Anishinaabe emcee Q Rock has been working with video artist Griz on the Grind to compile a YouTube series of rap videos entitled Graffiti Mixtape Vol.2. RPM asked the duo a few questions about the series.
Pure hip-hop is hard to come by in this climate of commercially saturated pop culture, but every once and awhile, a spirit of the original hip-hop vibration comes through. Q Rock is one of those souls who has stayed true to the form of hip-hop and shares with us, in collaboration with Griz on the Grind, his Indigenous perspective of hip-hop artistry in this video series.
RPM: What’s your Indigenous nations?
Q Rock: Ojibway Nipissing First Nations and Haida Nations.
Griz On The Grind: Ojibwe and Huron.
RPM: What crews do you represent?
Q Rock: Dirty Defiant Tribe, Boogie Brats, Ready To Rock, and Mighty Zulu Kings.
Griz On The Grind: I don’t rep any crews. I do rep for my Natives, my city (Toronto), and for hip-hop.
RPM: What was the inspiration behind the video mixtape series?
Q Rock: I wanted to make a mixtape that honored what hip-hop means to me. I want to involve all the elements of hip-hop. After I recorded and mixed it, Griz offered to make the video for the Animal Freestyle. The rest is history.
Griz On The Grind: I have a film and project called Griz on the Grind Presents: The Real Native Hip-Hop is Over Here!. We met to film an interview for this project in 2009, after that the rest is history. I’ve always known Q Rock for his B Boy skills. He gave me a copy of his CD demo after we did our interview for my project. I was hooked right away by his lyrics and flow. I wanted to help get Q Rock’s music and message out there because he represents being Native and being from Toronto. I see my Natives repping all across Canada. It was real important for me to have a Native repping from Toronto aka T Dot aka 416 and Q Rock is the one. I told him that I got his back 100% with getting his music out there and we’ve been good friends from that day on. The Graffiti Mixtape Vol. 2 was ready and we linked up to release our first music video on December 24th, 2010. To this date Q Rock and I have done 6 videos for the Graffiti Mixtape series.
RPM: How has Indigenous culture inspired your music/video creation?
Q Rock: Anishnawbe culture is the foundation of my values, morals and principles. I live traditionally and adapt these ways to the streets. I make hip-hop music, but the spirit of hip-hop is nothing new. It used to be called resistance or the voice of the poor people. The oppressed. I am from a culture that is almost extinct. I am the voice of the Anishnawbe.
Griz On The Grind: Indigenous culture has inspired my video creation because I want to make my Natives proud and inspire the youth. This gives me a chance to learn more about my people and culture. I also want to work and help more Natives to get videos done. Get at me my Natives!
RPM: What are your future plans for music and videos?
Q Rock: Graffiti Mixtape Vol. 3 and then my album will be released in January 2012. Look out for my singles starting in November 2011.
Griz On The Grind: I have directed, filmed and edited 10 music videos this year so far and I am looking to triple that amount next year.
Watch the Graffiti Mixtape Vol. 2 YouTube playlist here: