Christian Takes Gun Parrish, aka Supaman, recently stopped by The Gazette’s Studio Enjoy to record a music video featuring his combination of Fancy Dance, traditional Apsaalooke music and hip-hop.
Here’s what he had to say about the fusion of the three different art forms:
How long have you been performing hip-hop and Fancy Dance?
I’ve been performing hip-hop for about 10 years now, and I have been fancy dancing for about 20 years.
What inspired you to combine hip-hop and Native American music and dance?
I’ve always been combining the music part of both cultures (hip-hop and Native American). Where I come from and what I represent is always evident in the music, but to combine the dancing is pretty new.
What made you decide to perform hip-hop in your Fancy Dance outfit?
I always kept them separate until I was asked to Fancy Dance and rap for Heritage Day in Bozeman. I danced first and then I was going to change into my civilian clothes to rap. But there wasn’t any time, so I ended up just performing hip-hop in my fancy outfit, which was something different and the people really thought it was special, even though I wasn’t trying to be. It was a hit, you could say.
What was the most difficult part of transitioning to this new style of music?
I would say, the combining of two cultures. You’re not always going to get approval from both sides. Especially with Native American culture, it’s more traditional and you have to uphold the values and have respect for things that have been practiced for hundreds of years. So when doing something new people will say “that shouldn’t be done,” or won’t agree with your vision.
What do you hope people take away from your music?
Overall, I hope that people who listen to my music are inspired to be better people in life, to look to God for all things, and know that no matter what’s going on there is always hope.
When can people expect to see you performing this live?
I have been touring a lot, different venues, speaking at assemblies at reservation schools and non-native schools. I almost always combine the two cultures to show the balance of being Native American in these modern days. I want to always show that you can live a positive life embracing and honoring who you are culturally, while living in modern society.
Are there any plans to cut an album of this style of music?
Yeah, I’ve always wanted to make an album with a lot of Apsaalooke music over hip-hop beats, so I think it’s time to get that going.
What would people be surprised to find out about you?
Being an “underground artist” means that my music is always new to somebody. A lot of people won’t know that I also am a part of a comedy group called “Illuminatives”, that I DJ, produce beats, do graphic design, and do motivational speaking workshops around the country promoting a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle. I am blessed to be able to do the things I do, and I would like to encourage anyone reading this to know that no matter what your race is, we’re all on this earth as brothers and sisters. We’re all the same, so “trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path” (Proverbs 3:5).