West Coast Indigenous hip-hop group, Snotty Nosed Rez Kids, rep the rez to the fullest on their self-titled debut album.
Snotty Nosed Rez Kids are a Haisla hip-hop duo comprised of MCs Yung Trybez (aka Zazaxsmalis) and Young D (aka Darren Metz). The BC-based crew reps what they term the minay movement, derived from ḿanesut [mah-nes-oot], a word in Haislakala, the language of the Haisla First Nation, meaning ‘brother’.
The duo created Minay as way to express their close kinship with their roots and their “unfaltering ferocity in knowing who [they] are and where [they] come from as Haisla peoples”.
For the group, the idea of minay has transformed the word ḿanesut from its more literal definition into an expanded relation of kinship, togetherness, and solidarity. “It represents not only brotherhood, but sisterhoods,” the group writes, “and most importantly, a conception of family that is expansive, relentless and resilient.”
Filled with rapid-fire delivery, their recently released debut album, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, showcases the spirit of the group’s artistic and aesthetic kinship across a blazing array of indigenized hip-hop tracks. Channeling the offbeat energetic humour of the Pharcyde and the classic storytelling of De La Soul, the album manages to be both lighthearted and insightful.
“We always wanted to make an album together”, says Yung Trybez, “but the idea of the Snotty Nose Rez Kids LP started a few years back when we lost a loved one to suicide. Seeing people in our communities and nearby communities going through similar things, we knew we needed to share our experiences and lend our voice to a hard conversation that isn’t being had often enough. The same pain we see inflicted on our people we see being forced upon our land. We voice our opinions in the same light – damage to our land is damage to our people.”
Tracks like the rapid-fire flows of “Skoden”, which features a sample of acclaimed Kwakwaka’wakw artist Beau Dick, “Long Hair Don’t Care”, and “Dead Chiefs”, showcase the verbal dexterity and lyricism of the two MCs, while unabashedly repping and proclaiming their Native pride in who they are and where they come from.
“Following in the steps of our favorite Indian Country catch phrase, ‘Skoden’ is a one-word phrase that means ‘let’s fight’,” says Trybez, “and in the same light we use this to motivate our people to fight for the land. The tone is high energy and angry, born from warrior’s mentality to protect our land and rights.”
SNRK is an album filled with anthemic odes to indigeneity over fresh and forceful production. Over its 15 tracks, the album covers a lot of ground: addressing issues of Indigenous “oppression, resilience, and resurgence, politics, mental health, healing, growing up on the reservation, and unity.” As the band writes, “SNRK covers many of our collective lived experiences”.
With guest vocals from Nyomi Wahai and renowned MC Drezus, SNRK is a resistance party—on that takes the struggles of Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island as its jumping off point to celebrate in the midst of the revolution.
As Yung Trybez told us, Snotty Nose Rez Kids are currently planning a northern tour, doing community and youth shows, “and connecting with Indigenous artists that we look up to like Drezus, Boogey the Beat, DJ Shub, and Mob Bounce.”
Catch them on the come up.