"Hope has seized his opportunity to make statements about indigenous communities and he does it with power and vigour."
Hope (born Patrick Kelly, 1984) is a professional Hip-Hop artist and performer from Leq'a:mel First Nation British Columbia, and based in Vancouver BC. Inspired by Tradition, Hope uses the art of storytelling and rhyme to depict life on the reservation and illustrate to others what it is to be indigenous. Releasing his first album with Indigenous Hip Hop Duo "Status Krew" in 2011, Hope has been steadily contributing to the BC Underground Hip Hop scene as well as the Indigenous Hip Hop scene through EP, Album and Music Video releases ever since. In 2014 Hope along with his rhyme partner "Doobie" joined local artist Mamarudegyal MTHC in co-founding Indigenous Hip Hop and Multimedia group "Rudegang Entertainment" Winning a Fraser Valley Music award in 2017 (Best in Hip Hop - Male) sparked new motivation for Hope, who then embarked on a new project and the most important album of his career thus far, "Red Man" released in July of 2019.
RED MAN THE ALBUM
Red Man is an album by Sto:lo/Tahltan Rapper "Hope" (Status Krew,
Rudegang Entertainment) that seeks to explore and depict the experiences of an indigenous man living in a colonized world.
Hope's album Red Man seizes the opportunity to speak freely about his feelings towards reconciliation, cultural appropriation, and those who are willingly ignorant towards what Indigenous People know is undeniable fact; that supremacy exists and effects our people deeply.
With unique and sometimes off kilter styles of lyricism, Hope brings this album to a level of artistry that is not so regularly seen in the world of Hip Hop; he is a modern day Indigenous story teller.
The artwork for Hope's upcoming album Red Man, while seemingly innocuous, speaks to a very specific moment in the history of the Colonization of Indigenous People; the 60's Scoop.
At a time when indigenous communities and families were still reeling from the impact of residential schools, and before most residential schools had even begun to close down for good, the Canadian government created adoption programs such as the Adopt Indian Métis (AIM) project which promoted the adoption of First Nations children by middle-class, white families in 1967.
The AIM Program would post advertisements of Indigenous Babies and Children with a Photograph, Name and Description of the child in Canadian Newspapers to find them homes; these Ad's were used as a basis for the design of Hope's Album Cover. This image was chosen due to the fact that the 60's scoop had a direct impact on Hope and his family, as his own mother was a part of the 60's scoop and as an elder, continues to struggle with finding connections to her original home territory, culture and family. The act of scooping Indigenous Children from their homes on mass is a practice that still exists in Canada today, an act that many Indigenous People recognize as being parallel to that of placing Indigenous Children in Residential Schools.
RED MAN THE VIDEO
The Music Video for “Red Man” was funded by Telus Storyhive after Rudegang Entertainment were awarded a 10,000$ Grant to create the visuals. Created to honour the heritage of the artist "Hope" who is of Sto:lo and Tahltan ancestry. Rudegang also wanted very much to show Coast Salish Indigenous people of Canada in a context that is normally not seen in popular media (which is normally dominated by imagery of Blackfoot, Mohawk or Navajo people and art, and more often than not, for the sake of stereotyping Indigenous People).
Using Archival Imagery as a visual reference, Rudegang Entertainment explores the moments depicted in Archival Images of Canadian Indigenous people in the 1800s. Using the juxtaposition of old style imagery VS modern hip hop music, the video is neary hypnotic with it's hauntingly beautiful vocals, lyrics and imagery.
Archival Inspiration #1
In this photo we see a Salish man seated, having his portrait taken. Upon viewing this, one has to wonder what is on this man's mind; is he uncomfortable? how long might he have had to been sitting there? under what circumstances did he come to find himself there?
These are the types of questions that popped into the mind of Director Diana Hellson AKA Mamarudegyal MTHC (Rudegang Entertainment) the moment she laid her eyes upon this first photo, moments later finding herself with the initial ideas that would become this Music Video.
Archival Inspiration #2
Pictured here is an Ancestor from a more northern region of Salish Territory, who seems to be giving the photographer a thorough tour of his lands, introducing him to the wildlife that surrounds them. This photo was a huge inspiration towards the idea that we could explore the moments captured in these photographs and try to connect with the thoughts and feelings that these ancestors were experiencing in the moments that these photos were taken.
(Costume change occured when our Coast Salish costume designer was hired and informed us that Hope, being Sto:lo/Coast Salish, would require a completely different outfit to represent his own ancestors and territories accurately.
*Hope's Costume was also once worn by Rapper Common.