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“Remember the first time you heard a song, verse, line, beat, or poem that helped you make sense of your world? Remember how it spoke to whatever you were going through at the time?”

For the artists featured on The Last Stand Mixtape, it was these moments that inspired and fortified their belief that music, art, and poetry had the power to impact and empower lives.

“As people who have found art as our medium of expression we know firsthand the power that creativity holds by building something out of nothing, creating something tangible that moves those around us to feel, relate, and empathize,” said Tanaya Winder, director of the mixtape and spoken word poet from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. “Our youth need examples of expression from people who have walked the talk by practicing their art.”

And this is exactly what The Last Stand Mixtape delivers. 

Featuring over twenty of Indian Country’s talented R&B, Hip Hop and Spoken Word artists, every track speaks directly to our Native youth and acknowledges their sacredness and the struggles they face. Each artist sharing their truths and experiences to remind our youth that there is nothing we cannot overcome.

Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Gang Violence, Domestic Violence. Sexual Violence. Environmental Violence. Police Brutality. Mental Illness. School to Prison Pipelines. Stereotypes. Poverty. Racism. Suicide. The list of issues that impact the lives of our Native Youth are endless, but as spoken word artist, Rowie Shebala shares in her poem, Indian Phoenix:

“We Rise From These Ashes, Just Like Any Phoenix.”

As I was listening to The Last Stand Mixtape, I got to thinking about the work that these artists do for our youth and communities and a quote that I ran across that said “Be the person you needed when you were younger”. This is who these talented artists have chosen to be for our youth and I couldn’t be more proud or thankful. The Last Stand Mixtape is a reflection of the love and hope that they have for Native youth and it is a celebration of our indigeneity, love, strength, and resiliency. So, listen and download it now.

You can get The Last Stand Mixtape at http://laststandmixtape.bandcamp.com/releases

About The Author

Johnnie Jae

Johnnie Jae is of the Otoe-Missouria and Choctaw tribes of Oklahoma. She is the managing partner of Native Max Magazine, founder of A Tribe Called Geek, and contributor to Native News Online. She is the manager and producer for the Success Native Style Radio Network, where she hosts the Indigenous Flame and A Tribe Called Geek radio shows. She is also a founding board member of Not Your Mascots.

Known as the “Brown Ball of Fury,” Jae seamlessly shifts from humor and pop culture to advocacy and digital media, which has made her a much-sought after speaker and commentator. Her work has been discussed in many media outlets, such as Indian Country Today, ATPN, CBC, USA Today, BBC, Global Post, Women’s E-News, Takepart.com and Upworthy. She has been a guest on several radio shows, including Native America Calling, Native Trailblazers, BBC World Have Your Say and ICI Radio.

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