Together, these elements make Spirit of Hip Hop a spirited addition to both the rap canon and the string of protest songs soundtracking today's reckoning against police brutality and systemic racism” – Exclaim!

“Strickland succeeds as both a storyteller and a body mover. He has created a work of art which encompasses the times we are living in and is well worth a listen” – Ongoing History Of Protest Songs

“Strickland’s perspective that hip-hop and First Nations culture run parallel is a refreshing take and provides some insight as to why Indigenous hip-hop has become such a notable sensation in Canada and beyond” – BeatRoute

Toronto, ON – November 20, 2020 – This summer, Toronto-born and bred, Indigenous multidisciplinary artist, producer, engineer and DJ, David Strickland – known for his work on some of the most iconic Grammy and JUNO-award winning records by Toronto artists and North American Hip-Hop progenitors alike – released his long awaited album, Spirit Of Hip-Hop (June 29 via Entertainment One). Today, David continues a mission to champion artists within Indigenous and Hip Hop communities across North America by sharing Spirit Of Hip Hop The Remixes. It features fresh takes on the original songs by Gordo himself (David’s nickname) and some of his esteemed colleagues, including Toronto’s DJ Agile (BrassMunk, Big Black Lincoln), Rockwilder, and Hagler (Drake), to rising Canadian Indigenous artists, producer Boogey The Beat and award-winning singer-songwriter, Sebastian Gaskin. Listen to the project here and see the complete tracklist below. 

In addition to being busy at work behind the boards, David has been waxing poetic on his career and the bridge that connects the Indigenous and Hip Hop communities. David recently led a talk for House Of PainT festival in Ottawa, which you can watch here, and performed at Guild Of Music Supervisors Canada conference, Sound + Vision. A true multidisciplinary artist, David’s paintings have been featured in galleries across Canada, and most recently, an original piece graces the Indigenous Now playlist on Apple Music.

While listeners embraced the arrival of Spirit Of Hip Hop, David invited them to dive deep into the music through his Instagram live series, The David Strickland Show. The series provided an opportunity for audiences to connect with artists and music industry provided and share in their experiences on a variety of topics ranging from the state of Indigenous communities across North America, our current political climate, the importance of the arts and the power of HipHop. Guests included Ernie Paniccioli – David’s long-time mentor and revered photographer – followed by an episode with Maestro Fresh Wes and Rockwilder. Watch the series here.

David’s perspective, “The DJ is the Drummer; the MC is the Storyteller, the B-boy is the Dancer and the Graffiti Artist is the Sand Painter” is rooted in Spirit Of Hip Hop, as he emerges from behind the boards to share an embodiment of the teachings, art, traditions, and music of the community, aligned with his Indigenous heritage. Amongst an extensive collaboration roster, the album includes Indigenous rappers such as Supaman, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Artson, Que Rock, Drezus, Leonard Sumner, Joey Styles, Chippewa Travellers and more, while North American hip-hop legends EPMD, Saukrates, Def Squad (Redman, Erick Sermon, Keith Murray), Maestro Fresh Wes, and a posthumous verse from King Reign, are brought into the fold. 

The album’s first single, Turtle Island, highlights prolific Indigenous rapper, Supaman, Juno Award-winning singer, JRDN, Toronto rap legend Spade (of Citizen Kane), Toronto reggae icon Whitey Don, and Canadian-American rapper, Artson. Directed by Daniel Fortin of  Little Bear Big Wolf Pictures, and filmed by an all-Indigenous team at Six Nations Of The Grand River in Oshweken, Ontario, Turtle Island arrived during a period of uncertainty in the world, yet the song’s messages translate beyond borders, with potent, timely themes. Watch the video here. The spoken word introduction to the album, Spirit of Hip-Hopas narrated by iconic Indigenous Hip Hop photographer, and David’s long-time mentor, Ernie Paniccioli – you can watch and listen here

Get into the remixes below and stay tuned for more from David Strickland.

Spirit of Hip Hop The Remixes – Tracklist:
1. Spirit of Hip Hop (Gordo Remix)

2. Questions Last (Boogey The Beat Remix) 

3. Rise Or Fall (Gordo Remix) 

4. Times Runnin’ Away (DJ Agile Remix)

5. Turtle Island (Rockwilder Remix) 

6. Enemies (Hagler Remix) 

7. Feathers (Vanguards Remix) 

8. Truth (Big Sproxx Remix) 

9. Rez Life (Sebastia Gaskin Remix)

10. Turtle Island (Classic Roots x Gordo Dance Remix) 

Listen – Spirit Of Hip Hop The Remixes | Listen - Spirit Of Hip Hop
Watch Turtle Island: bit.ly/3ejcqOV
Watch Spirit Of Hip Hop: bit.ly/2VkckOY

DOWNLOAD – Press Photo | DOWNLOAD – Spirit Of Hip Hop The Remixes Art



About David Strickland
David “Gordo” Strickland has been quietly lurking behind the scenes as an engineer, a mixer and a producer on Hip-Hop and R&B records for the past two decades. His work has graced seminal tracks by the likes of Pete Rock, Erick Sermon, EPMD, Keith Murray, Redman and Method Man. Most crucially, he’s also been involved in records by almost every one of the ground-breaking Toronto hip-hop acts, including k-os, Ghetto Concept, Jelleestone, Kardinal Offishall, Saukrates, Jully Black, Divine Brown, Glenn Lewis, Choclair and Drake. Strickland, who was mentored alongside Noah “40” Shebib by Toronto production legend, Noel “Gadget” Campbell, was in on the ground floor for the OVO explosion, turning in Grammy-winning work behind the boards on Drake’s albums Thank Me Later, as well as its monster-hit successors, Take Care and Nothing Was the Same.

David was born and raised in Scarborough, Ontario and grew up in the infamous Gilder Housing Project. As an Indigenous Canadian with deep family roots running generations back to the East Coast along Mi’kmaq, Innu and Beothuk lines, his family from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Labrador and Northern Quebec has strong Cree and French roots that trace back to Samuel De Champlain.  He’s become a reverent student of the teachings of Ernie Paniccioli, Cree photographer and Hip-Hop Legend. Paniccioli has ventured that the parallels between the African-American history of slavery, oppression and segregation that first gave birth to hip-hop in the U.S. are so analogous to North America’s Indigenous peoples that hip-hop could be viewed as a sort of “reincarnation” of traditional Native culture expressed through 21st-century technology. From his perspective: “The DJ is the Drummer; the MC is the Storyteller, the B-boy is the Dancer and the Graffiti Artist is the Sand Painter.”

David is passionate about the plight of the Mi'kmaq people and recognition of his family lineage can be traced back by five generations. He is committed to restoring the dignity and respect stripped by an unconstitutional agreement that remove and denied Indian status from thousands of people.

David is also a prolific visual artist that has created hundreds of pieces to date, and has been featured at many galleries across Canada, including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. He continues to be a positive force in music, the arts and an inspiration to First Nations Youth across North America.

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