Canadian Musician - March-April 2022 - Page 35

PHOTO : DUSTIN RABIN
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SNRK PERFORMING AT THE 2019 POLARIS MUSIC PRIZE GALA
This January marked five years since the release of Snotty Nose Rez Kids ’ self-titled debut album . Incredibly , that LP was followed up just months later with The Average Savage , an album that turned heads across the Canadian hip-hop community and wider music industry , earning a shortlist spot for the Polaris Music Prize and a Juno Award nomination . It showcased Snotty Nose Rez Kids ’ seemingly innate ability to create songs that perfectly blended a great groove , vocal dexterity , and lyrical intelligence . You want to bounce around with glee and rage at injustice . It ’ s a formula they ’ ve continued to perfect ever since .
Since that pair of independently-released albums in 2017 , from the outside , it seems that the duo of Metz and Quinton “ Yung Trybez ” Nyce have been putting up one “ W ” after another as their stature has grown , including a second consecutive Polaris shortlist in 2019 for their third LP , Trapline . From tour to tour and release to release , they ’ ve earned growing audiences , festival spots , and glowing media attention . Life inside the storm , however , often feels different .
“ For me , it feels like it was yesterday that we started . But also , it feels like our careers have been put on a standstill , obviously because of COVID . So , it still feels like we just started this thing only three years ago , and there were a lot of missed opportunities ,” says Nyce , who joins us with the commotion of family and friends in the background , and the occasional kid peeking over his shoulder to see who he ’ s talking to .
“ When you first started making music , and you ’ re first blowing up , you ’ re the new kid on the block and everybody wants a piece , everybody wants to listen , everybody wants to get to know you . Then , once they know you , it kind of fizzles out . So , the last few years , it ’ s felt really slow to me , but I think it ’ s the pandemic ,” Nyce continues . “ I can ’ t tell if it ’ s the pandemic or just being that name that everybody knows . Like , the buzz is gone . But we ’ re still doing our thing . I feel like the last tour we did made me realize that it ’ s not fizzled out , it ’ s more of a COVID thing … That last American tour just made me realize that , okay , we ’ re still popping .”
The “ holy shit ” moment that confirmed the buzz is alive came at the Hi-Dive in Denver on Oct . 21 , 2021 , amid a short U . S . tour to promote their new album , Life After .
“ Throughout the tour we had corded mics ,” recalls Metz . “ So , me and Q , we jump around and I think one of us stepped on the cord and his mic became unplugged and the crowd noticed it and they fucking finished his lines ! He plugged his mic back in and gets back right into it . When you talk about ‘ holy shit ’ moments , that was one of them for me . I was like , ‘ Holy fuck , that ’ s crazy !’ Especially in a city that we ’ ve never been to before .”
From the effusive praise fans and critics have had for Life After since its release in October , Snotty Nose Rez Kids can be assured that their star has not dimmed . In fact , while there ’ s been an uninterrupted love affair with Snotty Nose Rez Kids in the Canadian music press since 2017 , Life After seems to have sparked a noticeable momentum surge for the duo in the U . S . From my own vantage point , as a podcast addict , I noticed it a few months ago when two of my favourite U . S . -based music programs both heaped praised on Metz and Nyce .
First , the Vulture podcast Switched on Pop dedicated its Nov . 16 th episode to Snotty Nose Rez Kids and the host , musicologist Nate Sloan , opened the program by saying : “ Recently , I encountered a band that stopped me in my tracks . Merging the traditions of hip-hop and Indigenous music is the rap duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids . Hailing from the Haisla people of what is now British Columbia , they make a sound that is not quite like anything I ’ ve ever heard . On songs like ‘ War Club ’ with DJ Shub , they connect Indigenous struggle to the Black Lives Matter movement , and on ‘ Boujee Natives ,’ Snotty Nose Rez Kids celebrate Indigenous culture through a modern lens . And as much as this music has a message , it also bangs .”
Then , on the Dec . 22 nd episode of Sound Opinions , host Jim DeRogatis said , “ I ’ m going to play you a piece of music that ’ s been blowing
CANADIAN MUSICIAN 35