All posts by James Dommek

Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Drezus Team Up for ’96 Bulls

Snotty Nose Rez Kids, the dynamic Indigenous hip-hop duo hailing from the Haisla Nation in British Columbia, has joined forces with renowned Indigenous rapper and producer, Drezus to release their latest single, ’96 Bulls. This collaboration embodies a powerful celebration of heritage, resilience, and the unwavering spirit of Indigenous communities.

The track ’96 Bulls pays homage to the iconic Chicago Bulls team of 1996, known for their dominance in basketball and their unyielding determination. However, for Snotty Nose Rez Kids and Drezus, the ’96 Bulls symbolize something deeper—a metaphor for their own strength and perseverance in the face of adversity.

J-Rez and Rezcoast Grizz Release “Safe Travels” Music Video in Honor of National Addictions Awareness Week

Safe Travels is a song about the trials & tribulations of addictions, the struggle of recovery &
the triumph of sobriety. The song aims to give comfort to those grieving from the loss of a
loved one due to the opiate epidemic, addictions and/or suicide by sharing a message of hope to
be received by anyone who hears it. J-Rez has lost a brother, two cousins and several friends to
opiate addiction, and is a recovered former addict, now celebrating 3 years of sobriety. This
song is a dedication to all of them, including himself.

The song is composed by Native Toronto Rapper J-Rez and Rezcoast Grizz from Arizona &
produced by L.S & JthaJust. The music video was filmed in Toronto and Directed by Tom
Tennisco of Pikwakanagan First Nation, a visual effects specialist currently working on the
Superman & Lois TV Show.

The duo have donated $1000.00 to Toronto Indigenous Harm Reduction in celebration of this project
and will be embarking on a Nation-Wide Tour this summer facilitating Youth Empowerment
Workshops about Addiction Awareness, Life Promotion & performing
“Safe Travels”.

Juneau artist Air Jazz Reflects on Indigenous Heritage Day

Native American Heritage Month is an essential time for artists such as myself. Weeks dedicated to spreading Indigeneity around the world gives us a feeling of oneness with planet Earth. As a Tlingit, it feels as though my ancestors are speaking through me with language and song so that I can sonically manifest them. I shall write more Indigenous songs, wear my clan vest of representation, and listen to stories of all Tlingit generations.

I’m hoping that Indigenous Heritage Month can give every person an appreciation for where they come from. All people have a lineage, so it’s important to acknowledge our lineal origin. We can then cycle back to our sacred values and ways of life, like a canoer who has found their way home after a long journey. In America, this is especially important since revitalization is still an ongoing effort for Indigenous peoples.

One day, all Native Americans could be allies and form an Avengers End Game type superpower. Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian could work as a unit in Southeast Alaska. Puyallup, Tulalip, Duwamish and Snohomish could start a collective in the Northwest. Iroquois could join Wampanoag, Mi’kmaq, Algonquin and Cherokee on the East Coast. Then Apache, Commanche, Zuni and Diné could live in harmony in the US South.Eventually, all of us will have land back, learn about each other’s culture, and make America Native again. Gunalchéesh/Haw’aa/Quyana/Mahsi’ Choo

DJ Shub Releases new track ‘Half Breed (Remix)’ feat. Cher

DJ Shub, the trailblazing Indigenous electronic music artist known for his groundbreaking fusion of traditional sounds and contemporary beats, has once again set the stage on fire with his latest release, ‘Half Breed (Remix).’ The track, a reimagining of the original hit featuring Cher, pulsates with raw energy and cultural vibrancy, showcasing Shub’s unparalleled talent for blending heritage with modernity.

The original ‘Half Breed’ was a celebrated anthem that resonated with audiences for its infectious rhythm and celebration of Indigenous culture. With this remix, DJ Shub takes the essence of the original and amplifies it to new heights. The beats are punchier, the melodies are more dynamic, and the infusion of traditional instrumentation adds layers of depth and authenticity to the composition.

