Fans have eagerly been awaiting the release of A Tribe Called Red’s newest album and the Canadian DJ trio did not disappoint. Not only does the new album feature some of the electrifying beats that have become the band’s calling card, but it also boasts powerful spoken word vocals that unapologetically detail the struggle of indigenous peoples from around the globe.
The title track for the band’s latest album, “We Are the Halluci Nation” begins with a commanding incantation by the legendary poet and activist John Trudell. Trudell’s words call to mind the struggle faced by aboriginal people in North America and the lingering effects of colonialism. With powerful lines such as, “Our DNA is of earth and sky/ Our DNA is of past and future,” Trudell’s words serve as a call to action to unite artists and activists in the fight for the rights of indigenous peoples. The beautiful excerpt also serves as a moving tribute to Trudell, whom the band frequently collaborated with before he passed away in 2015.
Trudell’s poignant words are quickly followed by arresting electronics that bring the song to a delicate climax before a somber moment of quiet reflection. Amidst the beats are the crisp vocals and animated sounds of the Northern Style Powwow Drum group Northern Voice, which adds another layer to the already complex and moving track.
While “We Are the Halluci Nation: is a powerful single on its own, it’s just one of many commanding tracks on the band’s newest release. With collaborative efforts from the likes of Saul Williams, Yasiin Bey, The Narcicyst, Shad and indigenous artists such as Tanya Tagaq, Joseph Boyden and Jennifer Kreisberg, the album is an explosive, politically charged effort that truly conveys the need for progressive change.
Watch the DJ trio talk about what the album title means to them above, and stream We Are the Halluci Nation in full below via Spotify.