Multi-tribal song up for MTV Video Music Award


“Stand up with the first nations that were here,” Taboo, of The Black Eyed Peas, raps in his song “Stand Up/Stand N Rock.”

The track is nominated for a 2017 MTV Video Music Award in the newly named “Best Fight Against the Machine” category that was previously called “Best Video with a Social Message.” The category was created for artists who are making music with an activist or social justice message.

“We’ve been fighting for our freedom since the Niña and the Pinta and the Santa Maria,” Taboo raps. “Stand up, like Geronimo, Sitting Bull, Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Leonard Peltier.”

The song is an ode to the #NoDAPL movement and the resistance camps at Standing Rock in North Dakota. “People (at Standing Rock) were literally using their prayers, and our traditional medicines and songs to protect the land, protect the people,” Kahara Hodges, one of the vocalists on the track, said.

The Standing Rock Sioux Nation and water protectors tried to use direct actions to halt construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline that would go through unceded Lakota land and underneath the Missouri River. Currently, DAPL is transporting 520,000 gallons of crude oil across 1,800 miles and underneath Lake Oahe, the main source of water for the Standing Rock nation.

Taboo collaborated with people from across Indian Country. This included 22-year-old model and vocalist Hodges whose family is from Ganado, Arizona. “It was absolutely magical,” Hodges said about working with Taboo and the other Native artists. “Everybody there was just beautiful inside and out.”

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Categories: Music
Tags: MTV

About Author

Pauly Denetclaw

Pauly Denetclaw is Meadow People born for Towering House People. She was raised in Manuelito and Naschitti, New Mexico. She was the co-recipient of the Native American Journalist Association's 2016 Richard LaCourse Award for Investigative Reporting. Denetclaw is currently finishing her degree in multimedia journalism from the University of New Mexico - Main. Denetclaw covers a range of topics including genetic research, education, health, social justice issues and small businesses. She loves coffee, writing and being with her family. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram. Her handle is @pdineclah