Shining Soul Hip Hop & Revolutionary Change by Matt Remle

Shining Soul photo by urtreen white

Shining Soul photo by urtreen white

Across Turtle Island, Indigenous peoples continue to resist the over 500 years of colonial occupation and its by-products, militarism, poverty and exploitation of Mother Earth. Resistance today takes on various forms from traditional language preservationist, to cutting edge tribal leaders & educators, to front line soldiers working to protect elders, children, communities, Mother Earth and the next generations.

One outlet for Indigenous resistance comes from the world of hip hop. While much of hip hop and the current rap scene has sold its revolutionary spirit to corporate interest, leaving many of us who grew up with the likes of KRS One and Public Enemy yearning for days when the music had a message, socially conscious rhyme makers, and Indigenous hip hoppers in particular, are making their presence and message known.

Arizona’s Shining Soul are one such example. Shining Soul, who has been rising independently in Arizona’s hip hop scene for the past several years, made waves in 2011 when they released their first full-length project WE GOT THIS which featured the cut Papers. Papers was a direct challenge to Arizona’s racist Senate Bill 1070, which requires police to determine the immigration status of someone arrested or detained when there is “reasonable suspicion” they are not in the U.S. legally. The Phoenix New Times hailed the song as “one of the best songs to put racial profiling Senate Bill 1070 and the whole police state mentality that reigns in Arizona on blast.”

Describing their message Shining Soul states:

“Straight outta the desert borough, Arizona’s premier Hip Hop duo Shining Soul, show that the element of rap still is a conduit for revolutionary change. Fronted by MC’s Liaizon of Central Phoenix/Tohono O’odham Nation and Bronze Candidate of South Phoenix, Shining Soul brings to light the social injustices that attack their daily lives, such as the criminalization and militarization of indigenous and immigrant communities, while sharing and maintaining the essence of hip hop culture.”

Shining Soul, who is known for their explosive live shows and has shared the stage with the likes of Immortal Technique, just released their new LP Sonic Smash . They describe their latest effort as follows, “Sonic Smash is unafraid to challenge the mainstream mentality, while paying respect and drawing inspiration from Hip-Hop’s early days, when beats and rhymes took priority.”

For more on Shining Soul check out their webpage

Posted by Wakinyan Wa’anatan (Matt Remle)

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