“I’m not the Asian guy from the Black Eyed Peas,” Taboo announced with a laugh, “I’m the *Native* guy from the Black Eyed Peas!”
In an unprecedented cross section of athletics, entertainment, and Native American style, Nike N7 has announced their newest ambassador: Jaime Gomez of the Shoshone Nation, who is perhaps better known as the rapper/breakdancer “Taboo” from world famous supergroup, the Black Eyed Peas.
Taboo initially connected with Sam McCracken, N7’s general manager, through a mutual friend, famous Pawnee artist Bunky Echo-Hawk. The collaboration took off from there.
Since N7 usually chooses professional athletes to represent their brand and mission, the collaboration with Taboo is unique. Even though Taboo is not technically an athlete in the conventional sense, he is, to say the least, a mover.
“There’s the players on the field, but there’s also the players on the halftime show,” Taboo said, “That’s who I was. I’m the kid that never picked up a basketball or a baseball, but I love to dance. Sports are not the only active outlet.”
And if ever there were a halftime show champion, Taboo would be it. In 2011, he took the stage on the biggest halftime show in the world—the Superbowl. Entertaining live is Taboo’s favorite element of show business. It’s his opportunity to connect with the audience and make the music come to life through dance. Performing at the Superbowl is just one of Taboo’s many accomplishments as an entertainer. Since their 1992 debut, the Black Eyed Peas have garnered a dedicated fan base of millions through their many hit singles and chart topping albums.
Taboo is hoping that his global audience and international following from his work with the Black Eyed Peas will draw far-reaching support for Nike N7 and their initiatives. He’s also hoping that he will be able to inspire more indigenous youth around the world to approach unconventional styles of movement, like dance.
“Nike N7 is all about activating the youth,” Taboo said, “As a father—I have 4 kids—it’s important to me to lead by example. I don’t want to just leave this world with a catalogue of music. I’m trying to leave a legacy as a great human being who does something for my culture and for humanity.”
Taboo recalls that as a Mexican/Native American kid growing up in Los Angeles, he didn’t have a lot of Native role models to look to in the entertainment industry. But, like many Native kids, his grandma kept him connected to the culture and served as his number one motivator and supporter.
“Ever since I was 5 years old, she always told me to practice, practice, practice, and her face would light up with joy when I would take the stage in the living room,” Taboo said. “To this day, my grandmother’s spirit and influence is the frequency that I tap into when I get on stage to dance in front of thousands.”
Nike N7’s slogan—“move your generation”—falls in line with Taboo’s dreams for himself and for Native youth.
“With the help of N7, I want to show that the more we align ourselves to represent our beautiful culture and channel our Native roots through movement, we empower everybody.”