Canadian Musician - March-April 2022 - Page 37

PHOTO : STERLING LAROSE they said “ portray a narrative that contributes to sexism , transmisogyny , ableism , and reproduces the stigma and shame surrounding mental health .” Smartly , when they began to receive the criticism , Metz and Nyce didn ’ t dismiss it or rush to social media to explain it away in some disingenuous apology , of the sort that we ’ re all too familiar in today ’ s online environment . They sat with the criticism and processed it before writing a 3,300-word letter to their community and fans . They also annotated their lyrics themselves on Genius . com to provide background and also acknowledge shortcomings .
“ It just made us realize that in life , it ’ s not all as it seems . We can only speak from our own context and we can only speak from our lived experiences . And although we make music for a body of people , sometimes it doesn ’ t hit the way that we thought it would . We got to own up to that when it happens , and that was one of those instances for me . There was obviously a learning curve , and we dealt with it the best way that we could . We lost a lot of fans and a lot of people during that process , but like I said , that ’ s how life goes ,” reflects Metz . “ The big thing for us was just to take a step back . Instead of getting caught up in our own feelings or something like that , let ’ s take a step back , let ’ s re-evaluate , let ’ s educate ourselves , and then respond . Not many people are willing to do that when something like that happens . It just felt right to do that . We learned a lot . You take that lesson and just keep going .”
The power of their words , and the fact that with each release , more and more people are paying attention to what they rap , was on their mind as they wrote the songs for Life After . But like Metz said , they also just had to keep doing what they do . I had to wonder though – as I myself have , more than once , bounced around the house singing along to “ Boujee Natives ” – if it ’ s odd or even uncomfortable to see white fans at their shows rapping along to their songs about the Indigenous experience .
“ For me , I feel like people that come to our shows just come to turn up , have a good time , and they bring the right people that are involved with either the movements or the music . And for us , we ’ ve never really had that moment where we ’ re like , ‘ What the fuck ?’ you know ? It ’ s always been love . We ’ ve never really had those awkward situations ,” Nyce affirms , and I admit I ’ m both pleased and somewhat surprised to hear that .
At the same time , Nyce also notes that they ’ re aware their music is being heard and enjoyed by thousands or even millions of non-Indigenous fans . “ It ’ s definitely something we ’ re conscious about . Like , we think about expanding and growing . Every move that you make is about trying to get your music out there more and more and to grow . But for us , we still make the music the way that we want to make it . It ’ s by Indigenous , for Indigenous ; but also , music is for everybody . So , for us , we don ’ t limit ourselves to just making music for Indigenous people ’ s ears only — it ’ s for everybody , but it is also to uplift Indigenous people .”
As Metz also explains , the target audience , if there even is one , changes from song to song . “ It varies , you know ? But at the end of the day , we make it for us . It ’ s a place for us to just take whatever it is that ’ s on our chest and just get it off . But yeah , we do it for us ; we do it for our community ,” he says . “ Honestly , our community has been our backbone since we started , and they really gave us that early push and they believed in us . As far as the audience goes , it ’ s just that vibe and it ’ s just that movement . If you like it and you ’ re down with it , fucking right . But if not , we ’ re not going to dwell on it .”
That self-assured and independent spirit has extended to the business side of their music career . To date , all of Snotty Nose Rez Kids ’ music has been released independently . They had a brief stint on Los Angeles-based RPM Records in 2018 , but ultimately scrapped the