Gyasi Ross, activist, attorney, and ICTMN contributing editor, posted the video for a second track from his debut hip hop album ISSKOOTSIK (Before Here Was Here), available on iTunes, and he’s again paying tribute to one of his—and Indian country’s—heroes.
“Winona LaDuke” tells a first-person story of “falling for” the titular activist—an experience that turns a somewhat apathetic young Native into one of the concerned faithful. “To tell you the truth, I was there for the cheap ganja in the park,” Ross raps. After hearing LaDuke speak, the narrator brushes up on philosphy and returns for the next rally—wearing moccasins and eager to learn more from his new teacher.
Gyasi Ross – “Winona LaDuke” from ISSKOOTSIK (Before Here Was Here)
“It’s obviously, an homage to the amazing mother, writer and activist Winona LaDuke,” Ross says. “More broadly, however, it is an evolutionary tale of the cathartic power of female energy and strong women generally. It is a quick illustration of how the power of the right woman can evolve a man from searching for simple pleasure to wanting to learn the classics and seek deeper existential meaning. We see how Michelle Obama keeps Barack on-point–similarly, Winona LaDuke is the story of how she made the narrator want to be a better man.”