ve always existed, long before we arrived. All we’re trying to do is just carry the torch and go even further to help set up the next generations who want to come after us,” Young D said. “As I have said, we all just want to tell our stories. As for us, it was just hip-hop, it became natural for us. We know bands that go all out, whether it’s folk singers or country and rock singers, you know what I mean? And they all bring it and they do it in their own way, beautiful, just like us.

“There’s a great community of artists and musicians where we come from in Canada, not just in Vancouver but all over Canada, there are artists who do the festival circuits with us and we see them all over the place. where we are going,” added Yung Trybez. . “And we all go through this festival circuit in the summer and that’s it, from bluegrass to rock to punk, lots of rappers to pop music. There are indigenous artists who do what we do, like the same message they convey, in all different genres.

“I feel like a lot of indigenous people, especially young people, a lot of us naturally gravitate towards hip-hop because, if you really think about hip-hop culture and indigenous culture, they are much more similar than people think. . If you think of the four elements of hip-hop, you have the emcee. Well, we have our storytellers. You have the b-boys and the b-girls – we have our dancers,” Young D explained. “You have the deejay – well, we have our drummers. really go together.

“It’s like we said, we just want to leave our mark and build on that legacy and continue to carry the torch and push the envelope,” Young D said, then passed the mic to Young Trybez who added, “And I feel like with us, we’re doing something that’s never been done before when it comes to hip-hop and letting people know that we’re trying to set the standard for what hip-hop should be when it comes to Native hip-hop or aboriginal rappers on where they should be in the industry.We deserve to be up there with everyone.

“It’s a grind for sure. A lot of people, when it comes to the history of North America and Indigenous peoples, they don’t really want to hear what we have to say. But it was only a matter of time before the stories came out,” Young D noted. “An OG told us – his name is Maestro Fresh Wes, yell at him – he told us something that we will never forget, that we carry to this day He said don’t make records, make history Even if we are the first through the wall and the first through the wall are the bloodiest , hey, we’re up for it because we just want to do our part while we’re here.

The duo were in Austin, getting noticed at one of the biggest musical gatherings in the world. Paste Magazine was there, too, and named Snotty Nose Ground Kids one of the top 20 live bands at this year’s festival, alongside trending bands like Wet Leg and veterans like Houston’s Bun B. at Warehouse Live.

“Just bring a lot of energy because we bring a lot of energy to almost every show, whether it’s 10 people in the venue, 1,500 people in the venue, 5,000 people in the venue,” said Yung Trybez. “We bring the same amount of energy no matter what it is and we do a lot of crowd responses, back and forth, we feed on them, they feed on us and mosh pits, d calls and responses, maybe crowd surfing. But yeah, it’s gonna be crazy.

“The only thing I will say to add to that is that we make it our mission and our goal, especially if there are people in the crowd who have never seen us before, you may not know not who we are, you might not like us before, but come see us live and we’ll make you a fan,” Young D promised. “We know a lot of people who can rap better than us, they can sing better than us, they can have better beats, but the one thing we know is that we’re pretty confident when it comes to putting on a live show.

Snotty Nose Ground Kids, 8 p.m. on Monday, April 25, 2022 at The Greenroom at Warehouse Live, 813 Emanuel St. Doors at 7 p.m. for this show for all ages. $15 to $18.

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