Snotty Nose Rez Kids are the combined talents of Yung Trybez and Young D, hailing from the Haisla Nation, "The People of the Snow". SNRK blend trap beats with woven lyricism that challenges Indigenous stereotypes that paint their people as ill-mannered savages. Their music is best described as thought-provoking club bangers. And their live shows prove it. Audiences will dance and sweat, but they'll leave with new knowledge.
Skinny Local is a composer based in Vancouver, BC. Creating beats that transcend to a new world, while using past familiar sounds in our world. Skinny was born in Indian Family , in Durban,South Africa, and immigrated to Canada in 2001. He has a background in film, and wanted to bring storytelling to his music.
What inspired the song?
To our knowledge there hasn’t been an Indian & ‘Indian’ (Indigenous) mash-up in Hip-Hop. It seems like an obvious choice that Indigenous people and Indian people would collaborate as their histories are intertwined in one colonial historical moment where, thinking he’d reached India, Columbus dubbed the people he sought to conquer and eradicate, ‘Indians.’ It’s also a painful history and perhaps one that seems less obvious for collaboration and partnership. While factions of people within India may claim to have endured imposed conditions similar to those of Indigenous people, and India was certainly part of the European colonial project, India and Indigenous nations do not necessarily share much of a shared history, in general. Nevertheless, Indians from India and ‘Indians’ from Turtle Island and the America’s do share a legacy bond that began with a misnomer and it’s from that standpoint that Vancouver-based Indian label, Snakes X Ladders, and Indigenous duo, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, have teamed up to release ‘Screaming Indian.’
How did the collaboration come to play?
The idea of the collaboration came to life when we played a celebratory event with Delhi to Dublin in 2017 for the newly elected NDP leader Jagmeet Singh. We then played 2 more shows with the group where we built a connection with Tarun Nayar who is a part of another group called Desi Sub Culture. Tarun really resonated with the message behind our music and he is a really talented producer so the collab made a lot of sense for us as fresh artists on the scene.
Who produced it? What was it like working together?
'Screaming Indian' originated from a jam session in the Snakes X Ladders studio almost 2 years ago between SNRK and Delhi 2 Dublin producer, Tarun Nayar. Picking up the reigns in 2020 was Surrey-based South Asian trap wave producer, Skinny Local, who breathed new life into the song and brought it back to SNRK to re-record. The subject matter is fitting because it was written at a time when SNRK were working on TRAPLINE, and that album was about building bridges to other marginalized communities. ‘Screaming Indian’ does just that; it’s a joyous and rowdy celebration of solidarity that feels timelier with each passing day.
Was there a story you are trying to tell or convey with the song? Lyrics>?
Make no mistake; this is not a government-sanctioned display of ‘multiculturalism.’ This is an in-your-face vision of what is actually happening right now in our streets and neighbourhoods: real, raw and inspiring. It’s middle fingers up to government-sanctioned racism, like the potlatch ban, and it’s an unabashed reclamation of voice, respect for Creator, celebration of culture and identity. It's tongue in cheek moments like, “Imma run for prime minister and still won’t pay my taxes” that fly in the face of all the racism that Indigenous people have endured through colonialism, the second wave of racism against Indigenous people from Canadians when reclamation efforts like reduced government taxation took effect, and it shows that Snotty Nose Rez Kids are not afraid to shy away from deep subject matter with playfulness and jest. With unmistakable production that lends to the instrumentalism that defines Indian music, Screaming Indian is about claiming power and space for two marginalized groups of people through hip-hop.