GRAMMY AND JUNO-AWARD WINNING PRODUCER DAVID STRICKLAND TELLS THE TRUTH ON NEW SINGLE FEAT. MAESTRO FRESH WES, QUE ROCK, LEONARD SUMNER AND SOUFY
WATCH VIDEO FOR TURTLE ISLAND
AND SPIRIT OF HIP HOP FEAT. ERNIE PANICCIOLI
NEW ALBUM SPIRIT OF HIP-HOP DUE JUNE 29 VIA EONE FEATURING TRACKS WITH EPMD, SAKURATES, DEF SQUAD, KING REIGN, SNOTTY NOSE REZ KIDS, SUPAMAN JOEY STYLEZ, DREZUS AND MORE
Toronto, ON – May 27, 2020 – As Grammy and JUNO Award-winning Indigenous multidisciplinary artist and producer, David Strickland – known for his work behind the scenes of some of Hip-Hop’s iconic records – prepares to release his forthcoming album, Spirit Of Hip-Hop, he shares Truth, featuring Rap Prime Minister Maestro Fresh Wes, Que Rock, Leonard Sumner, and Soufy. The project’s third single arrives with strong messages and great timing, as David celebrates his birthday today. Listen to it here.
“Truth takes on a unique production structure, not present in the previous releases. I enlisted personnel consisting of the legendary Boogey The Beat on alternate drums, Forrest Eaglespeaker on acoustic guitar & bass, the Rap Prime Minister Maestro, whom I have an extensive history with, Que Rock of Ready 2 Rock, Soufy from Detroit (who’s verse speaks for me) and Leonard Sumner from Winnipeg, a legend in his own right, to jump on vocals,” David says of the song. “Resulting in an emotionally honest, raw, beautiful, reflective, and positive song; full of powerful energy. Being able to bring artists and musicians together from different walks of life who may otherwise never collaborated musically to create the meditation that is Truth.”
“It was an honour to work with Gordo...his project is timely and heroic,” adds Maestro Fresh Wes, addressing David by nickname, proving their longstanding bond.
The cover art features a picture of David’s ancestors from the Nova Scotia Museum of Natural History (Printed Matters Files). It was chosen, as it connects to David’s truth as an Indigenous person (whose existence and lineage is often mired in controversy) striving for truth hidden in plain sight. By releasing it on his birthday, it is 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.
Truth follows second single, Feathers, which David calls “a song about hope, journey, reflection, priorities, self-compassion, self-assessment, self-discovery, redemption and ripping flows with letters on some hip hop,” featuringToronto-based Anishinaabe rapper, Que Rock, and Chippewa Travellers. The album’s first single, Turtle Island, song features 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-Hop, as narrated by iconic Indigenous Hip Hop photographer, and David’s longtime 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’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 scenes to share an embodiment of the teachings, art, traditions, and music of the community, aligned with his Indigenous heritage. The album includes Indigenous rappers such as Supaman, Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Artson, Que Rock, Drezus, Leonard Sumner, Joey Styles, and more. The album also features North American hip-hop legends EPMD, Saukrates, Def Squad, and a posthumous verse from King Reign. See the complete tracklist below, and stay tuned for more.
Spirit Of Hip-Hop Tracklist:
1. Spirit of Hip Hop (Feat. Ernie Paniccioli, Artson & Northern Eagle Singers)
2. Questions Last (Feat. Jon C, Charlie Fettah & Bubblz
3. Rise of Fall (Feat. Aspects, Nataanii Means & The Northwest Kid)
4. Helpless (Feat. Violent Ground & Chippewa Travelers)
5. Times Runnin Away (Feat. King Reign, Que Rock & Saukrates)
6. Turtle Island (Feat. Spade, Supaman, JRDN, Artson & Whitey Don)
6. Isn’t He Sumpthin (Feat. Def Squad – Redman, Erick Sermon, Keith Murray)
8. Window (Feat. Drezus & Hakeem Roze)
9. Enemies (Feat. Sten Jodi & Snotty Nose Rez Kids)
10. Feathers (Feat. Que Rock & Chippewa Travelers)
11. Armed & Dangerous (Feat. EPMD & Saukrates)
Scratching performed by DJ Diverse
12. Truth (Feat. Maestro, Que Rock, Soufy & Leonard Sumner)
13. Thunderbirds (Feat. Joey Stylez & City Natives)
14. Cuanto Tu Cuenta (Whats Your Price) (Feat. Carabela301)
15. Whoa (Feat. Drezus, Joey Stylez, Que Rock, Chase Manhattan, Joey Stylez & Frankie Payne)
16. Rez Life (Feat. Violent Ground, Que Rock, Drezus, Joey Stylez & Hellnback)
Buy/stream Truth: eone.ffm.to/truth
Buy/stream Feathers: ffm.to/feathers
Watch Turtle Island: bit.ly/3ejcqOV
Pre-order Spirit Of Hip Hop: ffm.to/turtleisland
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
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