Rapper with First Nation heritage inspires young people to succeed
SASKATOON – Recording artist Lindsay Knight has dedicated her career to helping young people dream big and stay true to themselves. Her career, however, didn’t come without a struggle.
Knight’s early years were marked by adversity. Born in Winnipeg as a member of the Muskoday First Nation, she moved to Saskatoon when she was five.
She never actually lived on a reserve, but nevertheless grew up with the sting of racism because of her Plains Cree heritage (she’s also half Russian and Polish).
Surrounded by poverty and drug addiction, Knight’s life was on the path to nowhere.
“I had no respect for myself,” said Knight.
“I didn’t care whether I lived or died.”
But then she discovered hip hop, and began to turn to it as an outlet for self expression. It turned out that would be what would lift her out of poverty and onto a solid career track as a recording artist.
“Another thing you hear in hip hop is ‘hip hop saved my life.’ And for me it very much saved my life,” explained Knight.
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Along with producing albums, Knight travels to schools around Saskatoon to speak with, and perform for, young people. She finds she has a knack for connecting with them due to her life experience.
“Her music is deep,” said Nutana Collegiate music teacher Brett Balon, who recently invited her to perform at his school.
“The lyrics both cut and make sense, and I think students respond to that.”
Like her previous work, Knight’s newest album combines the sound of First Nations instruments and words with hip hop beats – a cultural combination with a unique, authentic sound. It goes well with the lesson she tries to teach young people, to be proud of who they are.
Knight goes by the stage name “Eekwol” which coincidentally rings of equality. Her next album is entitled Good Kill and will be released in the summer of 2015.
by Calvin To (globalnews.ca)