In a first for an all-star Native hip hop artist lineup, the collaboration between Taboo from the Black-Eyed Peas and actors Martin Sensmeier and Shailene Woodley for the music video Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL has been nominated for an MTV video music award.
The winning music video is chosen by MTV viewers and votes are now open on the MTV website until August 27th at 3pm ET.
The music video Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL is nominated in the newly added Best Fight Against the System category, and is an ode to those who have supported the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Shailene Woodley opens the narrative on the video.
Those involved in making the video and song are now encouraging all to get online and cast a vote today and every day up until the awards as a means of supporting the Native artists and to spread awareness of #NoDAPL and other indigenous resistance messages.
“This song was made by the people for the people,” said Taboo, “It lets people know that the power of the people can be a lot stronger than people in power.”
As a member of the Black Eyed Peas, Taboo has already been nominated for and won a handful of Grammys, Video Music Awards (VMAs) and other prestigious music awards over the years.
This award, says Taboo, is special.
“It’s more than just an award. It’s an acknowledgement of Native artists having a seat at the round table to change the narrative and break down the walls of what hip-hop is all about. It has nothing to do with my group or with me as an artist, it has to do with a movement that is about our people and celebrating indigenous culture.”
The group of hip hop artists featured on the video go by the tag name, Magnificent Seven, A name selected by Taboo after actor Martin Sensmeier’s role as Red Harvest in Magnificent Seven alongside Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt and other blockbuster Hollywood film stars.
The Mag7 hip hop artists on Stand Up Stand N Rock include Marcus “Emcee One” Guinn, Drezus, Supaman, Doc Battiest, PJ Vegas, and Natalia “MyVerse.” Other contributing vocalists and musicians include Tony Duncan, Spencer Battiest, Kahara Hodges, Gerald Danforth, and Perry Cheevers.
Printz Board and Seminole/Black produced the track, while Johnny Lee (Baxter) directed the music video. Stacey Thunder, Heather Rae, Ben Dupris and Cody Lucich, Indigenous Enterprise and Jukasa Media Group also contributed production and footage.
The Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL music video features real footage from the water protectors on the front lines at Standing Rock. Also appearing in the video is actor Shailene Woodley and artists from all over Indian country, including Bethany Yellowtail, Martin Sensmeier, Lehi Thunder Voice Eagle, Shalene Joseph, Gina Tiger, and Temryss Lane.
“For me, the video was a moment to do something bigger than myself, to reach a larger audience and show them that we are still here, has always been, and we shall remain,” said Shalene Joseph.
“Going to the studio, being surrounded by my brothers and sisters from all different nations, and being able to offer my voice was an absolutely amazing experience,” said Kahara Hodges, “We gathered to stand up for the protection of Mother Earth and the future generations. It was an extremely powerful, positive, and healing environment, and the song embodies that energy in a beautiful way.”
Gina Tiger, (along with partner Gerald Danforth) brought her baby son to the video shoot. “I grew up along the Missouri River, and now I bring my son to play there,” she said, “The fight at Standing Rock was so important to me, and this video represents what we as indigenous people still face.”
Acknowledging the origins of Stand Up / Stand N Rock #NoDAPL and the #NoDAPL movement, Emcee One offered his take on the root of and the the significance behind the message:
“There are times we all have to “Stand Up” for what’s right, for what’s hard, and maybe for those who can’t,” Marcus Guinn said, “To think that this all started because of some youth that were willing to “stand up” in Standing Rock is awe-inspiring to me.”
To cast your vote for “Stand Up / Stand N Rock / #NoDAPL,” follow this link:
You can vote once a day, every day. To watch the awards, tune into MTV on Sunday, August 27th.