Lin-Manuel Miranda schooled many on the Alexander Hamilton era of American history with catchy and clever rap songs in the hit Broadway show Hamilton. Now, Indigenous Canadian rapper Hope is teaching listeners about another period in history, the 60’s Scoop, in his new album, Red Man.
“At a time when indigenous communities and families were still reeling from the impact of residential schools, and before most residential schools had even begun to close down for good, the Canadian government created adoption programs such as the Adopt Indian Métis (AIM) project which promoted the adoption of First Nations children by middle-class, white families in 1967,” reads the press release. “The AIM Program would post advertisements of Indigenous Babies and Children with a Photograph, Name and Description of the child in Canadian Newspapers to find them homes.”
But a historical concept isn’t the only thing Hope has going for him in the 12-track project. Hope comes out swinging in “Never Fail” (video above) as boasts that “you will see the reason we never went away” and explains that people on the reservation face trauma every day.” Another standout track is “Generosity.” As Hope raps about generational trauma, singer Mamarudeguyal MTHC soothingly sings on the track in a way that feels like therapy. On the other hand, “Rage,” brings the two together again with a much angrier tone (see: the title) as Hope talks about decapitating the crowd and breaking necks.
Overall, the album is pretty solid and is likely to school you on a part of history you’ve never heard about. Listen to it here.