“Listen with your heart, not with your ears.”
Proud member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, Litefoot has become a household name for Natives everywhere by using music as means to bring all communities together. Perfect, since music rarely fails to do that.
Influenced by the sounds of Motown, Litefoot grew up to the likes of Smokey Robinson and Marvin Gaye…back when music was actually music. “Back then, music was like cooking soup on the stove from scratch. Fresh ingredients, made to order,” says Litefoot. “But now they autotune things half to death and it’s more like taking a can of soup and sticking it in the microwave.”
While current rap trends as suggested by Litefoot may seem watered down, he maintains a lyrical agenda—pursuing his rap career to better represent the Cherokee Nation. “Our previous generation didn’t have the opportunity to make their struggle known. The broken treaties, the lies…I mean, it all happened. Our story hasn’t been told right and I think the best way to climb a mountain is to take that first step.”
Almost hesitant to categorize himself as “Native American”, Litefoot maintains that the term may inadvertently exclude the indigenous peoples of Canada, Mexico, and Central America. Which makes sense, when all he wants to do is bring everyone together. “I’m proud of the Cherokee Nation. But for many years, I saw myself as a member of an even larger community. It’s really not just that one tribe, it’s a group of people who exist everywhere. My song, ‘Different People’ is about just that.”
Growing lyrically over the years, Litefoot hopes to continue moving forward; becoming the embodiment of what he hopes his people could be. “I think the acquisition of knowledge can’t help but come out in lyrics,” says Litefoot. “The first emotion I had when I put the words on paper regarding the Native plight was anger…But I grew as I put out more albums. And the kick in the ass to me was that I always hoped so much to inspire, and then it actually did inspire a whole wave of rappers.”
Litefoot’s spirituality permeates his career as he believes that everyone has a specific purpose on Earth. “The future for me is based on what the Creator has put there already. I won’t be afraid to take on the task when it’s presented to me. I understand every day that I’m an unelected member of my nation that has been blessed to achieve things that not a whole lot of Natives could achieve.”
While Litefoot’s words speak to and about Native people, he still hopes to provoke thought in all of us. Trying to inspire passion over monetary gains and community over self interests, Litefoot’s main concern is that the world is a much more powerful force than any of us put together. “You only have a short amount of time on Earth. If I can get my community to realize their potential, then I can’t help but think that would transfer to other communities as well. When you forget your place in the grand scheme of things, you’ll understand how powerful the world is. People forget that everything is intertwined and related.”
of experience in the rap industry, Litefoot has branched out to further exemplify his culture. With previous experience in the clothing industry with his own business, “Native Style Clothing,” Litefoot’s newest endeavor directs itself towards a common Native problem. “We have a new shoe coming out with a company that makes diabetic footwear. Diabetes is actually a big Native medical problem. It’s a cool shoe for anyone to wear, but it has a special place for diabetics.”
With his hands in the music and fashion industries, the only thing left is film. “I can’t really say too much, but there is a movie in the works at the moment. It’s the first we’ve done, so it should be exciting.”
The sky is the limit for the promoter of peace. Check out Litefoot online for more details.