Wednesday January 04, 2017

Tim '2oolman' Hill's musical tribute to Six Nations of the Grand River

A Tribe Called Red member 2oolman's playlist dedicated to his neighbourhood in Six Nations of the Grand River includes songs by Allman Brothers Band and Tru Rez Crew.

A Tribe Called Red member 2oolman's playlist dedicated to his neighbourhood in Six Nations of the Grand River includes songs by Allman Brothers Band and Tru Rez Crew. (Angela Gladue)

Listen 8:21

In a new segment we call the q Block Party, we invite guests to pay a musical tribute to the neighbourhoods they hold dear to their hearts.

Today, A Tribe Called Red's Tim "2oolman" Hill gives us a musical guided tour through Six Nations of the Grand River, a reserve an hour and a half outside of Toronto. Hill's nickname for his home is "the Six Zoo," named after the way tourists made the people on the reserve feel. "Tourists would load in buses and they would drive around the reserve like we were tourist attractions," Hill explains. "When you're there, it's hard to get out. It was like a trap — that's why we called it the Six Zoo." 

Below are Hill's song picks and his reasons behind them.


Allman Brothers Band, "Soulshine"
"The music there is very heavily country and blues. On the weekends, we would have buck and does, which is basically a get-together to fundraise for a wedding. There would be one every weekend in the summer and one particular song we would hear at almost every single event would be 'Soulshine." Everybody would sing 'Soulshine,' it was the anthem."

Tru Rez Crew, "I'm a Lucky One" 
"This was the first group that did hip hop on Six Nations and they shot a music video for it, and it was one of the first music videos ever shot on Six Nations. I remember listening to the radio at home and the DJ announces this new song by this group called Tru Rez Professionals — they were called that at the time — and I remember hearing a guitar loop with these boom bap drums and immediately recognizing that they were talking about where I came from."

2oolman and Scorsese, "Iron Jaw Angels"
"That song was recorded, mixed and produced right on Six Nations. Scorsese would drive from St. Catherines to Six Nations and we would be in the studio for 14 hours, working on new music. Around the time that song was done, there was a big protest that happened just down the road from my studio and I believe it just finished so there was a lot of fresh tensions in the city [...] Scorsese coming there and seeing that, I think, changed the way that he saw me and our people as well." 

A Tribe Called Red feat. John Trudell and Northern Voice, "We Are the Halluci Nation"
"The sound I've been doing this entire time has been a reflection of where I grew up. There's nothing like Six Nations. I go there to talk to friends and get inspiration and figure out what's going on in the community, but ultimately, all I need to do is step foot on that ground and gather all of this home that I need to make music."