Life as a First Nations member (“Native”, in case you’re not sure), especially one who grew up on the reservations, can be incredibly tough.
Komplex Kai is a member of the Tulalip Tribe and is a rising star on the club hip hop circuit. His music isn’t entirely visionary, but it’s a gritty and raw look at life on the reservation.
I’d be lying if I said I felt his style or flow, but I know I can respect what he’s going out there to try and do.
Here’s what Andrew Matson of the Seattle Times said:
Addressing alcoholism, poverty, and the support/negligence/harm that comes from a fractured, chronically underestimated people, Kai’s brilliance was in not talking down to his young audience. His swear words and allusions to sex and drugs would only add up to “adult content” for Tipper Gore. Loudly applauding every track, the mostly native and almost-full Bagley Wright audience wasn’t offended.
Even though he sounds (quality wise) like something I recorded in my basement, i’m going to post a couple of tracks so you can get a feel for it.
Here’s I was born.[audio:http://cache08-music02.myspacecdn.com/64/std_5c72965254ab74878a233ba5b09016c3.mp3]
And here’s What’s done is done[audio:http://cache02-music01.myspacecdn.com/15/std_696ae1e41e61364afb8773caaf73daac.mp3]