The etymology of Canada is linked with its first peoples: hundreds of locations across the country, including six out of ten Canadian provinces have names with Indigenous origins. A Tribe Called Red and Black Bear's new music video "Indian City" is shot in Toronto, a title derived from the Iroquois phrase "where there are trees in water." The clip opens on a few quick shots of the claustrophobic, concrete city and a traditionally dressed First Nations man wandering beneath a highway, allusions to the vast sins committed by the colonial state and the enduring resilience of the civilizations who greeted them in their own "Indian Cities." A celebration of movement between breakdancers and pow wow artists follows, and it feels like a new hybrid flag being planted within Toronto's borders.
Over email, A Tribe Called Red cast hip-hop culture as a path for Indigenous youth to learn about their heritage. "Like many movements, the Halluci Nation grew from a place of necessity. Long before we fought in the streets, our first battles were fought on the dance floor. Some of us have learned about our culture from birth, being taught to sing, drum and dance like we were being shown to speak and walk. Some of us have found our way first through beats, breaking and turntablism, only to find it leading us back to our roots. The movement carries memories and the drums are kept deep in our chests, no matter how hard they tried to rip them out. So, we learned to dance on these city streets and write our songs on digital drums."
A Tribe Called Red's new album We Are The Halluci Nation is out now. Check out their upcoming tour dates below.
A Tribe Called Red tour dates
March 08 - Tallahassee, FL - Club Downunder
March 09 - Orlando, FL - The Social
March 10 - Savannah, GA - Savannah Stopover
March 15 - Washington, DC - U Street Music Hall
March 16 - Philadelphia, PA - The Foundry At The Fillmore Philadelphia
March 17 - New York, NY - Highline Ballroom
March 18 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair
March 20 - Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall
March 21 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
March 22 - Peterborough, ON - The Historic Red Dog
May 13 - Black Mountain, NC - LEAF Community Arts Music Festival
Thumbnail photo by Matt Barnes