Hip-hop, many people will agree, has, is and always will be part of our Native culture. The sound of the drum has always been a part of the Native culture. “We’ve always had drums – forever,” says Derek Edenshaw, aka Manik, a 21 year-old Vancouver-based rapper. “It’s not more complicated than that. These are new forms and adaptations of those drums and rhythms…” he adds.

They are also a big part of the hip-hop culture. About 99% of hip-hop songs have drum sounds and they will have a great influence on the song. Without them, the music would sound completely different. Alot of hip-hop fans would be disappointed if they took away the heart of the sound.

Too many of the people that have gone unnoticed in the world of hip-hop are Native. People don’t seem to pay as much attention to them as other rappers. But the world has led many Natives into believing that being Native is not the best thing to be, which makes them hesitate about coming out into the world as Native artists. This causes the Native groups to stay underground, never really achieving the rise of a hip-hop phenomenon. So many Native teenagers have the talent, the enthusiasm and the willingness to go out and become a voice for us, but no one gives them any chances. They start out in their basements, writing lyrics to their songs and recording them on tape. Once in a while they will perform in public if they are lucky. That gives them an extra push in the music business. Some people have put their fear of being rejected aside and have plunged into the world of hip-hop. A number of groups have made it and others are on the verge of being merged with the rest of the hip-hop family but in a different category. There are many different categories. The moneymaking category is the commercial category. These are the people that make music because there’s lots of money to be made in that business. Then there’s the category where people sing because it’s their passion. They will sing for what they believe and whether or not the public likes them is not a deciding factor that will make them change their music. Most of the Native artists are from that category. They will sing for what they believe and not let the public’s response bother them, as long as they’re getting out into the world what they want the world to hear.

FBI Jedeyez is an Eeyou Estchee based group who are definitely going to make it in the world of hip-hop. They are, by far, the best Native hip-hop group out there. Not only are they the best Native hip-hop group but I think that many people will agree with me when I say they are THE best hip-hop group out there. The group was put together about 10 years ago, in1991. They’ve made a huge advance on the world of hip-hop since then. They’ve performed in many places from Waswanipi to Toronto, to Los Angeles, to Washington, D.C. Many of you may have already heard of them. The main MC, Chief Rock, the DJ, Kemozabi, other MC’s, Kode Red, Johnny Juxx, Grim, Buddha and a few more. They have yet to become the world champions of hip-hop. Look out for them P.Diddy, the FBI Jedeyez are coming your way to take you out for good! I’ve personally met this Native group and know for a fact that they will make it out there without sweating it.

They have extraordinary talent and they are putting it to good use. They recently took part in a show that was held in Mistissini and they made the crowd go wild with their beat boxes performed by Kode Red, their talent and their on-stage performance. All in all, they rocked the show!!! Way to go Jedeyez!

Apart from the FBI Jedeyez, there are a few more Native hip-hop groups out there that are worth mentioning. For example: WarParty. The group is made up of five people: Rex Smallboy (Executive Producer and founder of War Party Entertainment), Cynthia Nicotine-Smallboy (War Party’s leading lady), Karmen Omeosoo (head lyricist), Bryan Omeosoo (political emcee), and deejay Ryan Small. The band members all reside on the Four Nations Reserve in Hobbema, Alberta. They have been independently making their music since 1995.

Another hip-hop artist that has made it already made it and is still working on his talents is the Native we all know as Litefoot. Not only did he come out with his own albums but he also starred in a movie many loved, The Indian In The Cupboard, which was released in 1995. Most of you probably recognized him but if you didn’t know before, now you do. He plays the Indian Little Bear. Obviously this artist is multi-talented and has much going for him. Keep up the good work Litefoot.

With all the talented Nsative groups out there, there is bound to be someone to represent Eeyou Estchee. Come out from the dark and show us your talented faces.