Dio Ganhdih Makes Queer Indigenous Rap

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I rep the Iroquois nations / For the next seven generations – Dio Ganhdih

Dio Ganhdih’s Indigenous Lyricist is an anthem for aboriginal artists.

This Native American artist is taking the music scene by storm. She got her start as a preteen by writing lyrics in her journal, and really took off when she began freestyling in college. She completed a course called Intro to Hip-Hop: A Philosophical Discourse and got an A+ in freestyle and battle rap.

That was the moment when she switched from writing poetry to writing lyrics.

Dio’s identity is a complicated one. She was born on Haudenosaunee Territory in Upstate New York on a reservation on the Onodaga Nation, which is a major nation of the Iroquois Confederacy.

However, her father is Mohawk and her mother is Cherokee and Armenian. Despite her Eastern European heritage, she identifies most strongly with her indigenous roots.

Dio’s popularity skyrocketed after she released Pussy Vortex, a song about unhealthy relationships and the celebration of queer sexuality. The otherworldly song is both syrupy sweet and endlessly transcendent.

Through music, Dio hopes to rewrite the narrative of Native Americans. She told Bitch Media,

The narrative I want to re-write and gain control of is, one, we [Native Americans] are not extinct, and two, we exist in many forms. Through my lyricism and performance, my artistry creates a new story of what indigenous folk can be and do (which is anything!). My narrative decolonizes by celebrating my heritage while still proclaiming my individuality. But that’s just my narrative; obviously I cannot speak for all natives.”

She’s passionate about decolonization and does so by working with other indigenous activist-musicians, such as Chhoti Maa, who describes herself as a migrant, artist and witch. Dio loves working with her because when they team up,

You can expect a fuck ton of indigenous pride, community building, decolonizing everything from sex to gender to food, sharing of medicines and a supreme collection of feminine energies.”

Listen to Dio’s Pussy Vortex below.

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