Aboriginal rappers reach out to Idle No More with free mixtape


Idle No More (Invasion Day) The Mixtape
Featuring K-Otic 1, Darah, Felon, Mr Forge, Toombs, Provocalz, Teila, Unda Dwella, Lorna Munro, Kaiyu, Boe Knows, Big Luke, Dubbzone

This Invasion Day, a mob of Aboriginal rappers released a free mixtape to show solidarity with the Idle No More movement in Turtle Island, the body of land now known as North America. The mixtape showcases some of the most radical hip-hop and spoken word poetry to come out of Australia. Green Left asked Indigenous emcee Darah to explain the project.

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The Idle No More mixtape ties together the Idle No More movement, which originated from the Aboriginal people in Canada, and the ongoing Aboriginal Land Rights and Sovereignty movements here in Australia, and presents these ideas through hip-hop. The mixtape centres on ideas of sovereignty, history, inequality, land rights, and solidarity.

The mixtape came from Boe Spearim (Boe Knows) of the Brisbane Aboriginal Sovereign Embassy posting up an unfinished clip from K-Otic 1's "Sovereignty" track. Although K-Otic 1 is non-Indigenous he showed a lot of interest in having an Aboriginal artist on the track to give our perspective.

Initially Felon (of the DTA Mob) offered to jump on the track and then Boe and Felon reached out to a few others to jump on, and the more that people showed interest, the sooner it became apparent that this was going to be something much bigger. So K-Otic 1 sent out some tracks for people to jump on and then some of us submitted some of our own tracks to be included.

Everyone was in open communication with each other in the development of the mixtape and in supporting each other getting our verses and tracks together. I also did the artwork for the mixtape, which utilises a picture from the original Aboriginal Tent Embassy, which I feel demonstrates how our previous generations had fought so hard for us and still inspire us to this day.

For me personally, I was more than happy to be part of this project, because there are so many talented Aboriginal MCs out there and I feel that its important that we work with each other rather than compete with one another and on this tape everybody was on their A-Game.

Further to that, sovereignty and self-determination are themes that I always try present in my music so it was natural for me to want to be involved in this project. And I also feel that it's time for the younger generation to step up and take control of our affairs, just as our previous generations had done.

It's hard to choose a favourite track because the whole mixtape is on point, but I would have to say I really enjoy "Sovereign" and "Freedom" because of the diversity in style amongst each of us, but even with the diversity, there is still unity. I also really enjoy the solo tracks because they demonstrate that we might have our own styles and our own sound but we can still work towards the same aims.