The time of the seventh generation prophecy has arrived. The time has come for us to stand united with all our relations to defend the land and waters from destruction, and while immediate action takes place in Standing Rock against the Dakota Access Pipeline, artists like Stuart James are doing their part to generate awareness and motivate others to stay strong and protect our Mother Earth. RPM chats with Stuart about his track “#NoDAPL” and how we can support the movement wherever we are.
We know what’s happening, but with police and military tactics limiting access to the site, information seems to be limited coming out of the actual occupation. How is the situation currently?
I have not made it to the camp yet personally but I have a lot of friends and family who updated me about the situation and there are over 20 Native American tribes from all over the country. A lot of people who come to visit the camp are bringing supplies whether it be food, water, etc. There is a lot of support from people everywhere on social media. Actors and actresses such as Leonardo DiCaprio, Shailene Woodley, Susan Sarandon, have been showing support. Rosario Dawson had retweeted my song #NoDAPL on Twitter which was a pretty big deal for me. The support is endless and the unity is amazing to see amongst our Native American tribes across the nation.
What can people do now to support the movement? I know so many of us across the world wish we could be there, what can we do from home?
The link below is an online petition people can sign to stop the pipeline.
Also on the petition page I believe there are links to direct people to donate to the youth group. You can also make donations separate for the camp to purchase supplies. Even if you can’t be there physically you can still say a prayer and share information regarding the movement through social media. You can also like the Oceti Sakowin Youth & Allies Facebook page and follow any updates posted to the page.
When did you start writing this track? Did you work with anyone else on it?
I had the idea to do the track ever since the digging began, I always had it in my mind to create a song for the movement but I didn’t know how to go about it. I am heavy on spirituality and I didn’t want to force anything so I was patient and prayed that an idea would come along. I thought it was very fitting to do a remix to Kendrick Lamar‘s song titled “Alright” because I know in the end we will be alright and everything will be okay. I didn’t work on this song with anyone else, I write everything on my own. I had took parts of an interview from John Trudell when he was on Alcatraz protesting and a lot of the points he made in that interview are very relevant today. The whole idea of the song is raise awareness and motivate my fellow Native Americans to stand strong no matter what.
Do you know of any other artists on the site generating awareness of the situation through music?
A friend of mine and fellow hip hop artist who goes by the name of Def-I has recently put out a video concerning the fracking going on down in the southern side of the country. The song is very well thought out and the lines are very well written and it brings a lot of insight to the problems that come with fracking down in his area.
Are you working on any more music that’s pushing the movement forward?
The music I make is for all listeners of every race and the overall message is about pushing forward through hard times and being positive throughout all struggles in life. Music is my expression and inspiration comes in many forms and this song just so happened to be a big issue in my life and also millions across the world so that is why the song came out the way it did because I put my heart and energy into the song. My music is made to motivate and push everyone forward who listens.
What do you hope your listeners will take from this track?
I hope that the listeners will be more aware of the effect that the oil pipeline has on the land. I hope that the listeners can stay motivated to continue to stand strong against this pipeline. I hope that the listeners will understand that no matter what happens we will stand strong until the end. The whole purpose of the song is to inspire and motivate everyone to persevere through this time.