Won’t Give Up: A Climate Anthem by Pattie Gonia, Yo-Yo Ma, and Quinn Christopherson

In an inspiring convergence of artistic brilliance and environmental advocacy, three influential figures from different spheres—Pattie Gonia, Yo-Yo Ma, and Quinn Christopherson—have united to create a powerful musical testament to our planet and the urgent need for climate action with the release of ‘Won’t Give Up’.

Produced by Grammy award-winning producer Tyler Chester, this song merges the profound musical talent of violinist Paul Cartwright and drummer James McAllister. Pattie Gonia, the environmental advocate and drag artist known for championing inclusivity in outdoor spaces, brings her unique voice and passion for conservation to the forefront. With her vibrant personality and dedication to environmental causes, Pattie Gonia amplifies the urgency of the climate crisis and the importance of unity in protecting our planet.

Alaska Native artist Quinn Christopherson brings his unique perspective to the collaboration. Christopherson’s ability to infuse personal narratives into his music lens depth and authenticity to the single elevates the messages of resilience and determination in the face of environmental challenges.

Yo-Yo Ma, the renowned cellist whose transcendent musical talent has touched audiences worldwide, adds a layer of profound emotion to the anthem. Through his music, Ma has consistently advocated for social change and global harmony, making his contribution to ‘Not Giving Up’ a testament to the power of art in catalyzing meaningful conversations about pressing issues.

The release of this climate movement anthem serves as a poignant reminder that through collaborative efforts and a shared commitment to action, we can make a difference—one note, one step, and one act of solidarity at a time. ‘Not Giving Up’ embodies the resilience and hope needed to overcome the challenges ahead, urging us to forge a path of environmental and social harmony.

As the song resonates across borders and cultures, it is a testament to the transformative power of music and advocacy, reminding us that by standing together, we can create a world where the well-being of our planet and the welfare of humanity are intricately intertwined.

Uyarakq releases LENAPEHOKING DAYS on International Inuit Day

Uyarakq, the innovative and genre-defying artist, has once again left the world in awe with his latest release, “Lenapehoking Days.” The album features his ethereal vocals, sung in both Greenlandic and English, that are accompanied by a delicate blend of electronic beats and traditional Inuit throat singing, creating a mesmerizing soundscape that immediately draws the listener in. He is a self taught music producer/composer and DJ with a background in metal music originally from Nuuk, Greenland. He is currently working in the Indigenous circumpolar hip hop and rap scene with a presence in two continents, the North American arctic and the European arctic. He has previously won a Greenlandic Koda Award in 2015 for his solo album Raatiu Nukik (2014) and was nominated for Nordic Councils Music Prize in 2016 for the collaborative work Kunngiitsuuffik (2015) alongside the Greenlandic rapper Peand-eL.

First Nations Hip Hop Duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids Release ‘I Got Paid Today’

The Snotty Nose Rez Kids, a dynamic Indigenous hip-hop duo hailing from Vancouver, have recently unleashed a powerful and thought-provoking anthem, “I Got Paid Today.” This track is not just another song; it’s a rallying cry, a testament to resilience, and a vivid exploration of the Indigenous experience in today’s world.

Known for their unapologetic style and uncompromising lyrics, the duo have captured the attention of music lovers around the globe. Their rise represents not only the success of Indigenous artists but also a shift towards acknowledging the importance of Indigenous voices and stories in popular culture.

“I Got Paid Today” is more than just a song; it’s a declaration of empowerment. The track radiates self-assuredness, celebrating the accomplishments and resilience of Indigenous communities. With lyrics like, “I got paid today, I’m unapologetic,” the Snotty Nose Rez Kids send a powerful message to their audience and beyond. The song reflects a sense of pride, strength, and the unyielding determination to rise above adversity.

This track delves into the complex and multifaceted issue of identity for Indigenous people. It touches on the importance of celebrating one’s heritage and culture in a world where Indigenous voices have often been marginalized or silenced. By unapologetically embracing their identity, the Snotty Nose Rez Kids encourage others to do the same. As the Snotty Nose Rez Kids continue to make waves, their music remains a forceful reminder that diverse perspectives and powerful narratives have a place in the spotlight.

