Snotty Nose Rez Kids continue to redefine the boundaries of trap, hip-hop, and the Next Wave of Indigenous music.
At a time when several provinces have already headed towards America’s downward spiral (and with a federal election looming over us in the coming year), Canada is still failing to properly address and resolve the longstanding issues of truth and reconciliation while continuing to elect officials that only prove systemic racism and mistreatment of Indigenous communities is alive and well, to the detriment of common sense and proper judgment. But let’s not dwell there. Instead, let’s take a moment to acknowledge Snotty Nose Rez Kids and their new album, Trapline, and let the duo demonstrate to us exactly why we can, and will, do better to put Canada on the right path. Proud members of the Haisla people (out of Kitimat, BC), Snotty Nose Rez Kids continue to redefine the boundaries of trap, hip-hop, and the Next Wave of Indigenous music. Ever defiant, outspoken and crafty, Trapline resonates musically and through its wordplay; Young D and Yung Trybez have truly taken their style to a new level.
The duo takes every measure to address the urgent issues affecting their communities, issues that the powers-that-be are either completely downplaying or outright ignoring (whether explicitly or not). The theme of “neechi” (Ojibwe origin; a slang term meaning “friend”) is very prevalent on the album, most notably on “I Can’t Remember My Name”. It is Trapline’s standout track with a killer piano loop, rousing horns, and the ever-present “Yahs” in the chorus. It’s easily one of my favourite singles so far this year.
Brilliantly curated and complementary features are prevalent throughout much of Trapline.Tanya Tagaq’s rhythmic growls on “Rebirth”, and The Sorority coming through on “Son of a Matriarch” are both shoutouts to the female role models that shaped Snotty Nose Rez Kids to be who they are today. Dope verses from Kimmortal on “Lost Tribe” and Cartel Madras on “Aliens & Indians” among others round out a who’s who of guest appearances from the elite of Canada’s burgeoning underground hip-hop community. A certain couplet on “Creator Made An Animal” makes it clear they’re not messing around in the face of egregious racism: “They say go back where I came heyah, I tell ’em you should do the same heyah”.
It was clear from the get-go Snotty Nose Rez Kids were going to show Canada and the world that they were a force to be reckoned with, but Trapline is another beast entirely. It stands as a testament to our country’s true history. A message of resistance, empowerment, and coexistence to set a new kind of trapline for this country and its many Indigenous nations.