208 Natives perform for the crowd at the Shoshone-Bannock Casino Hotel Chiefs Event Center stage on Friday, May 12.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — The crowd was hyped, cheering on the 208 Natives as they took the stage at the Chiefs Event Center on Friday, May 12.
Performers included Doggface, D.R.G., Dino, JQ and several local Native rappers, some who performed for the first time before a live audience.
Indigenous Supplies owner, Leah Tindore, is a fan of rap music. With the success of her business, she felt it was important to give back by encouraging other artists and giving them a place to show their talent. She wanted youth to attend and perhaps, be inspired, so she gave tickets to schools and youth programs.
208 Natives was formed to spotlight Indigenous artists around Idaho Falls and the surrounding area.
Youth in the crowd enjoying the show.
It originated with Nathan Apodaca of Idaho Falls, AKA “Doggface,” who in 2020 became a TikTok celebrity for his skateboarding video where he lip synced to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” while drinking cranberry juice.
Since then, he’s taken to acting and guest starred in shows, like season two of “Reservation Dogs,” as well as rapped with Snoop Dogg.
Doggface was blown away by the chance to bring 208 Natives to Fort Hall and said it shows it can be done.
His message to fans is to follow their dreams and pursue the things they want.
“Don’t let nobody tell you, you can’t do it, you know. Just help out as many people as you can along the way,” he said.
He encourages youth to overcome their shyness as sometimes it’s good to have spontaneous fun, which can lead to rewarding opportunities.
Doggface meet & greet with fans at the show.
Dino comes from the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. He’s been doing music for over 20 years and has been with the 208 Natives since they started a year and a half ago.
As a rap artist he enjoys interacting with everybody.
“Being able to help who I can. Being able to be out here and do something that is positive, you know, and being able to really influence people to do something positive instead of being out there running on the streets and stuff,” he said.
Dino has advice for young rappers looking to work toward their dreams.
“Don't listen to anybody. If you have a dream and you have a goal, set small goals to make that big goal and keep going,” he said.
D.R.G. represents the Navajo and Chicano Nations. His influences are 90s rappers like Tupac and Indigenous artists like his uncle, David K. John.
Music has been a big part of his life since his early teens. It started as a hobby, but has kept him out of trouble, and has been a good way to show his craft and get people together to have a good time.
In his 15 year rap career, his first big show was with Mr. Capone-E in 2013, who offered to help him get more performances. It was an eye opener to travel and meet new people.
He has fun with his lyrics.
“There’s times I feel like I want to tell a story,” he said.
He’s done songs dedicated to his children, his mother, club music and songs that reflect what he feels at the moment.
D.R.G. said, “If you like something that you’re doing definitely try to pursue it. Look into it. You know, put your money where your mouth is when you can. I know it’s easier said than done, but definitely believe in yourself.”
The 208 Natives are looking forward to taking their show to as many reservations and places they can. Follow their Facebook page for upcoming performances.
Fans in the crowd with the 208 Natives.