Homespun rap spreads hope in Pond Inlet
“Everybody was singing our lyrics”
Rap music provides the soundtrack for the lives of many teenagers in Nunavut today. If you ask to borrow a pair of those huge headphones connected to a tiny MP3 player, the odds are that the music you’ll hear is that of a world-famous rap artist like Tricky.
Many MP3 players in Pond Inlet also contain a locally-made rap song that Tricky would probably relate to.
Angry and frustrated at the suicides of several of their friends, this winter, three teenagers — all huge Tricky fans — created a powerful message against suicide for other youth in the community. It has been passed around town from player to player, and from one music compilation CD to another.
Nineteen-year-old Brandon Killiktee and his cousins Jordan, 17, and Dennis, 18, say they “kinda felt better” after releasing the song, which was intended both as an outlet for their emotions and to send a message around the community.
“Everybody was singing our lyrics.”
“I think it’s great,” says Joanna Innualuk, a mother of two teenaged-boys. “Listening to it gave me goosebumps. It may not be my taste in music, and I may not be entirely comfortable with some parts of the lyrics, but that’s not the point. It wasn’t intended for me. The point is that its kids speaking out for themselves — young people sending a message to other young people.”
The song was recorded on a home computer, “a microphone that’s no good,” and a software package called Acoustica. The cousins had to work quickly, Jordan explains, because “we only got seven days free trial” after downloading an evaluation version of the software from the Internet.
The song was written in English because “everybody understands English, and not everybody understands Inuktitut.”
“Come on man, fucking grow old with me…”
Mr. Bad Ass got a rope around his neck
Do you want someone to feel bad for you?
I know it’s your life
You can do whatever you want
You told me that
But don’t you fucking kill yourself
It doesn’t make anybody happy
Let’s go all the way
Come on man, fucking grow old with me…
Lets just watch, wait and see
What your little nephew and niece’s gonna grow up to be
Once you have a bad day go get some sleep
It doesn’t mean you whole life’s gonna be that way
It was fun having you around
Watching CBC and APTN
Going around town
You watching my back and I’m doing the same
Shit like that
Ya ya, I had some bad days too
I wouldn’t want to have it any other way
OK, I’m not going to stop you from doing what you motherfucking want to do
I’m not a counsellor
I’m just saying,
Do you have any idea what you’re doing to yourself?
Use common sense man, this is fucking stupid
It was as if your head was
Ever since our childhood I always looked up to you, man
I remember that time me and my friends just got wasted
You saw me at the dance
And I was drunk
You beat the shit out of me
I don’t remember anything about that
But people said that you were saying to me
“Jordan, you weren’t supposed to fucking drink, why the fuck were you drink?”
What I mean is I know you were only watching out for me
That time you beat the shit out of me
Lee, when you were here everything was great
But now that you’re gone everything fell apart
I guess that’s life
Hard times, happiness in a broken heart
But these are the most useful things in life
So don’t do it
If you go through with killing yourself,
This is hurting your loved ones
Man I miss that shit man
You would call me and tell me to come over
We would smoke and drink that shit without a hangover
We used to have fun until one day you were gone
That’s why I dedicate this song
I remember the time when the town was dry
And there was nothing but mushrooms
And me, you, Lee — we were high on this shit (laughter)
This dog was barking and I thought my mom was crying (laughter)
I don’t think I’ll ever forget that night
DAMMIT man why’d you have to fucking do this to yourself?
It would have been fun, still having you around with us
It didn’t have to be this way
Don’t get us wrong
Can’t you listen to the message we’re giving?
Don’t kill yourself!
Lyrics excerpted from the Killiktees’ song.