Rapper Nils Rune Utsi, known by his stage name SlinCraze, speaks an endangered language, lives in a tiny village on the Norwegian Arctic, and this week performed at the United Nations to draw attention to what it’s like to be a young indigenous man living in between two worlds.
Understood by only about 20,000 people in the world, the Sámi language is spoken by indigenous people of that name living in northern Scandinavia, an area more often associated with reindeer than hip hop.
That represents a significant challenge for an artist wanting to appeal to a larger audience. But more importantly than fame, SlinCraze, who started rapping when he was 14 years old, wants other young people in his community to not feel ashamed of their culture.
“That’s my main goal. This is to make people proud to be native,” he said ahead of a performance at the UN Headquarters in New York, where the 2016 session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues is under way through 20 May.