TORONTO, ON – July 7, 2022 – Renowned Canadian-Indigenous artist, record producer and engineer, David Strickland, announces his forthcoming album, Spirit Of Hip Hop: Elements, set for release August 26 via MNRK Music Group. From his hustle in studios across North America, working with industry greats on Grammy and Juno-winning projects, to exploration in the world of NFTs, and giving back to Indigenous communities through charitable endeavours, David blazes his own path.

Tomorrow (Friday, July 8), David will share new single, Firekeepers, featuring longtime collaborators, Toronto/New York Anishinaabe rapper and visual artist, Que Rock, and Toronto-based conscious reggae/dancehall artist, Blessed. The track is a massive summer jam that raises the bar and temperature with Que Rock's sharp rhymes, Blessed's signature lyrics and David's prose highlighted on the second verse, layered as the trio come together to carry a collective torch. Pre-save Firekeepers here.

On the collab with David and Blessed, Que Rock says: “We back my natives. Firekeepers of Hip Hop Culture – From Ready To Rock it’s The Toronto Bronx Native.”

Spirit Of Hip Hop: Elements continues the journey of 2020 acclaimed project, Spirit Of Hip Hop, and its 2021 counterpart, Spirit Of Hip Hop (Remixes) and is a comprehensive project highlighting North America’s most promising Indigenous rappers, & represents the connection between the Indigenous community and the Hip-Hop community.

In May, David released Beastmode, featuring Juno Award-winning R&B/Soul singer and theatre performer, Divine Brown, and Alberta-based Indigenous artist, model and actress, Pooky G. The three come together to create a soundtrack piece to life's A-game moments and when you need an extra boost. Listen to Beastmode here.

Last year, David and rap legend, Erick Sermon, teamed up with The NFT Agency to release an official non-fungible token (NFT) collection celebrating the hip-hop luminary’s esteemed career. On October 20, 2021 the six-piece collection featuring original artwork by Strickland — highlighting moments from Sermon’s career as a member of EPMD, the founder of Def Squad and as a solo artist— saw 291 NFTs sold within 24 hours as a curated drop at Crypto.com/NFT, the global cryptocurrency platform’s NFT marketplace. Erick and David donated $10K of the net sales to Indian Residential School Survivors Society. The collection was released in promotion of Strickland’s single, Messenger, a collaboration with Sermon, Toronto rap veteran, Saukrates, and Outlaw by Nature — a supergroup consisting of Treach from Naughty by Nature and the late Hussein Fatal of the Outlawz, a collective famously founded by Tupac Shakur. 
A Grammy-winning engineer who has worked on projects by artists including Sermon, EPMD, Drake, Method Man, Redman, Pete Rock and Keith Murray as well as a who’s who of both the Toronto and Indigenous hip-hop communities, Strickland is also an accomplished visual artist who connects with his Mi'kmaq ancestry — as well as his passion for music and hip-hop culture — to create works that have been displayed at major galleries including the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. In 2021, Strickland won three International Indigenous Hip Hop Awards for his acclaimed 2020 album, Spirit Of Hip Hop. The album brought together artists from various North American hip-hop communities while continuing to champion Indigenous hip-hop artists. 

Learn more about David's career below, and stay tuned for more around Spirit of Hip Hop: Elements.

DOWNLOAD – Press Photo by Photo by Ernie Paniccioli | DOWNLOAD – Firekeepers Art

About David Strickland
David "Gordo" Strickland is an Indigenous, Toronto born and based award-winning engineer, mixer, producer and DJ. Known for being behind the boards on iconic Hip-Hop and R&B records for over two decades, his work has graced seminal tracks by the likes of Pete Rock, Erick Sermon, EPMD, Keith Murray, Redman and Method Man, to records by ground-breaking Toronto hip-hop acts, including k-os, Ghetto Concept, Jelleestone, Kardinal Offishall, Jully Black, Choclair and Drake.

David's album, Spirit Of Hip Hop (June 29, 2020, Entertainment One), highlights some of North America's Hip Hop progenitors and innovative Indigenous artists alike to share an embodiment of the teachings, art, traditions, and music of the community, aligned with his Indigenous heritage. Spirit Of Hip Hop (Remixes) arrived on November 20, 2020 as a follow-up featuring fresh takes on the album tracks by Gordo himself, and some of his esteemed colleagues. From control room to canvas, David is also a prolific visual artist that has been featured at many galleries across Canada. He continues to be a positive force in music, the arts and an inspiration to First Nations Youth across North America. 

About MNRK Music Group
MNRK Music Group is one of the largest independent music companies in the world, with recording, music publishing and management divisions operating in every major music market around the world. MNRK is committed to discovering and guiding top music creators and artists and is home to some of the greatest music talent in the world, including The Lumineers and Ricky Martin as well as the music publishing catalog of Chuck Berry, plus premier music companies Dualtone Music Group and Last Gang. Its catalog across divisions consists of 54,000 music tracks, including multiple GRAMMY winners and platinum-selling hits. www.mnrk.com.