Emerson Windy on the cover of his album 'Herojuana.'

Dopey: Rapper Emerson Windy's Native American Shtick Sparks Outrage

ICTMN Staff
5/15/14

Hip hop artist and "vaping" advocate Emerson Windy has gone all in with a faux-American Indian look and attitude, and Natives are asking him to cease and apologize.

Windy's latest video is for a track called "Peace Pipe" off his album Herojuana. In the video, as on the album cover, Windy wears a feather headdress. The song's lyrics are mainly about smoking marijuana (unsurprising, given the album's title), which he conflates with the idea of the Native American "peace pipe." The idea of a "peace pipe" itself is a vast oversimplification that dates to early contact with Europeans -- American Indians from all over Turtle Island smoked pipes on various ceremonial occasions.

RELATED: 13 Rock Stars Who've Worn Native Headdresses (and Probably Shouldn't Have)

But that is likely beside the point -- although there are some shots of what looks like a pipe in the video, Windy is more likely referring to a vape pen -- akin to an e-cigarette but used to inhale vapor infused with concentrated marijuana oil. Windy actively promotes a line of flavorings called "Mr. Good Vape"; the company's logo can be seen at the start of the video, and bottles of flavorings such as "Melon Head" are on display in some shots.

The video also contains footage of powwow dancers, as well as shots of Monument Valley, on the Navajo Nation. Here it is:

The track's chorus goes "Pass that mothafuckin' Peace Pipe, CHIEF / Blow a bag with me," and in one section Windy riffs on "Arapahoe":

They call me CHIEF up in this bitch, ho
Windy know a rap-a-ho (heya heya)
Windy Boy a rap-a-ho (mic checka)
I'm a certified trap-a-ho
Gotta sell my dope, bitch I gotta go

Another manifestation of Windy's Native fetish is the name he uses for his followers and fans: "Windyians."

The American Indian Movement of Indiana and Kentucky has launched an online petition (which at the time of this posting has 631 of its target 1000 signatures) demanding that Windy remove the video from YouTube and apologize. Their statement reads, in part:

This song and video are disrespectful and demeaning towards Indigenous people of this land. We are also calling on Mr. Emerson Windy to MAN UP and remove the offensive video and send out a letter apologizing for his blatant disrespect and his insensitivity of the struggles of Native people of this land.

LINK: "Petitioning Emerson Windy: Remove your video "Peace Pipe" and apologize !!!!"

Flyer informing Emerson Windy's fans -- 'Windyians' -- of his partnership with Mr. Good Vape.

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Comments

nativewomn's picture
nativewomn
Submitted by nativewomn on
Pearl Harbor Entertainment, who handles Emerson, has claimed he is just using his freedom of speech. You mean like Sterling was? Why is it okay to demean Natives, but not African Americans? I see a serious double-standard here.

scd's picture
scd
Submitted by scd on
Come on Bro! It did not work for a little white woman and it ain't gonna work for you either. You know better! You know what being taunted because of your color is about. What on earth are you thinking? You of all people should understand respect! Unless you have been ass-emulated in your mind to be like the whites. I know your momma taught you better than this! Steve Fire Heart

Mary Ridings Guarino
Mary Ridings Guarino
Submitted by Mary Ridings Guarino on
http://www.change.org/petitions/emerson-windy-remove-your-video-peace-pipe-and-apologize

monkette's picture
monkette
Submitted by monkette on
Oh, Windy, why you let Pearl Harbor steal our culture to sell your records. It might work for a minute but i think you need to go read about your culture and find the great and honorable details in your own history, for they are vast.

choctawgirl's picture
choctawgirl
Submitted by choctawgirl on
They know better. It's just going to get worse because any attention for these narcissists is good attention in their eyes. Good or bad they don't care. It's going to become a thing now to water down Natives. Nobody cares and nobody ever has. He's no artist. Being an artist means being original and creative.

choctawgirl's picture
choctawgirl
Submitted by choctawgirl on
Intelligent people don't have to resort to this kind of behavior to make a living. Just like the people that tear town trees to put up planned communities, build golf courses, football stadiums, sky scrapers, parking lots, roads, telephone poles, clear cut trees, sidewalks,just useful idiots that can't think for themselves and realize the destruction they are causing in the name of progress because they lack creativity and they are so much more "civilized" than the rest of us.

