By TRT Staff
SIX NATIONS — Three weeks ago, decorated Indigenous music producer David Strickland dropped a new banger called “Turtle Island” featuring bars from Supaman, Artson, Spade, JRDN, and Whitey Don.
This release comes ahead of Strickland’s upcoming full-length album, Spirit of Hip-Hop, which is set for release on June 29 via Entertainment One.
“This song is kind of a state of the union, for where we’re at as a people,” said Strickland. “For the most part, history keeps us separated so we’re trying to bring us together. We have the same conversations, same struggles, its the exact same in the hood, on the rez’, and we need to come together. So it’s about unity and it’s about bringing this island back to where it should be.”
As a well known Mi’qmaaq and Cree producer, Strickland has worked with Method Man, Wu-Tang, Rick Ross, Lil’ Wayne, Jay-Z, Drake and Cardinal Offishal. He said that the song has been released on all platforms from Apple to SoundCloud.
“I’m very blessed to be able to do what I do and I just kind of woke up one day and I realized ‘we should do something with this,’ so I started to work more with our people,” he said. “We come in and we ain’t playing around.”
Alongside Strickland in adding bars to the songs, Christian Parrish Takes The Gun, a.k.a Supaman from the Apsáalooke Nation, said that the song means a lot to him.
“It’s coming together, the people, it’s all about unity and pushing forward,” said Supaman. “As for that continuous, perpetual racism that’s out there, I think it’s always time for us to shed light on that and highlight our people and lift each other up, support the movement.”
Supaman is an award-winning rapper and fancy dancer and was a part of the group Mag7, featuring Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas and five other indigenous artists that recorded “Stand Up.” The song became an anthem for the movement that won an award at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards.
“To be a part of this project with the legend here, for me as a hip hop artist, it’s a big thing for me to be on that level to have people hear it.”
The Grammy and JUNO award-winning audio engineer called the song a “state of the union” for Indigenous people in 2020. “Turtle Island”, serves as a reference to the original namesake continued by the indigenous people of North America.