The Long Wait for "Light" from Digging Roots


It's been four years since blues duo Digging Roots released their last album but with one listen you'll agree it's been worth the wait.

Inspired by their travels, For The Light, firmly inhabits roots and blues with a nomadic wanderlust; confidently exploring other terrains from the inner cities, the back roads and all the places in between. The husband and wife songwriting team, Raven Kanatakta and ShoShona Kish have written and produced a collection of love songs that reflects a maturing sense of storytelling. With sweet harmonies smokey wails and melodic accompaniments of ukulele, banjo, mellotron and of course Raven’s bombastic resonator guitar, this album is something special; an eclectic tapestry of light and dark sound that is vintage and fresh all at once.

Digging Roots are formidable live - be sure to catch them on the road this summer (tour dates below). Get the album on iTunes and start singing along (in Anishinabemowin and English) to the brilliant title track, For the Light:


Digging Roots' Summer Tour Dates 2014:

06/26/14 Toronto, ON Dundas Square

06/27/14 Midland, ON Midland Cultural Centre

06/29/14 Quebec City, QC Television Performance

07/01/14 Barrie, ON Heritage Park

07/11/14 - 07/13/14 Comox, BC Vancouver Island MusicFest

07/15/14 Duncan, BC Duncan Showroom Productions

07/17/14 - 07/20/14 Yellowknife, NWT Folk On The Rocks

07/23/14 Regina, SK 2014 Indigenous Games

08/01/14 Spence’s Bridge, BC N’kemin Voices of the Valley

08/06/14 Kelowna, BC Minstrel Café

08/06/14 - 08/07/14 Wayland, MI Pottawatami Gathering

08/15/14 - 08/17/14 Dunster, BC Robson Valley Music Festival

Tall Paul and Chase Manhattan Rise Up


Navigating the best and worst reactions from Native and non-Native audiences alike, Tall-Paul and Chase Manhattan hold their ground, stay true, and rise up in their hometown and internationally.

Tall Paul and Chase Manhattan have been building buzz and their names in the hip-hop scene across Turtle Island. Recently they both kept it close to home and talked with their shared hometown paper Minneapolis Star Tribune about their path in music, the power of sharing their work, and the ups and downs of getting labeled "Indian" in the industry.

Both rappers cite advantages and disadvantages to being designated as Indian rappers. On the plus side, they naturally stand out from the crowd. But there’s also a certain lack of respect from more mainstream rap crowds, who see them as something of a novelty.

Said Paul, “It makes you unique, but you still have to be a good rapper first or they won’t take you seriously.”

They also have been shunned at times by other Indians, especially elder leaders who see rap music as a scurrilous artistic pursuit — a generational gap common to any hip-hop artist.

“I’ve had some elders say to me, ‘Why are you trying to act black?’ ” Chase said, shaking his head. “That’s them being racist.”

Neither wants to be pigeonholed as an Indian rapper, and both have more songs that don’t refer to their heritage than ones that do. They are as likely to take gigs in clubs — including small-town bars near rural Indian populations around Minnesota and Wisconsin and the Dakotas — as they are to play pow-wows or other traditional native events.

Still, they said, they will never again shy away from bringing out their native past in their music.

“I’ve gone on stage in front of 500 people and brought attention to the issues the native people face, and I think that’s a powerful, important thing,” said Chase.

Read the full story: Native tongues: Tall Paul and Chase Manhattan bring traditions to hip-hop

Red Man Laughing Featuring Wab Kinew


In the most recent, brand spankin' new episode of Red Man Laughing, Ojibway comedian Ryan McMahon interviewed hip-hop artist and CBC journalist Wab Kinew.

Wab Kinew has been making waves in Indigenous music for a decade and more recently in the journalism scene on air and on camera at the CBC.

Our great friend Ryan McMahon had a chance to sit down with Wab for a candid, in-depth interview getting the story on Wab's beginnings in music, journalism and his involvement in the 8th Fire documentary series on CBC.

Shouts out to Ryan and Wab for their great storytelling and sharing in this podcast!

Listen now:

Red Man Laughing - EP#14 The Wab Kinew Interview

Hear the first 13 awesome episodes and download the NDN Comedy app at

RPM YouTube Playlist - "Revitalization"


Here's an RPM YouTube playlist to accompany our last podcast that focused on Indigenous language revitalization.

Staying in the theme of our last RPM podcast, we've compiled a playlist of Indigenous videos that are in the realm of language revitalization.

To view this playlist in YouTube click this link: 


Intro Kashtin - Tshinanu (Our People) Radmilla Cody - A Beautiful Dawn Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson - A Call to the Ancestors Robbie Robertson featuring Ulali - Mahk Jchi (Heart Beat Drum Song) Wab Kinew - Anishinabemowin Word of the Day - Ninagam Wab Kinew - Anishinabemowin Word of the Day - Ketenagamonan Wab Kinew - Anishinabemowin Word of the Day - Nagamok! Wab Kinew - Anishinabemowin Word of the Day - Diwe'igan Outro

RPM Podcast #012: "Revitalization"


In Episode 12 of the podcast, RPM looks at the Indigenous language revitalization movement. Half of the world's languages have disappeared in the past 500 years and today another language goes extinct almost every two weeks. Indigenous languages are the ones most at risk - which has inspired Indigenous musicians to take up the struggle to save them.

