Rage Rocc of Kyle, SD is one of many up and coming artists on the reservation. His Warrior Cubs mix tape will drop on June 1.
An Oglala Lakota Hip Hop movement Rage Rocc unleashes
By Brandon Ecoffey
Native Sun News Staff KYLE — The era of Native American hip hop has arrived with the recent emergence of homegrown Oglala Lakota artist Rage Rocc of Kyle. For some time now hip hop has been the primary genre from which young people on the Pine Ridge Indian reservation have gained inspiration. Fashion, style, and some could even argue lifestyle for reservation youth has many correlations to that of the urban hip hop scene. As far back as the mid-nineties the influence that urban culture and music has had on reservation youth was apparent; an example being the much heralded 1995 State A Champion Red Cloud Boys basketball team who was the first team in the region to sport knee length basketball shorts and black Nike socks. These clothing items were a spinoff of hip hop style made popular by the University of Michigan’s “Fab Five” basketball team that included urban celebrities Juwan Howard and Jalen Rose. The socks and shorts were not only a fashion statement representative of urban culture but also the modus operandi of the hip hop lifestyle which is to challenge societal norms. It wasn’t long thereafter that youth on the reservation were caught up wearing the baggy Dickies khaki pants that were worn by west coast hip hop artists like Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog. The continued presence of hip hop’s influence is apparent today with high school kids wearing the skinny jeans that artists like Lil Wayne have included in their attire. What has been absent from the equation however is an organic reservation hip hop artist who can merge rural Nativeness with urban hip hop style, until now. Rage Rocc who was born Ray Janis the son of Doug Janis Jr. and Dawn Iron Cloud is an emerging rapper and music producer who possesses the necessary skills required to claim the unfilled throne of reservation hip hop royalty. Currently Rage Rocc is putting the final touches on a mix tape called “Warrior Cubs” that will feature several up and coming artists on the reservation including K-Dog who was recently featured in Native Sun News, DC Baby, and D Money, all Oglala Lakotas attempting to break in to the rap game. “The Warrior Cubs mix tape is my best work yet,” said Rage Rocc. “It’s that old funky classic boom bap hip hop mixed with some new school raw underground style,” he added. In the last couple of years there has been a surge of hip hop artists attempting to break in to the game however it has not been until the recent emergence of K-Dog and now Rage Rocc that the movement has gained prominence. “Rage Rocc is fresh to def,” said K-Dog “He definitly has what it takes to bring Native hip hop to the masses”, added K-Dog. When asked about the hip hop movement that seems to be developing on the reservation Rage Rocc responded by saying that it is something real that will usher in a new era of music on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. “There most definitely is a hip hop movement. A lot of the great artists aren't being exposed to the masses,” he said. “I've been bringing it forward however. I put in the work on a consistent basis, and the growth and the skills of artists on the reservation are finally getting seen,” added Rage Rocc. The Warrior Cubs mix tape will be released on June 1, and will be followed up by Rage Rocs debut solo album “Pocket Full of Poetry” in the fall of 2013. “This music isn’t just for me. I’m doing this for everyone,” he said. “I want to inspire and be inspired, this music is for everyone,” added Rage Rocc. (Contact Brandon Ecoffey at firstname.lastname@example.org) Related Stories:
Native Sun News: Pine Ridge rapper starts hip-hop movement (1/16)
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