Dead Indians featuring Wab Kinew perform live Feb. 19 at the Pyramid.
The name Dead Indians comes from an old American cavalry saying during the times of the Indian Wars that "the only good Indians are dead Indians". We decided to reclaim that terribly racist phrase and take away it's power.
Dead Indians. Live. That's the name of my next show in Winnipeg. It marks the first official show I've done in more than 3 years with the guys I started rapping with.
The name Dead Indians comes from an old American cavalry saying during the times of the Indian Wars that "the only good Indians are dead Indians". We decided to reclaim that terribly racist phrase and take away it's power. Over time it grew to have other meanings as well. It became a homage to our ancestors. It also was a jab at people who say that our culture is dead. Great. Everything you say bad about us, that's what we are. And still we shine.
We were the first group of Aboriginal kids in Winnipeg to start hitting up hip-hop shows consistently, and were part of the first major wave of Native hip-hop in Canada. We did hundreds of shows in places as far flung as Texas, the Yukon, the west coast and Quebec (the four directions, aho!). Our live show had a lot of energy and built us a following in Manitoba and the South-Western US. And then we stopped around 2008.
There was no major drama, just different interests and a bit of change of lifestyle for myself anyway. So we started doing separate projects. I put out a couple solo albums. P-Nutty put out a solo album too. Some of the other guys released music with N.W.O. and Filthy Animals. Now we're hanging out again and making music at a top secret location in the city's West End.
The most interesting part of promoting this show has been people asking "Who are Dead Indians?" which I think shows how short the attention span is for a lot of rap fans. Then again, a lot has changed since we were doing shows. Streetz FM has become the de facto place to break hip-hop music in our scene, and YouTube went from being a novelty to the place where most young people consume their music.
It'll be fun to remind people of who we are, what a good live hip-hop show is all about and why the only good Indians are Dead Indians.