“R.E.D.” (2016) by A Tribe Called Red (with Black Bear, Narcy, & Yasiin Bey)


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640px-A_Tribe_Called_Red,_Hideaway_Records_and_Bar,_February_2014LUMPENPROLETARIATNo suckers allowed to break bread or asunder
The daylight, lightning, and the thunder
The sun, moon, and stars and the hunger
Abundance in bundles, blessings and troubles
Towers and tunnels, views and valleys, waves
Then pigs: ‘What streets you from, son?’
Planet Earth



R.E.D.” (2016) by A Tribe Called Red (with Black Bear, Narcy, & Yasiin Bey)

[John Trudell spoken word]

[verse 1: Yasiin Bey]

True, and livin’ by the G code
What the fuck is fleek though?
Don’t ask them; what do he know?
What I forgot is better than whatever they remember
Never mind, I’m off it; it’s quiet form
Time to put the temper tantrums to the quiet corner
“Hush! That’s enough,” said the ruler
No suckers allowed to break bread or asunder
The daylight, lightning, and the thunder
The sun, moon and stars, and the hunger
Abundance in bundles, blessings and troubles
Towers and tunnels, views and valleys, waves
Then pigs: ‘What streets you from, son?’
Planet Earth
And ain’t scared of no Mars attack
What type of bars is that?
Stay off my jack
I’m at they corny riot garments top-5 Dylan-i’n on ‘em
Superfly slicker top floor eagle divin’ on ‘em
Yo, why ya lyin’ homey?
You won’t play with my emotions, smokey
Big Chief heart rate; big beat; B-E-Y; Yasiin
Straightjacket come clean; Big said it was a dream
Now it’s a living thing; we true and living kings

I mean it, I mean
I meant it, I mean
Yasiin and Yasiin in the R-E-D
I mean it, I mean
Original nation, we pon solid; I mean
I mean it, I mean
Straightjacket come clean
Yasiin and Yasiin; in the R-E-D
Original nation; we pon solid with with
True and living you know; we’re true and living

[John Trudell spoken word]

[Verse 2: Narcy]
Emergency on Planet Earth
The currency is murder; you a man of worth
They say the day is comin’; comin’ that you can’t reverse
Watch the planet burn with all the cannon bursts
Don’t chase an illusion, the Nation Halluci
Taste of the future; the people that shower
The piss of a coward, then face it and shoot ya
Lonely martyrs, magic carpets, dirty blankets
Coca-Cola soul controller holy waters
Middle East mode; San Glorious
G code and Babylonian, the Orient
My superhero got the people power
Yasiin and Yasiin; you should heed the hour


“R.E.D.” lyrics © Reverb Music, In A Bunch Music Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music Ltd., Broadley Music (International), Grow Your Own Music, Reverb Music Ltd., Associated Music International Ltd., Edition Kella Sound


Stadium Pow Wow” (2016) by A Tribe Called Red (with Black Bear) [1]


[1] Also see:  The Canadian Encyclopedia entry on A Tribe Called Red:

A Tribe Called Red

Aboriginal electronic group A Tribe Called Red (ATCR) has garnered international acclaim for its politically charged, powwow drum-driven dance music. Featuring DJ NDN (Ian Campeau), Bear Witness (Thomas Ehren Ramon) and 2oolman (Tim Hill), the group emerged from an Ottawa club party called Electric Pow Wow, which began in 2007. Former members include Dee Jay Frame (Jon Limoges) and DJ Shub (Dan General). The group has described its “powwow step” music as “the soundtrack to a contemporary evolution of the powwow.” ATCR is part of what broadcaster and educator Wab Kinew has called the “Indigenous Music Renaissance,” an innovative new generation of Aboriginal artists in Canada. The group was nominated for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize and won the 2014 Juno Award for Breakthrough Group of the Year.

Background and Formation

Inspired by parties for Korean and South Asian youth in Ottawa, Ian “DJ NDN” Campeau, an Ojibwa nightclub bouncer-turned DJ, became interested in a similar event for Aboriginal youth. After discussing the idea with his friend, Bear Witness, who is Cayuga, and fellow disc jockey Dee Jay Frame, who is Mohawk, they began the first night at Ottawa’s Babylon nightclub in 2007, calling it Electric Pow Wow.

Encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response, the DJs began holding the event on the second weekend of every month (a schedule still in effect as of August 2015). The parties featured a mixture of traditional powwow recordings from Campeau’s youth, when he performed as a drummer, and mixed them with electronic music rhythms and genres such as dubstep, moombahton and dancehall. The group calls the blend of genres “powwow step.”

The Electric Pow Wow appealed directly to Aboriginal youth in Ottawa, but also drew a large number of non-Aboriginal people. In addition to music, the parties featured multimedia presentations by Bear Witness, who drew on his mother’s activist background to create multimedia shows that re-contextualized stereotypical depictions of Aboriginal peoples from films and television shows.

Dan General (aka DJ Shub) — who had developed a reputation as a skilled DJ and had won the Canadian DMC Finals in 2007 and 2008 — attended an Electric Pow Wow in 2008. He enjoyed the event so much he sent DJ NDN a song he’d written (it eventually became the track “Electric Pow Wow Drum”) and was soon invited to join the group, making A Tribe Called Red a quartet.


[A TRIBE CALLED RED lyrics are property and copyright of their owners.  “R.E.D.” lyrics are provided here for educational and personal use only.]

[18 AUG 2016]

[Last modified 13:39 PDT  22 AUG 2016]







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