Introduce your self

My name is Derek Edenshaw known to most by my alias Manik I am from the Haida and Cree Nations but reside with my family in the Eastern parts of the City of Vancouver .


What other projects are you involved in supporting and highlighting Vancouver’s Native community ? 
I am a longtime advocate of Native Youth voice. One of the most effective tools our generation has been privy to is Hip Hop. For the last three years I have organized the Native Hip Hop Festival in Vancouver which is a multi elemental celebration of Aboriginal and the adoption of Hip Hop. We have brought many award winning artists to share their works with Vancity. This was all a result of being a recording artist and performer for the past 15 yrs. I can write a book about how I effectively used Hip Hop to empower a people who needed new approaches to a old problem called genocide. 
What is your history in the Vancouver music scene ? 
I have been promoting and performing and performing in Vancouver since 2000. I would go to every event possible and eventually pestered enough promoters to get myself not only in shows but backstage.I cliqued with two crews – Fresh Coast in Vancity and  huge Native Hip Hop powerhouse crew Stressed Street. On top of singles and mixtaoes  I was a cypher fien and loved battling and fteestyling. P I became known nationally in 2006 when Much Music started playing my first big single  named after the hood known as Commercial Drive. I was also a battle fiend, having entered every possible MC battle. I have since won more battle competitions than any other Vancouver MC. I was so into the MC battle culture I caught the attention of a then new company called KOTD.  I quickly became the President of the Vancouver division. I had to step away to dedicate time to a then newborn daughter and I passed the promotional title and duties onto Emotionz.  I have constantly released singles and mixtapes but my next major project had been three years in the making and its titled AlterNative Education. I am partnering with Vancity OG producer named Sichuan to create a hybrid project combining Haida music and Hip Hop! 10940624_10155221817325294_6035455792873364930_n
Can you speak on the curation process of this event you have put together allot of different and young performers ?
I have travelled across NorthAmerica and I made sure to pay attention as to what natives were holding it down for the movement. Alot of the performers are people I have met along the road and I seen how Vancity will appreciate the artists. We have a strong network and tend to keep in touch .
Can you explain the event to us what it is all about, all the elements.
The upcoming event in Friday will have various artists displaying their talents. From 8-11there will be live artists placed about the venue painting art pieces . The three artists all do a hybrid mix of Graf and Native Art which will be sure to impress any true art fan. There will be performances by Cody the Catch who brings a true school style and well rehearsed stage show for the audience to vibe to. Mama Rudegyal is a Calgary transplant who mixes multiple genres of music in her performances . She is a mix of Native and Caribbian which adds alot of flavour and content to her music. I will also be performing alongside DJ Sichuan who is a Vancouver staple having produced for every significant act to have came from this city. If will be a mashup of NorthWest Coast singing , live production and drums plus my best songs from. Older projects . I will also debut music from The AltetNative Education project. The headline performer is Ant Loc from Washington State. He is part of a group Called Savage Family who are easily the top dawgs as far as political Native Hip Hop artists . 
From 11 on we will follow the Happy End Fridays format of dope DJs to get the party dancing . To set things off we will have DJ Kookum Playing a trap set. Next up will be one third of Klash Akt , Krisp Kutz. He will play classic Hip Hop mixed with turntablism. Our headline DJ is Edmonton’s own Creeazn. He started off as a bboy but he has since became a serious DJ having won the Edmonton 3style competition amongst others. He will play a amazing mix of new and old tunes with a emphasis on fun!
I see there is a fundraising element can you explain the concept and what the money is raised for ? 
We are fundraising for a new project I started called Sweetgrass Roots . I was talking to a Native street artist who is the same age as me. He suffers from mental illness and survives off welfare and whatever art he can create . He was carving with a xacto blade. I know this must been difficult but I thought maybe he preferred it. I asked him why he uses it and he said it’s all he has. I asked if he feels his art would improve if he had the right tools and he said he wishes all the time to be able to afford proper wood carving tools. I want to buy him and similar artist the proper supplies they need to produce quality art. Artists supporting artist!
What do you want the general public to take away from this event ? 
For years Canadian Hip Hop artists have suffered because Canada wasn’t ” hood ” enough. I want to show the world that there is a struggle but those suffering the most , the Aboriginal population , are working hard to move beyond the victim stigma. We are very familiar with poverty , abuse at the hands of the government , addiction. Issues and the list goes on. We also have our own unique culture that is very similar to Hip Hop. We have drums which is like the producer or DJ , we have PowWow , West Coast and other dance styles  which is like breakin . We have singers and speakers which is the M.C.. We have art on the walls of longhouses and Teepees which is like graf. I want people to understand that we have been doing Hip Hop before it was ever called Hip Hop .
What other projects are you currently working on and what can we look forward too ?
 Another interesting project we are working on is The Lay the Beatdown Beat Battles. We will be doing these out of Fortune . It is a great way to check out the dope producers in Van!
Anything else you would like to add ?
Come check out the show and see for yourself that some of the best Hip Hop coming out is in fact Native Hip Hop. Peace and love to all!

More info and get on the $10 list for Happy Ending Fridays National Aboriginal Weekend celebration this Friday HERE.

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