Young Jibwe: Together We All Are Going To Make Difference

Young Jibwe is a hip hop artist, film actor, producer and activist.

Young Jibwe, aka. Cameron Jude Monkman is a Winnipeg-Native currently living in South Dakota. At the age of 7, he became very fascinated with music when his grandparents gave him an electronic piano. He has since then gone on to pursue an active career in music, acting and filmmaking. Although he grew up in an abusive home, Young Jibwe did not allow his circumstances to dictate the course of his life. He’s now an advocate for women’s rights, Black and Native rights and uses his music as a way to educate people on these topics.
First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the group of artists that you work with?
Young Jibwe
Well, I go by Young Jibwe and I’m from Canada. I was born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I grew up with an abusive upbringing which pretty much led to the streets, gang activities, violence and stuff over the years. After my brother died in 2011, things started to change a little bit and I use music as a way to escape a lot of the troubles and struggles that I had throughout my life. I want to project my music also in a way that not a lot of people do nowadays. As well as sell them, I want to get into acting and build a career out of acting. I’d say my biggest influences are Elijah Harper, Russell Means, Adam Beach, people that I grew up listening to. I think where I’m at with things, I make grimy hip hop music. Not everybody agrees with some of the things I say doing my music, but it’s entertainment.
Your upcoming album, The Weishaupt Effect EP, you posted a preview of it. I’d like to know, who created this album and what stories it is based on.
Young Jibwe
Well, the Weishaupt Effect actually originates from Adam Weishaupt, who is the founder of the Illuminati. I think I read more on the article back in the barbarian years of the Illuminati. It was basically just things that we know but things that we just keep quiet about. The Weishaupt Effect came from that very same sort of agenda. I wanted to do something that was more ethical and more straightforward. That’s why I came out with the Weishaupt Effect, because people today understand what’s going on and sometimes people know things but refuse to be a part of the changing revolution that we live in in 2016. And using some of those scriptures and some of those myths of the Illuminati, I wanted to tell stories of things that go on. There’s a segment that I do with a friend of mine on the album, her name is Ashley DuMarce. We talk about me ending up missing, probably getting beaten up by the FBI and some federal officials. Because these are the kind of things that do happen when people speak the truth. The album itself is just more like telling what other people won’t tell, saying it the way other people won’t say, and just knowing that people know what I’m talking about gives them the power to say, “Ok, well, I already knew that and I’ll stand up and I’ll start talking about it.” So Adam Weishaupt was probably the first influence on why I wanted to name an album after him. We can take a pencil and look at the good and the bad of the pencil, and that’s basically what I was trying to influence on the album, that there’s good things about the album and there’s bad things about it. You’ve got to listen to the entire album, the interlude, and it basically tells a whole story. And if you’re listening to the album and you only listen to song number seven, you’re not going to understand exactly because you have to listen to the entire album.
Is this your first work in this style. Why did you decide to do this style of music?
Young Jibwe
Well, I grew up catholic and I grew up around the church, as well as curiosity with Satanism. I’m not a Satanist, but these are just foolish ideas that I had when I was a teenager, playing with the Ouija Board and stuff like that. Accidentally, I just happened to fall into my culture and learn more about it. I pushed everything aside and it was like, “Wow, this is really what’s going on with being Native.” It was a lot harder to grasp than I thought because I didn’t think being Native was really that difficult. I think when I left home, I got to experience the Native culture and lifestyle for myself because I grew up in an environment that was more like, my grandparents raised us to be almost ashamed of some of our people. If we see homeless people living in poverty, we were to walk past them. We’d laugh at them and basically spit in their faces. But then I knew all these things were wrong. And then when I left home, everything changed. It was scary, I got to see the world for myself, I got to be homeless, I got to place myself in the shoes of the people that I laughed at basically, and that’s like where I’m at with things now. I live in South Dakota now, and I’m married with a four-year-old son. I don’t condone my son listening to a lot of the music. I try not to be an influence to my son in that sense because he’s still young and I’ll like him to decide for himself. I just don’t really curse or use derogatory words against women in my music, because it’s not something that I truly believe in. I grew up that way, so of wanted to just get out of that cycle and start teaching people especially my son to respect women given the fact that I’ve had a rough upbringing and it’s my choice whether I’m going to sit in the past or I’m going to do something about it.
Tell us more about Dark Korner Music Group. 
Young Jibwe
Dark Korner Music Group is basically a label that I started, I’m the only solo artist on that label. I like horror movies, and I love Halloween hip hop music. I grew up watching Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger and that kind of stuff, so I’m into Halloween movies. Dark Korner Music Group was something I wanted to establish to project those types of content to the world through different styles like music and film. And Animikii Music Group is actually something that I started in Canada back in 2011 and we dissolved in Canada. When I moved out here, what I did was, I had my wife take over the business, register the business name and everything under her name. Animikii  Music Group is the good side of things, the Dark Korner Music Group is the bad side of things. Because in life I believe there’s a balance between good and evil, and I’m not a religious person but I do believe that if the Devil is real, then God is real. Animikii Music Group is basically Native American subject in content. Raising awareness about missing and murdered women, police brutality, starlight tours. Some of these Natives were dropped off on the outskirts of the city and were just messed up in their socks and underwear. Animikii  Music Group is inspirational, it’s positive, it sends  a good message and Dark Korner Music Group is more influential in a Halloween sense. You can still do good things with Halloween ideas. A lot of people do that and that’s why I have those labels, to have the balance between good and evil.
As we understand you’re involved in activism related to the rights of Native Americans. What is the movement and what are your goals?
Young Jibwe
