'smart songs' (Hip Hop)gives lesson on Native American history
Condensed by Native Village
Two guys who sing about social studies
have done songs about the Constitution, our presidents,
state capitals -- even the flag. Their latest musical lesson
involves American Indians.
This Native American-inspired tune
is the latest in a series
of hip-hop "smart songs." Their aim is to entertain and to
inspire learning. Think of this as "schoolhouse rap" for
today's young generation.
co-creator Jeff DuJardin spent months reading,
writing and researching, putting together all the pieces.
"It was a very involved process to create this project,"
said DuJardin. "I have a friend on the East Coast who
composed the beat and the music. I have a friend right here
in L.A. who did the mixing and the mastering. We got some
guys, about four different guys, filming it.
"We went to about three different pow-wows and met with a
bunch of different Native Americans at these pow-wows," said
At first, DuJardin says, Native people were hesitant to help
with the project. But when they realized the project was
meant to educate kids about American Indian
history, they were glad to lend a hand. A dozen or so even took
part in the music video.
"You're getting a history lesson, really, but you don't know
you are," said Cody Jones, a member of the Eastern Shoshone
Tribe. "A lot of people in this country are familiar with
Cherokee, Comanche and Lakota and past that, you know,
nobody knows about the rest of them."
There are more than 550 federally recognized tribes in the
Carmen Cisneros, part of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, loves the
message this Smart Song sends.
"I just think it's a great way for people to learn about the
Native American culture and how we started," said Cisneros.
"They value nature and the land. They value peace," said
DuJardin. "And they value their family and their ancestors
and so they want the generations ahead of them to learn
about that culture.
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