Dakotah Faye’s ‘hell was boring’ Takes Listeners on a Healing Journey

In the world of music, there are artists who break boundaries, challenge norms, and inspire listeners with their creativity and unique perspectives. Dakotah Faye has just released his latest album ‘hell was boring’ that covers topics ranging from addiction and incarceration to the journey of self healing.


Cannot thank anyone enough for the love. Releasing an album is always scary so I appreciate it. Maybe it can warm you up in this #NorthDakota weather! ❤️ #HellWasBoring #upcomingartist #dakotahfaye

♬ live & direct – Dakotah Faye

Faye is not just a talented artist, but also an advocate for the Indigenous community. Through his music and platform, he continuously sheds light on Indigenous issues and challenges faced within the community while also celebrating the beauty and resilience. “hell was boring” is a testament to the strength and creativity of Indigenous artists, and paves the way for greater recognition and appreciation of Indigenous voices in the music industry. This album is a reminder that music has the power to inspire, unite, and uplift, and it stands as a testament to the boundless creativity and potential of Indigenous artists.

Xiuhtezcatl & Mato Wayuhi announce new single ‘Veils’

Indigenous artists Xiuhtezcatl & Mato Wayuhi have announced their new joint single ‘Veils’ releasing on October 27, 2023. In a message shared via Instagram, Xiuhtezcatl stated, “We spent 10 days in my homeland Xochimilco, Mexico filming some of the most incredible visuals for this next album. This song is one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.” You can pre-save the song here and find tickets here for his upcoming 2 THE MOON & BACK TOUR kicking off in November.

Indigenous Barbie Q&A: A Celebration of Alaska Native Heritage

Creating alongside her Mother, Angela Gonzalez, the two have gone viral on TikTok for their Indigenous Barbie creations, specifically the “Fish Camp Barbie,” which has garnered over 100,000 views on TikTok. Ermelina Gonzalez spoke with the RIVR and revealed more details behind the creations:

My name is Ermelina Gonzalez, my Denaakk’e name is K’ete ts’aayedaalno. I was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. My Mother is Koyukon Athabascan from Huslia, Alaska and my Father is Hispanic from El Salvador.

What led you to begin the creation of Indigenous barbies?

My mom first made a fish camp barbie for me when I was about ten years old. She used one of my barbies to make the scene. My mom’s late grandma, Lydia Simon of Huslia, use to make grass dolls at fish camp when she was growing up. Over the years, my mom began to make more for non-profit fundraisers. I received my first sewing machine at fourteen and the same year learned how to make a betsegh hoolaanee (qaspeq or summer parka). Over the years, I’ve helped my mom with sewing the clothing and accessories.

How much of an impact has Social Media had on spreading your content’s message?

Posted on my mom’s account, TikTok has spread our message of Indigenous representation to many Native and non-Native people across the United States and Canada. A couple of the videos have gone viral not only on TikTok, but other platforms as well.

What’s your favorite barbie you’ve made thus far and the biggest lesson you’ve learned?

My favorite Barbie is the moose hide tanning barbie. I like that Barbie because of what she is doing. Moose tanning is a practice being revived in Alaska and I think the process is just so amazing. The journey to processing hide is beautiful and the end result is so rewarding. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that Indigenous representation is important. I can tell from the shear amount of comments from Native people that they’ve loved it and how healing it is for their inner child.

What do you think about there being a hunger for Indigenous representation in pop culture?

We first started making the barbies with the things we had at home. We encourage anyone to do the same and represent their culture and heritage. We had people comment that they would like to see a whale hunting, dog mushing, and ribbon skirt barbie. Overall, many people are reconnecting and have a hunger for learning and practicing our culture and way of life. There is definitely a hunger for learning Alaska Native crafts, many people are disconnected and social media is a way to share our knowledge for these activities.

What about Indigenous Ken? Any plans to make a version soon?

Yes! We recently bought a Ken barbie doll and have plans for him in the making so stay tuned!