BandHip HopSpoken Word

Rhymekeepers are keepers of story in rhyme; the old school made new. These Aboriginal urban artists carry forward traditional values in contemporary vehicles. Selected from across Canada for their synthesis of skills and values, this compilation represents virtually every style of hip hop.


Each artist in the Rhymekeepers project is an independent artist, taking on any challenge from their individual stance.

CURTIS CLEARSKY born and raised in the Vancouver area, and is from the Blackfoot (Blood)/Ojibway (Saulteaux) Nations. He works with urban Indigenous youth and is the Project Coordinator at Knowledgeable Aboriginal Youth Association. Curtis extensively volunteers in his community and is currently the Vice President of the Board of Directors for Urban Native Youth Association. His educational background is in Scriptwriting; he is a graduate from the Vancouver Film School (2002) and Aboriginal Film and TV Program at Capilano College (2000). Curtis is most notable as a Hip Hop Performance/Recording Artist. Recently has been informally inducted into the UN Messengers of Truth project geared to address urbanization issues through Hip Hop. Curtis's passion lies within grassroots movement; he is a community activist/organizer and is a founding member of the Native Youth Movement, Vancouver Chapter, and Mobilization Against War and Occupation.

EEKWOL is a hip hop artist hailing from Cree Territory. She is one of the main artists of the independent label, Mils Productions, which she co-owns with her producer/brother, Mils. Through their original music they display their activist roots as creators and supporters of both Hip Hop and Indigenous culture and rights. In 2004, Eekwol released her CAMA award-winning full-length debut titled, Apprentice to the Mystery. Produced by Mils, it has gained national and international attention.

GEORGE IGNACE aka GEO is Secwepemc from Skeetchestn near Kamloops, B.C. Geo writes, composes and records his own music and the work of other young artists under the banner Sundown Stylistics (SDS). With 11 cd’s to his credit, Geo has performed across Canada and in Germany. An accomplished artist his work has been displayed at the Kamloops Art Gallery and Thompson Rivers University. Geo co- authored the article, Tagging and Rappin Between the Rez and the Small City. He appreciates speaking to other youth and voicing their issues and concerns.

GREENTARA is an award-winning ethnomusicologist of Cherokee, African and Scottish ancestry, has performed at the United Nations (New York), Canadian Music Week (Toronto), Fete de la Musique (Berlin), the Baltimore Music Festival, Frostbite Music Festival (Yukon) and the Vans Warped Tour. GreenTara performed with acid-jazz ensemble Honeyspot and hip hop ensemble Triple Three before recording her debut album, Music for a Mixed Nation and the anticipated sophomore release Global Baby. She is a five-time consecutive winner of Australia’s Arts Factory Talent Quest.

HELLNBACK is a mainstay vocalist of Team Rezofficial, hailing from the First Nations surrounding Hobbema, Alberta. He first recorded with the artists who would become Rezofficial on their compilation Hard Work And Hustle in 2002. Shortly thereafter, he released his first solo EP entitled Them Chief Wahoo Caps, followed by appearances on the latest Team Rezofficial release, The Foundation. Hellnback currently works with artists such as Big Stomp, J Mak, Big Dro, Big Slim, L's-Aqui and Tomislav – a crew that spans virtually all of Turtle Island. Their latest work is said to “capture the essence of reservation life and mixed with urban flavour.”

KINNIE STARR is an MC-singer-poet-actress-beatnik - musicmaker - who was born in Calgary, became her adult self in Vancouver, and was raised on heavy doses of Zeppelin, Sade and De La Soul's Daisy Age.... Discovered she could kick it live one night in NYC (1993), when an open mic called, and the crowd carried her through three blazing encores ("edgy... enchanting," said the New Yorker).... Tidy (Canada 1996; U.S.A. 1997) was the first of Starr's four records - her new one is called Anything, but we'll get there in a minute - which drew critical acclaim from all corners. "An artistic, feminist, angry, well-articulated rant of the highest order," said allmusic.com; "raw, funny and definitely an original," added the Globe and Mail.

LAKOTA JONEZ’ style has been compared to the divine styles and royalty of MC Lyte and Queen Latifah. Under the influences of LL Cool J, the Fugees, Method Man, and Tupac, Lakota began to embrace the art of writing songs; not only for her self but for other artists including accomplished musician Derek Miller. Mizz Jonez has performed in a variety of places as a member of a crew from Ottawa, a half of a duo with brother Cherokee Kid and now with the guidance of Bigg Momma is pursuing a solo career. She continues to collaborate with a number of lyrically skilled MC’s such as members of Rez Official, as she continues working on her upcoming EP with producers Big Stomp and J-Mak in preparation for her Debut album to be p


Various Lyrical Excerpts

Written By: Rhymekeepers

Grab a pen and pad and get things off my chest that cats pay doctors too much for. - Hellnbak

See me. Watch my grow. I don’t need you to validate me, though. - Skeena Reese

Sunset and sunrup, it’s all the same to me./I backbend and twist. I come up legendary -Kinnie Starr

Remember being a child, eyes quiet and wild?/That’s the place I go to when I spit from the inside. –Kinnie Starr

I’m exploding your town putting words on the beats./I’m burning your lease. This is mine to the death./What I learn in the streets has been rather complex. -Manik

Outside society. Sit in the shadows with rap./Dismantle this crap/ business they try to use as a trap. –OS12

Real rhymes throw these real retorts./I can’t abort this mission/I was given life for a purpose./I want the right ears to hear this because it’s worth it. - Curtis Clearsky

How could I live off the land when it’s made of pavement? Looking at poor Mother Nature and she’s under enslavement. We got our culture and our language and it’s us to save it. -Geo

I’m repping for my section/not to mention imperfection./When I look at my complexion/A question brings the freshest essence. –Think Twice

If you flatter yourself you scatter yourself thin/ Wake up to yourself. Fight your battles within. -GreenTara

Mass productivity to mass consumption to mass destruction. I’m asking something -Eekwol

Having this dream of escape/ while others are trapped in this ravenous race -Eekwol

Innocence at risk, we fail to see the changes. Consequences exist. They fall to the fate of stranger - Star Nayea

The time has come to share the secrets with everyone. - Sandy Scofield

Unlike many other brothers and sisters on lock/ we find our culture is all we got./From the rez to the city/My people are you with me? - Wabs

If the world seems dark now, it’s just so you can shine your light/So choose tomorrow, people, raise your consciousness up right. - Shatta-I


GreenTara - GLOBAL BABY - 2007
Sandy Scofield - NIKAWIY ASKIY - 2007
Kinnie Starr - ANYTHING - 2006

Stressed Street Records
Fluffy Records
Sundown Stylistiks
Easy Bake Records

Rhymekeepers is currently available for purchase at:
Play De Record, Toronto, ON
Toronto Women’s Bookstore, Toronto, ON
Phonographique, Saskatoon, SK
The Inner Sleeve, Calgary, AB
Beatstreet Records, Vancouver, BC

Set List

(please contact individual artists for booking information)