Our host Ostwelve speaks with three artists who are working on revitalizing their ancestral languages.

Miss Christie Lee of the Musqueam Nation raps in Hun'qumi'num' and shares what her culture means to her and how she sought guidance from her elders on creating music in her language.

Tall Paul, of Point of Contact, raps in Anishnaabemowin.  Tall Paul describes discovering more of his culture through his college language course and using hip-hop to adapt Indigenous languages to new avenues.

Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, who sings in the language of Haida, hopes listeners can get to a different place, even if they don't understand the words, and she shares how by singing in our Indigenous language we are connecting with our ancestors.

DOWNLOAD: RPM Podcast #012 - "Revitalization" 


Subscribe via your favorite RSS reader

For more on language revitalization, see:

The RPM podcast is produced & engineered by the amazing Paolo Pietropaolo.

Photo illustration created by the talented Joi Arcand.

Six Indigenous Music Video Blogs To Check Out


Here's a list of six Indigenous music Video Blogs available on the web for your viewing pleasure.

Video blogs or 'v-logs' have been around for a few years and as the popularity of video platforms like YouTube and Vimeo grow, artists and regular people alike have this medium of v-logging to express themselves.

More and more indigenous music artists are making v-log entries for their networks and video channels. Artists such as Wab Kinew, Inez, Kinnie Starr, Don Amero, Kasp and now JB The First Lady are all using this new form of media to keep content fresh and express themselves in a digital format.

Wab Kinew chooses to use his v-log for an experience of cultural education with his "Anishinaabemowin Word of the Day" series on his YouTube channel entitled .

Inez's v-log brings you updates from on the road and also some family moments at home on her YouTube v-log series InezTV on her channel InezMusic.

Kinnie Starr's series of v-logs is more based on comedy with her "The Hardest Part About Being On Tour" series of videos, which are about the stresses of being a touring musician on her YouTube channel MusicKinnieStarr.

Don Amero's v-logs are more informational to his fan base with personal updates and promotion as well as his newest addition, a version of the MTV show Cribs, where he showcases his own digs in a fun video on his YouTube channel Donamero.

Kasp has one of the more populated v-log series covering promotions and news from on the road featured on his YouTube channel named kiqwilly.

And the latest Indigenous musician to hit us up with a v-log is JB The First Lady with her series debut entitled "Bathroom Diaries". In her first instalments she introduces her v-log series and features her friend Crystal J for a beatbox backed cover of an India Arie track on her YouTube channel jbthefirstlady.

Don Amero's Crib:

Got a V-log you want to share with us?  Or do you know of an Indigenous music v-log you love? Comment below and share! 


Red Man Laughing: Ryan McMahon Debuts New Native Comedy Podcast


Ojibwe/Métis comedian Ryan McMahon presents the premiere episode of his new podcast entitled Red Man Laughing.

Extra prolific comedian Ryan McMahon unveiled his new podcast show Red Man Laughing this week. His first episode, Death Rant, Powwow Pick-up Pimp & The Highway, takes us through his views on death in the media, some great skits about Powwow pick-up lines, Life According to Clarence Two Toes and new music from his friends A Tribe Called Red.

This is the first installment in the project Red Man Laughing and looks to be some great content from Ryan. Along with his YouTube channels, website and blogs, this is just another level of funny and creativity that will set the bar high for the comedic creative community.

Props to Ryan McMahon for his hard work in the comedy industry and especially for the awesome shout-outs he sent to us here at

Listen to the first episode of Ryan's podcast below and to subscribe to the series check out:

Also check out Ryan on our West Coast Volume One podcast and our feature interview with him.


DOWNLOAD: Tall Paul - "Prayers In A Song"


The Anishinaabeg duo of Tall Paul and G.Malicious make up Point of Contact, an Indigenous hip-hop group based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. They met in 2009, connecting through hip hop and a desire for change. They began collaborating, building chemistry, and getting attention in their local scene. The word has been spreading online too, largely due to the YouTube video of Tall Paul performing this track live. Here is the album version, where Tall Paul  lays down some bilingual lyrics in Anishnaabemowin and English, fresh off of their brand new debut EP - Brothers: From Different Fathers and Mothers. Get it at CDBaby. Download: Tall Paul -"Prayers In A Song"

Tall Paul: Interview with Anishinaabe Rapper


Anishinaabe rapper Tall Paul came across the RPM Radar last week via a Colorlines post on Midwest Rappers Showing Love for Their Indigenous Ojibwe Language. After getting put on to Point of Contact, an Indigenous hip-hop group based out of Minneapolis, Minnesota and their video, “Modern Day Warriors”, we were blown away by Tall Paul's solo performance of his bilingual  track "Prayers in a Song", which deftly blends English and Anishnaabemowin.

Tall Paul is from Leech Lake, Minnesota.

And this week, we found Rick Harp's great interview with Tall Paul over at MediaIndigenaAnishinabe rapper helps take Ojibwe language into new territory

We agree that the language of hip-hop can help inspire our people to revitalize our own Indigenous languages for the generations to come—and it's great to see it in action.

Have a listen to the full interview:

Interview: MC Tall Paul, "Prayers in a Song" by UrbanNation