The “I was just playing,” defense is weak and not working in 2017. Folks just ain't here for it. We recently saw that on display in a battle with Dine’ battle rapper Phrase Frazier as he utterly destroyed the racist rhymes of Pyrex. I don't want to give away the bars and the potency—please watch for yourself. Here's the video:
Here's a quick interview with Phrase--read up on him.
Also, please support the brother by watching his other videos on YouTube and also by visiting his website: https://n8vace.com to check out some of artwork.
Phrase Frazier: “I am from the Dine tribe, Shiprock, NM. I began rhyming in High School with friends (Def-I) who is also very well known. Here’s a shout out to my dude. It wasn't until 2005 that I started to really get into rhyming and recording. In 2007 myself and a few other friends formed the crew Ill Methods. We had a pretty good run and released about 5 projects, one of which was released under the Protect Ya Neck Records label.[text_ad]In 2012 I began to jump into the battle scene. I found battling as another platform to represent Natives and as I was told, ‘become a voice on stage for the people.’ To this day we as natives are still ridiculed, stereotyped, and portrayed as what they only see on the TV screens..
Battling for me became an outlet to counter the images and let others know we still exist all the while repping for the people. In my own experience and personal opinion, it seems Natives are an easy target when it comes to battling because of our past and the stereotypes that followed to this day.
Racist bars and jokes are known for creating shock value and major crowd reactions, and to be on the receiving end of those lines will trigger emotions not only for a battler but for the people who those lines are referring to. I chose to embrace the stereotypes and I guess you can say, ‘take it back, take away the power.’ Those words hold and in, I turn flip it on my opponents.
I incorporate a lot of Native schemes, references, jokes and use it to my advantage. I always expect the them to come and me with the same material as they should since it's a battle, and I've recently learned to sway myself from using stereotypes against my opponents because, for me to do so would be defeating the point I'm trying to accomplish when I battle.”
It is encouraging to watch our young folks step up and use art to battle racism and ugliness. Let's support them!
Gyasi Ross, Editor at Large
Blackfeet Nation/Suquamish Territories
Breakdances With Wolves Podcast, available on Soundcloud, iTunes