Hip hop artist and "vaping" advocate Emerson Windy has gone all in with a faux-American Indian look and attitude, and Natives are asking him to cease and apologize.
Windy's latest video is for a track called "Peace Pipe" off his album Herojuana. In the video, as on the album cover, Windy wears a feather headdress. The song's lyrics are mainly about smoking marijuana (unsurprising, given the album's title), which he conflates with the idea of the Native American "peace pipe." The idea of a "peace pipe" itself is a vast oversimplification that dates to early contact with Europeans — American Indians from all over Turtle Island smoked pipes on various ceremonial occasions.
But that is likely beside the point — although there are some shots of what looks like a pipe in the video, Windy is more likely referring to a vape pen — akin to an e-cigarette but used to inhale vapor infused with concentrated marijuana oil. Windy actively promotes a line of flavorings called "Mr. Good Vape"; the company's logo can be seen at the start of the video, and bottles of flavorings such as "Melon Head" are on display in some shots.
The video also contains footage of powwow dancers, as well as shots of Monument Valley, on the Navajo Nation. Here it is:
The track's chorus goes "Pass that mothafuckin' Peace Pipe, CHIEF / Blow a bag with me," and in one section Windy riffs on "Arapahoe":
They call me CHIEF up in this bitch, ho
Windy know a rap-a-ho (heya heya)
Windy Boy a rap-a-ho (mic checka)
I'm a certified trap-a-ho
Gotta sell my dope, bitch I gotta go
Another manifestation of Windy's Native fetish is the name he uses for his followers and fans: "Windyians."
The American Indian Movement of Indiana and Kentucky has launched an online petition (which at the time of this posting has 631 of its target 1000 signatures) demanding that Windy remove the video from YouTube and apologize. Their statement reads, in part:
This song and video are disrespectful and demeaning towards Indigenous people of this land. We are also calling on Mr. Emerson Windy to MAN UP and remove the offensive video and send out a letter apologizing for his blatant disrespect and his insensitivity of the struggles of Native people of this land.