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 – July 7, 2020 – 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, on June 29 via Entertainment One. To celebrate, David highlights album track, Isn’t He Sumpthin’, featuring NYC’s iconic Def Squad (Redman, Erick Sermon, Keith Murray). Check out the Isn’t He Sumpthin’ artwork below by 9thilly, The Comic Book Rapper, and listen to the album here

David welcomes all to dive deep into the music through his Instagram live series, The David Strickland Show. On Friday, July 10 at 7 p.m. ET, David will interview prolific rapper and producer, Rockwilder. The series provides an opportunity for his audience to connect with artists and music industry leaders 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 Hip-Hop. Everything launched on June 19 with Ernie Paniccioli – David’s long-time mentor and revered Hip-Hop photographer – followed by an episode with Maestro Fresh Wes last week. Tune in here tomorrow, and watch the latest episodes 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, 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 build to launch Spirit Of Hip-Hop included three singles sampling the project’s sonic mosaic. The latest, Truthfeatures Rap Prime Minister, Maestro Fresh Wes, Que Rock, Leonard Sumner, and Soufy. David released Truth on his birthday, as a declaration of love and respect for his ancestors, all his relations and is one of the Seven Grandfather Teachings; Respect, Honesty, Truth, Humility, Courage, Wisdom and Love. Second single, Featherswhich David callsa song about hope, journey, reflection, priorities, self-compassion, self-assessment, self-discovery, redemption and ripping flows with letters on some hip hop,” includes Toronto-based Anishinaabe rapper, Que Rock, and Chippewa Travellers. 

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 arrives 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

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 has been sharing his story, with recent interviews and features in ComplexExclaim!, DJ BoothHip Hop CanadaET CanadaSidedoor MagazineCanadian BeatsHip Hop VancouverCBC MusicCBC My PlaylistCanadian Musician RadioCTV Your MorningeTalkNew Theory RadioBeatRouteV13The Strombo ShowCBC’s q, RX Music, a live chat and DJ set on CityTV Breakfast Television, an exclusive interview for SiriusXM’s Live @ Home series, with more on the way. 

Get into Spirit Of Hip-Hop below and stay tuned for more from David Strickland.

Listen to Spirit Of Hip Hop: ffm.to/spiritofhiphop 
Watch Turtle Islandbit.ly/3ejcqOV
Watch Spirit Of Hip-Hop: bit.ly/2VkckOY  

DOWNLOAD – Hi Res Press Photo | DOWNLOAD – Hi Res Album Art | DOWNLOAD – Isn’t He Sumpthin’ Artwork


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.”

The teachings, the art, the traditions and the music are a beautiful mix all rooted in the Spirit of Hip-Hop. As David embarks on his first production project, he tinkers endlessly with the wealth of material at his disposal. The album, Spirit Of Hip-Hop, is scheduled for release June 29, 2020 via Entertainment One, and matches some of the hungriest and most wildly talented Indigenous rappers from Canada and the U.S. like Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Drezus and Supaman with some of more established international hip-hop greats he’s had the good fortune of working with like Erick Sermon, EPMD and Def Squad. David is passionate about the plight of the Mi'kmaq people and recognition of his family lineage can be traced back five generations. He is committed to restoring the dignity and respect, stripped by an unconstitutional agreement, that removed and denied Indian status from thousands of people. The debut single from the album is Turtle Island, featuring Supaman, Artson, Spade, JRDN & Whitey Don. This song is a state of the union on modern daily life for Indigenous People across North America mixing traditional dancehall & hip-hop into a uniquely rich sound that’s rarely been heard like this before. What’s coming will be fresh, filled with sounds that force the listener to “open their eyes and listen”. A powerful message that gives a voice to the voiceless, that encourages Native youth to take hold of a music genre that’s revolutionized the world and use its power to heal, educate and unite. 


About Entertainment One

Entertainment One Ltd. (LSE:ETO) is a global independent studio that specializes in the development, acquisition, production, financing, distribution and sales of entertainment content. The Company’s diversified expertise spans across film, television and music production and sales, family programming, merchandising and licensing, and digital content. Through its global reach and expansive scale, powered by deep local market knowledge, the Company delivers the best content to the world.

Entertainment One’s robust network includes film and television studio The Mark Gordon Company; content creation venture Amblin Partners with Steven Spielberg, DreamWorks Studios, Participant Media, and Reliance Entertainment; leading feature film production and global sales company Sierra Pictures; unscripted television production companies Renegade 83, Paperny Entertainment and Force Four Entertainment; world-class music labels Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang; and award-winning digital agency Secret Location.

The Company’s rights library is exploited across all media formats and includes more than 100,000 hours of film and television content and approximately 40,000 music tracks. www.entertainmentone.com