Daily Dose of Protest: Still Here – JB the First Lady

Credit: Nadya Kwandibens/Redworks

JB the First Lady is a Canadian indigenous rapper and activist. Her 2017 album Meant To Be was one of the 25 best protest albums of 2017 (and “O.O.T.G.” off of that album was one of the top 50 protest songs of 2017).

“Still Here” off of Meant To Be could be considered a companion piece to “O.O.T.G.” “O.O.T.G.” which is an acronym for “out of the gate” contains the line “still here” and it is an anthem of empowerment. “Still Here” builds upon this theme and the lyrics addresses many issues faced by the indigenous communities. Concerning the intent of “Still Here”, JB the First Lady made the following statement in a track by track commentary for CBC Music, “It was the last song and we were, like, ‘Out of the Gate,’ that’s the one, but then I was like, ‘No, I think there’s a little bit more lyrics in there, so c’mon, c’mon, c’mon universe.’ And they came, and again, just naming things: stolen locations, this is all stolen land and how that’s a hard concept for people, and how, as Canada and as Indigenous people, our nation to nationhood is such an abusive relationship, how it’s like a domestic violence relationship.” She went on to add, “It’s not even, like, we want to own the land and we want all the money. No. It’s about making sure there’s clean water— there’s no clean water on a lot of reserves and we don’t see that struggle because we live in the city. But there’s been boil advisories for 30 years-plus? That’s unacceptable. And ‘missing mother, missing brother,’ more and more the missing and murdered Indigenous men are coming forward. Like, the young men that were found in the river in Thunder Bay and how that enrages me. I needed a strong outlet to get that rage out because I get asked to speak about it, I get asked to bring awareness to it, so for me this song really healed — when you heal is when you’re being heard.”

JB the First Lady is a powerful and essential voice of resistance.