The Spirit of Hip Hop
As one of the most successful Indigenous audio engineers in North America, David Strickland has a Grammy award, JUNO awards, and platinum selling records under his belt. From Method Man to Drake to The Clipse, Glenn Lewis and Sade, David has worked behind the boards with some of the most celebrated artists in hip hop and R&B over the past 25 years.
Bridging the gap for Indigenous artists in North America is inherently important to David. As a role model for First Nation’s Youth, David combines traditional and cultural teachings in his work and is committed to raising awareness on major social issues. David talks more about this passion in the VICE documentary First Out Here, a documentary about the rise of Indigenous hip hop artists in Canada. Through his storied career, David Strickland has persevered through many challenges to reach the top of the Canadian music industry and he is excited to share this story of his forthcoming album The Spirit of Hip Hop.
Citing similarities between hip hop’s foundation and the Indigenous story in North America, David strives to showcase these connections by creating a unique blend of traditional Indigenous sounds and mainstream rap rhythms. David equates the four elements of Hip Hop with Indigenous expression – DJ is the Drummer; MC is the Storyteller; B-boys are the Dancers; Graffiti Artists are the SandPainter / Petrogliph artists. These four elements are part of the teaching from legendary Native American photographer, icon, and activist Ernie Paniccioli. From Drezus to Def Squad to Winnipeg Boys and Jully Black; The Spirit of Hip Hop brings together an all star line up of Indigenous and mainstream hip hop artists to create this culturally relevant sound.