Hailing from Montana’s Crow Nation Reservation is a multi-talented Apsáalooke hip-hop artist named SupaMan , who was selected as MTV’s Artist of the Week on March 21st.
He combines rapping, singing, making crazy drum loops, and powwow fancy dancing into one thrilling performance.
“Native Americans grasp that culture of hip-hop because of the struggle,” SupaMan told NPR in 2011 . “Hip-hop was talking about the ghetto life, poverty, crime, drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy; all that crazy stuff that happens in the ghetto is similar to the reservation life. We can relate to that.”
And the artist knows those struggles all too well as the child of two alcoholic parents, and who spent much of his youth in foster care before moving in with his grandfather.
Initially for SupaMan, hip-hop was linked to a life of crime that the husband and father no longer approves:
“It was just nonsense. We would play the part, you know. We were wannabees, trying to be, like, these rappers on the rez. So we started doing the crime, robbing, went into houses and trade the merchandise and then get weed from the merchandise, and then started selling. The way hip-hop influenced me in my earlier years is in a negative way. I mean, I hate to say that, but it’s true.”
Watch SupaMan perform his song “Prayer Loop Song” in the Billings Gazette’s studio above, and learn more about his intriguing story at mic.com .