Thursday, July 18, 2019

Snotty Nose Rez Kids bring hip hop with a message to town

May 15, 2019 by Katie Mondey, contributing writer

Quinton “Yung Trybez” Nyce and Darren “Young D” Metz, the two members of Vancouver-based hip hop band Snotty Noze Rez Kids, are doing more than making music—they are communicating a message of empowerment and healing. They’re not the first to voice injustices through music, and—like other musicians who create music this raw, real, and impassioned—they move their fans.

And now they’re moving their fans with the songs on Trapline, their third album, which follows up 2017’s The Average Savage.

“We exposed this state that we live in for what it was,” says Nyce about The Average Savage. “From a young age we had racial stereotypes put on us, which made us think about ourselves in a different way than we should have. And then when you listen to Trapline, it’s all about being empowered, and power through unity, and ancestral knowledge, and land and identity.”

Vancouver hip hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids are touring in support of their new album, Trapline (photo provided).

Trapline rings with truth and empowerment. The band continues to write about stereotypes, ancestral pride, and both strength and pain being passed through genes from one generation to the next. They attribute their growing success to many factors, including perseverance, state of mind, and a responsibility to share their message.

“We realized early on that we have a message that needs to be heard, and we realized we wanted to pursue music as a career with that message,” says Nyce. “It wasn’t until we recorded The Average Savage that we were just like, okay, we have something special here that the world needs to hear. Once we started getting all the acknowledgment that The Average Savage got through the Polaris Prize, the Western Canadian Music Awards, and then the Junos, we realized we can actually do this as a career.”

And as their career evolves, so does their sound. For Trapline, collaboration with several other artists produced a more dynamic album and was also symbolic of the unity that’s possible among people regardless of race or other differences.

“One thing we all had in common was hip hop,” says Nyce. “And on top of that, we all come from a very similar struggle, and we found that to get out of that struggle, or to persevere through it, was through unity and knowledge. The reason why we chose all these different artists to have on Trapline is to show the world—not only the Indigenous community but the non-Indigenous community—that we’re all the same.”

Reflecting upon the history in North America, one may wonder, with all the damage done, the injustice, the conflict, the trauma, and all the dysfunction that still exists today, is it possible to truly heal?

“Yeah, definitely,” says Metz. “We did some really personal healing on the first album. ‘Black Blood’ is the aftermath of losing somebody to suicide. That was probably our most personal track, and we’ve had some fans tattoo lyrics from that track. So it’s not only healing us, it’s definitely helping others heal, and once we realized that, you know, there’s no turning back, really.”

The Snotty Nose Rez Kids are exposing deep-rooted and significant social, political, and personal issues among Canadians. There are many questions and uncertainties about how we can coexist peacefully—if at all—given our history, but Nyce and Metz believe wholeheartedly that harmony can be achieved. Nyce says that’s exactly what some of the lyrics on Trapline are about.

“That was pretty much a call-out to people that haven’t figured it out yet, you know?” he says.

Snotty Nose Rez Kids
8 pm Friday, June 7
$15, Capital Ballroom
thecapitalballroom.com

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