Joni Pinkney
Joni Pinkney
Submitted by Joni Pinkney on
Greetings - I hope you are all doing well and strong I am in solidarity with AIM effort to get the Emerson Windy video removed from circulation. I visited the Emerson Windy facebook page and was appalled to see that the video is just one part of his commercial endeavor; he's using sacred things to promote a commercial item, "Mr. Good Vape," used in connection with marijuana. It looks to me like Mr. Windy is just a puppet to that corporation, and if they hadn't gotten him they'd have gotten some other fool rapper to spread their filthy lies and desecration. He's even calling his fans "Windyians." It looks to me like he's gotten tied up in a promotion agreement that he probably can't legally get out of. All attempts to educate him now are doing no good, as he's a bought man so he's digging in and claiming First Amendment. The fool doesn't realize that the First Amendment does not absolve people of the consequences of their speech, and does not allow theft of intellectual property. So may I suggest that we follow the money and target his corporate sponsor, Mr Good Vape. Demand that they stop using sacred things to promote their product. There's probably grounds for a lawsuit in their unauthorized use of real Native dancers, looks to me like footage taken at a powwow. In the comments section of the Change.Org petition, someone even identified the dancers, whose images were used without their knowledge or permission. I've tried to send this suggestion to Ky-Aim, who started a petition on Change.Org, but was unable to contact them. Thanks for your consideration and for all the good work that you do.

Lauren RLauren
Lauren RLauren
Submitted by Lauren RLauren on
I think you could stop these artists under the Native American Arts @ Crafts Act. Under that law no NonNative is allowed to sell Native art/crafts. Period. This man and his ilk are using Native attire; song and culture (your cultural property) to sell their commodities and art. If that cannot be done. Then the Native Arts and Crafts Act needs to be reworded and a new law passed including making it illegal for non CDIB/BIA card carrying aka Non Natives are not allowed to use Native Arts/ Crafts and! Attire (scared or not); song or intellectual property for sale of their art and or commodities. I am a card carrying enrolled Native. I have a CDIB and BIA#. I am of European and Native blood. The problem is these artists know just how controversial this is because of other artists(modeling/song/fashion) that they know that the controversy alone will make them famous. He is and the other artists out there are using this move Purposefully to garnish attention and fame. Case in Point: When I was at BIA/Institute of American Indian Arts College back in 1998 I wrote a poem called "Nigger in the Woodpile". I do not have black blood. Not a drop. It was a poem about my ex mother in law (a full blood Russian) coming into my home and viewing old framed photographs of my Native family on the wall and saying in front of my daughter 'Oh look Niggers in the Woodpile". Because I am also white her inference was I was a "nigger" too. I was trying to relay the pain and humiliation of her comment. I bare no malice towards African Americans and I detest the word Nigger.I was trying to relay that white people of my ex mother in laws generation see all people of color be it Indian or African or Asian as "Niggers". The whole class was outraged I used that word. They did not know that it was an anti racism poem.They did not know I was trying to relay the hurt of words like that. The damage they cause to children as well. I wanted people to understand me. My poetry professor was like let them be angry at your poem. Let them be enraged. Let them be curious. Do not explain yourself. That is how artists become famous. That is how fine artist work becomes powerful by creating Controversy and Strong Emotion. The only way to stop these folks from garnishing Fame and Fortune off of Native Cultures back is to apply the Native American Arts and Crafts law and sue or change the law and apply it. This man and all of his ilk know precisely how to become famous and it is working. I do not think the average American gets how painful it is to be called a Nigger or Red Skin etc. I really believe the average American citizen is confused. They simply do not get the outrage. The Souixper Drunk Tshirt is an example of Americans lashing back because they just do not understand why Natives are so hurt at the term Red Skin. Americans are lashing out in anger, hurt and confusion. Greedy Corrupt artists are using Indian Culture.

Lauren RLauren
Lauren RLauren
Submitted by Lauren RLauren on
To quickly clarify the Indian Arts/ Crafts Act. It is perfectly legal for a card carrying fed recognized Native to contract a non Native to sell his/her pottery/ paintings/ jewelry/ fine art/ headdress's etc. It is against the law for a non Native to sell Native "stuff" without proof of the artists permission or proof that what is being sold is indeed Real Native art. The question is who made that headdress on Weed Boy's head? If it was not a real Native artist Natives can sue. The greater legal question who gave him or these models and songstress's permission? These people Are Indeed , in effect, illegally selling Native stuff via advertising for monetary benefit of themselves I believe they are breaking the law. Enough said.
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