Ottawa’s own A Tribe Called Red is back and ready for action! This week, the Juno Award-winning, Polaris Music Prize nominated group dropped their new EP, Suplex (out on Pirates Blend in Canada, and internationally on the band’s own brand new label, Radicalized Records) – available now on iTunes. The four-song EP features the group’s signature unique style of traditional Pow Wow music mixed with club sound. With guest performances by Aboriginal hip-hop veteran, Hellnback, and past Tribe collaborators, Northern Voice, the EP also features a remix of the track Bodyslam by Calgary duo, Smalltown DJs. Tribe premiered the video for the title track today on FADER. The video follows the story of a Native youth, who after growing up with no role model of his own, becomes one when he turns into a wrestling champion.
“Growing up in a world where indigenous people are so under-represented in the media, you tend to identify with what’s available to you,” comments Bear Witness. “The connection between the indigenous communities of the Americas, and professional wrestling, is really heavy. In North America we had pros like Chief Jay Youngblood and Wahoo McDaniel who were indigenous, but had to dress in headdress and tassels to compete. In my generation, we all loved the Ultimate Warrior and hated Tatanka. Even if nothing about the Warrior was indigenous, we made some kind of cultural connection to him. More recently, The Rock has shown us how a proud indigenous man can make it as a wrestler on his own terms. The idea of the video was to show that connection we made to these people beyond stereotypes, but also to see an indigenous character make it, without needing the stereotype.”
Named after the notorious wrestling move, the Suplex EP channels the 80s aesthetic. The album cover image depicts an 8-bit wrestler character wearing a headdress – as Tribe continues to touch on questions regarding the representation of Indigenous peoples (or lack of) in mainstream media, stereotypes in sports, and the need of indigenous role models.
Hailing from the Samson Cree Nation (Hobbema, AB), Karmen James Omeasoo, aka Hellnback, is considered one of the aboriginal hip-hop scene’s biggest and brightest. As co-founder for memorable groups such as Warparty and Team Rezofficial he just released his newest solo project, #FOE = #FAMILYOVEREVERYTHING.
About Northern Voice
Northern Voice represents a new generation of northern style Pow Wow singers from the Atikamekw territory of Wemotaci, located deep in the forests of the province of Quebec. Their original songs are inspired by their spiritual relationship with the Timber Wolf, which is never far from the Atkamekw experience.
About Smalltown DJs
The infamous Smalltown DJs are a house & club production duo out of Calgary, with releases on Fool’s Gold, Main Course, No Brainer & Top Billin. They also own & operate the Hifi Club, one of North America’s most renowned & revered clubs.
Suplex EP Tracklisting:
1. Suplex ft. Northern Voice
2. The Peoples Champ ft. Hellnback
4. Bodyslam (Smalltown DJs remix)
Upcoming Canadian Tour Dates:
June 19 – Fort McMurray, AB – Indian Beach (free show)
June 20 – Vancouver, BC – Malkin Bowl (Tickets)
July 12 – Toronto, ON – PanAM Park, Echo Beach (free show)
July 18 – Toronto, ON – Aboriginal Pavillion, Fort York (free show)
July 24 – Brandon, MB – Brandon Folk Music & Art Festival (Tickets)
July 31 – Montreal, QC – Osheaga Music & Arts Festival (Tickets)
August 12 – Toronto, ON – Nathan Phillips Square (free show)
August 15 – Sudbury, ON – UP FEST, Durham Playgrounds (Tickets)
Here is the video for the title track “Suplex”:
About Pirates Blend:
Pirates Blend is a Toronto-based record label, management and artist services company supporting a diverse line up of Canadian and International acts including: Saul Williams, A Tribe Called Red, Young Empires, Michael Rault, Zaki Ibrahim and Greys, amongst others. Visit www.piratesblend.com.