Snotty Nose Rez Kids/Instagram
Chris Daly believes we’ve come to an impasse if our issues can’t be resolved through a dance-off.
It’s turning out to be a pretty good year for the Snotty Nose Rez Kids. On the heels of recent singles “TRENDSETTER” and “I’M GOOD,” the Juno Award-nominated, Polaris Prize-shortlisted First Nations duo of Young D and Yung Trybz just dropped “DAMN RIGHT” from their upcoming fifth album, I’M GOOD, HBU?, out December 2 on their own SNRZ label. Riding a wave of critical success and exceedingly larger award recognition, the two are starting to come into their own. The video for “DAMN RIGHT” proves it.
Playing off the line “We Native Beatles, yo,” the video is part montage, part homage to the Fab Four, recreating various album covers, interviews and legendary moments from their career, but with D and Trybz playing the starring roles. While this easily could have been played for caricature, Director Sterling Larose doesn’t go for cheap laughs, instead portraying SNRZ as the Next. Big. Things. And it works. As Larose put it, “The goal of this video was to remix the iconography of the Beatles and make it home for SNRK. A journey through an alternative timeline. This approach allowed us to choose where to be very accurate and where we could reinterpret. It was very fun finding that balance.”
Tackling everything from haters to Native pride (“My hair too thick, the crown don’t fit, Troy Palumalu flow/ Don’t like it, I love it-love it, you couldn’t pay me to cut it, bro.”), the group’s lyrical dexterity is as strong as their visual acuity. I’m reasonably sure few, if any, bands outside of this one would rhyme “salmon berries” and “dingleberries,” and for this, I salute them, to say nothing of their riff incorporating “supernova,” Hova,” “mimosa” and “Aquaman Momoa.” As there isn’t a well established indigenous hip-hop scene (yet), it’s hard to pigeonhole their sound, which arguably is a good thing. That being said, while they may hail from the Great White North, there are obvious stylistic nods to their Dirty South forebears, with syllables that hit solid while somehow maintaining a slurred approach.
Think Three Six Mafia with clearer annunciation and a different set of priorities.