The past few years has seen the reinvention of Jeremiah Manitopyes.
Manitopyes, who’s best known as the rapper Drezus, was born in Saskatoon. After struggling for years with alcoholism and a suicide attempts—and later a stint as a drug dealer, which led to jail time—he learned to care more about his culture, and learned about teachings and history. He tuned into political movements, like Idle No More, that set his rhymes on fire. He's now on a mission to fight against the oppression and marginalization of Indigenous people.
With two solo albums under his belt, he has become a force in the world of Indigenous hip hop in Canada, winning a number of Indigenous Music Awards and an Aboriginal People's Choice award for his first album Redwinter.
Drezus is the subject of a new super short doc by CNN's Great Big Story, a video network based in New York that tells unique, untold stories.
“A lot of Native people, we don’t see too many other Native people succeeding. We like to stay in the dark,” Drezus says in the video. “And maybe that’s because we were pushed into the dark for how many centuries. Maybe we’re comfortable there now.”
“I’m not cool with that. I’m trying to bring us into the light.”
Watch The Reinvention of Drezus below: