SupaMan: Native American Hip-Hop Goes Mainstream

Christian Parrish Takes Gun, an Apsáalooke American Indian who raps under the stage name SupaMan, has quickly been gaining notoriety with his unorthodox and incredible flavor of hip-hop. Growing up on the Crow Nation Reservation in the shadow of the Little Bighorn Battlefield to the East of Billings Montana music has always been a major influence in his life, for the better and worse.

Native Americans grasp that culture of hip-hop because of the struggle. Hip-hop was talking about the ghetto life, poverty, crime, drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy; all that crazy stuff that (that) happens in the ghetto is similar to the reservation life. We can relate to that.

An interview with NPR captures his thoughts on the bad influences.

It was just nonsense. We would play the part, you know. We were wannabees, trying to be, like, these rappers on the rez. So we started doing the crime, robbing, went into houses and trade the merchandise and then get weed from the merchandise, and then started selling.The way hip-hop influenced me in my earlier years is in a negative way. I mean, I hate to say that, but it’s true.

Lucky for us he got through it and is now making some amazing music. This video of SupaMan performing a track entitled Prayer Loop Song gives a strong feel to the craftsmanship behind his work. The live performance looping samples, the beat-boxing, vocals, DJing, whistle playing, and dancing all combine to create a Performance, with a capital “P”. You dig?

Ivan

Ivan digs everything about music. He is fascinated with the accessibility of music and the ability of everyone on this planet to create it, and writes to help more people appreciate that fact. He is currently based in Milwaukee, WI.

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