I’m not really involved in any movement. I think when we subject ourselves to movements, we forget where and what we’re doing because we’re surrounded by so many ideas that we forget our own. My main goals are to raise awareness about some of the things that don’t really stand out. Nobody really brings forth the issues about the pipelines or the missing and murdered women, because it happened once, it’s going to happen again, so it’s not that important. And that’s how systemic everybody is and my goals are basically to use my talents, my music and my fame to shine light on issues. That’s what I do with my music. Some people talk about missing and murdered women but don’t do anything about it. My cousin, Unice Crow, was murdered a couple of years ago when I was here in South Dakota. She asked me before I left Toronto, which is where I resided at the time, if she could come stay with me, and I said I’m going to South Dakota. I didn’t see it as a sign that maybe she was in trouble. When I came here, it happened and then when I got back to Toronto, I learned about her death and it shocked me. Nobody really talks about these things. It was just like, “Well, ok, she got murdered. End of story.” But it wasn’t the end of story for me because I wanted to highlight these issues. On February 14 two years ago in Toronto, at the Strawberry March for Missing and Murdered Women, I happened to speak about Unice. For me it was more like closure because even though they talked about it for that brief second on the media for a week or two, it just seemed like she was forgotten and I didn’t want to forget. So just bringing that attention to her issue really meant a lot to me and the fact that a lot of people listened meant a lot to me too. When it comes to activism I think my main overall goal is to help make a difference in the world because I grew up abused, I was shot, I was stabbed, I was raped, I was beaten with a hockey stick, a broomstick, a belt, as a child and this is not even beyond exaggeration, these are real facts. I thought that maybe I wouldn’t survive to tell these kind of tales and stories and things that I’ve been through. So that’s why music and film are essentially an important part of my life because I use those tools to express my experiences but also incorporate what I’ve been through into film to help get the message out, not just based on me but based on things that I know about. With the Black Lives Matter movement, people are just like, what about white lives, what about all lives matter, but what they don’t see is they’re taking away from the people. As a Native American Scottish, I think they’re taking away from Black people again. It’s almost like they’re trying to pull away from the truth. Because I think that Black people have the right to be heard just as much as we do. That’s why I do what I do, because I’m inspiring and opening the minds of people who don’t really understand or have closed minds.
Do you plan to participate in events connected with Native American rights?
Young Jibwe
I do. It’s just probably a little more closer towards the New Year. I’m just really swamped with work on the album and getting things together. My wife and I have just received a $10,000 tribal government grant to get audio and visual equipment for our business. So once we get everything set up, we’ll be able to do a lot more and we’ll be able to wiggle around a bit more and see what we can do to help other people and keep our business going at the same time.
Do you support the Black Lives Matter movement? I see that Native Americans often participate in marches against police brutality and racial profiling. 
Young Jibwe
I do support the Black Lives Matter a 100%. I think that we’re all coming together and we’re all going to make a difference. It doesn’t really matter who our allies are, it’s just a matter of, can we work together without any problem?
How does your activism and support of minorities in their fight against social injustice influence your artistic work?
Young Jibwe
I get inspired by experiencing other people’s stories and living through it. With the corruption in tribal communities, that’s another good example. There’s a lot of corruption within the tribal communities, chief and council and we’re not taught these things. So it’s hard to reverse something that’s already been done in the community. A lot of the people that I know, especially where I come from, they don’t have a Grade 12 education to be a chief, but they are. I think with my people, we suffer a lot more, because there are a lot of us who are already assimilated and then we’re also fighting people that are assimilating us.
You support Leonard Peltier. I’ve seen that you made video concerning his case. What’s the status of his case now and is there any way we can help?
Young Jibwe
I think people need to start speaking out more about it. I think people need to start flooding their Facebook statuses with Free Leonard Peltier. Because there’s no proof that he did anything wrong, he has diabetes, his health is deteriorating while he’s in there, he’s not being properly treated and the man is 72 years old and he’s still incarcerated. He’s got like four months before Obama leaves office and if he’s not out of there, he’s going to die in there. So people need to start speaking out about Leonard Peltier, otherwise we’re in trouble.
Have you personally faced any kind of racial profiling in your artistic career?
Young Jibwe
Yes, I have. I was passing through Chicago at one point and I got taken off a bus and thrown into an interrogation. They thought I was a Mexican drug dealer who was wanted I think a couple of hours prior to when they arrested me. I was let go because they realized that they had the wrong guy. A lot of the other racial profiling began in Winnipeg where I’m from. The police have a bad habit of being racist towards Native Americans in Winnipeg. They get beaten, they get thrown in jail, they get hit with citations and fines for stupid stuff. And it’s ongoing still. And I think the police are responsible for Tina Fontaine, a girl that was in the care of child and family services because they let her go and that’s how Native people are treated in Canada.
Is there anything that you’ll like to say to our readers, any announcements of things to expect from you?
Young Jibwe
Yes. I’m actually generating more fans in the UK and I’d like to continue my work in activism, but I’d like to start focusing on the fracking that is going on in Scotland, which is where I’m from. There’s a lot of fracking that goes on over there, just as much as they try to do with the fracking out here, but they have a lot of people that stand up against it and I think this coming year, I’d like to focus my attention on the fracking in Scotland and start raising awareness about it because if nobody talks about it, who will? I think that being an entertainer and giving the fact that in Canada, I’m basically celebrity, I got a gold plaque on my wall, but that doesn’t mean anything. To me it’s more like an accomplishment. If I can do it, you can do it. I don’t think I’m better than anybody because of this, it’s just a reminder that when things get hard, this is how far I’ve come. I try to give myself the incentive to do better things for people and always try my best to help. My main focus is getting the messages out there and using my fame as a platform to get the bigger picture out there that people do not seem to be listening to.

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