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Word Up: Gyasi Ross Teaches Gawker About Native Hip Hop

ICTMN columnist Gyasi Ross breaks it down for the hugely popular culture blog.
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Earlier this week, ICTMN contributor and emerging media personality Gyasi Ross shared his memories of discovering hip hop with Gawker's readers in a piece called "Breakdances With Wolves: When Hip-Hop Came to Indian Reservations." There are many scenes that will be familiar to reders who were rez kids in the '80s and later. Here's a snippet about the breakdancing sessions that became an unofficial follow-up act at pow wows:

I used to go directly from dancing at pow-wows into the "game tent"—where vendors would set up game rooms at pow-wows with lots of video games—and "break" in our pow-wow gear on the dusty ass pow-wow grounds. We'd quickly disrobe from our very Native pow-wow gear and get ready for something much more contemporary, and a bunch of Native pow-wow kids would breakdance and hopefully draw a crowd. ... It was a great and weird scene—why hip-hop at this traditional Native event, hundreds or thousands of miles from anything remotely "urban?" Still, it made sense to us. The songs contained survival messages, just like our own powerful songs—codes for future generations. And the breakdancing was a celebration of movement and energy, much like our dances.

To get the full story, see "Breakdances With Wolves: When Hip-Hop Came to Indian Reservations"

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