Xiuhtezcatl – Broken – The Hype Magazine


Published on August 2nd, 2018 | by Hype Editorial


Xiuhtezcatl – Broken

XIUHTEZCATL (pronounced ‘shoo-TEHZ-caht’) — 18-year-old indigenous rapper and activist today released his new EP, BROKEN. This EP is being released ahead of his forthcoming debut full-length album, BREAK FREE, which is set to be released late 2018.

Boulder-raised Indigenous rapper and activist is a pivotal figure in organizing an international youth movement. He’s changing the rap game and changing the world. On the opening, title track off of BROKEN XIUHTEZCATL raps, “How will you look your child in the eyes and tell them, their future wasn’t worth fighting for, could’ve done more but didn’t listen, didn’t wake up, didn’t speak up, didn’t fight back when there was still time.” From the front lines, this is XIUHTEZCATL’S battle cry.

For XIUHTEZCATLhis musical abilities naturally translated to activism.  In conversation with COOLS Magazine he said, “It’s not about labeling yourself as an activist, it’s about playing your part as a musician, as actors and actresses, as models, or whatever world we’re connected to. We all have an important role to play in telling these stories. It’s just about finding our way to impact the world.”

Contrasting the weight of the lyrics is the playful interplay of bass-y beats and acoustic instrumentation. From the sounds of it,XIUHTEZCATL’S story is far from being fully told.

To further back his message XIUHTEZCATL is offsetting the carbon footprint of his EP, album, and tour by partnering withCHOOOSE—- a new platform for climate positivity. At the intersection of climate action, creativity and culture, it is the fastest growing community of climate positive people, artists and brands.

XIUHTEZCATL’S partnership with CHOOOSE ensures CO2 is offset on behalf of the listeners of his EP, at the rate of 100 times more than an average human leaves behind, for the duration of every song.

Being climate positive means offsetting more carbon dioxide than one leaves behind. CHOOOSE facilitates this through a partnership with the UN that involves purchasing carbon permits and simply deleting them. The funds go towards sustainable development projects around the world.

Along with releasing BROKENXIUHTEZCATL will hit the road for an 11-date run of dates supporting Nahko and Medicine for the People. The tour dates–which will feature XIUHTEZCATL performing with band members Richard Vagner (strings), Isa (vocals) and Jaiia Cerff (drums)–begin August 1 in Chattanooga, TN and will stop in Tulsa, Phoenix, Boise, Bellvue, and Omaha, among other cities. XIUHTEZCATL will also be playing  Arise Festival this month. (See below for upcoming tour dates.)

BREAK FREE, the full-length record was co-produced by XIUHTEZCATL and notable producer Brian Hardin (whose credits include Quincy Jones, Guns N Roses, and India.Arie, among others), along with up-and-coming producers Jaiia Cerff and Richard Vagner. The coming-of-age album is the self-told story behind the outspoken, Indigenous-American and features guest artists, including: Nahko and Shailene Woodley on “Young,” Stic of Dead Prez on “Sage Up” and his sister, Isa, on “Blu Ink” and “One Day,” among others.

For more information on XIUHTEZCATL, visit:





August 3-5 – Arise Fest





1, Wed: Supporting Nahko, Chattanooga, TN, (The Signal)

2, Thurs: Supporting Nahko, Knoxville, TN, (Mill and Mine)

4, Sat: Loveland, CO (Arise Music Festival)

7, Tues: Supporting Nahko, Lincoln, NE, (Bourbon Theatre)

8, Wed: Supporting Nahko, Tulsa, OK, (Cain’s Ballroom)

15, Wed: Supporting Nahko, Phoenix, AX, (The Van Buren)

22, Wed: Supporting Nahko, Crystal Bay, NV, (The Crystal Bay Club/Crown Room)

26, Sun: Supporting Nahko, Boise, ID, (Knitting Factory)

29, Wed: Supporting Nahko, Aspen, CO (Belly Up)

30, Thurs: Supporting Nahko, Aspen, CO (Belly Up)

31, Fri: Supporting Nahko, Bellvue, CO (Mishawaka Amphitheater)



-12, Wed: Supporting Nahko, Omaha, NE (Slowdown)




20, Sat: Supporting SOJA, Nashville, TN (Marathon Music Works)

21, Sun: Supporting SOJA, St. Louis, MO (Delmar Hall)

23, Tues: Supporting SOJA, Chicago, IL (House of Blues)

27 Sat: Supporting SOJA, Denver, CO (1st Bank Center)

30 Tues Supporting SOJA, Boise, ID (Knitting Factory)



2 Fri: Supporting SOJA, Seattle, WA (Showbox SoDo)

3 Sat: Supporting SOJA, Eugene, OR (McDonald Theater)

4 Sun: Supporting SOJA, Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)

8 Thurs: Supporting SOJA, Oakland, CA (Fox Theater)

9 Fri: Supporting SOJA, Los Angeles, CA (The Novo)

10 Sat: Supporting SOJA, Santa Ana, CA (The Observatory)

11 Sun: Supporting SOJA, San Diego, CA (The Observatory North Park)

13 Tues: Supporting SOJA, Phoenix, AZ (The Van Buren)

15 Thurs: Supporting SOJA, Dallas, TX (House of Blues)

17 Sat: Supporting SOJA, Austin, TX (Stubbs Amphitheater)

18 Sun: Supporting SOJA, New Orleans, LA (House of Blues)



The new wave of hip-hop has arisen a woke generation and, from it, Xiuhtezcatl (‘shoo-TEHZcaht’) has emerged stirring the comatose with his music.


By the time he turned 18, the Boulder-raised Indigenous rapper and activist was a pivotal figure in organizing an international youth movement that is working to ban fracking in the state of Colorado, which gained support from prominent figures and artists such as Chali 2na and Jurassic 5, Stic of Dead Prez, Raury, Ozomatli, Chance the Rapper, Leonardo Dicaprio, Willow Smith, and James Cameron. Whether it be performing at the Standing Rock encampment with Immortal Technique and Nahko or leading the Youth v. Gov. lawsuit against the Federal Government, it became clear that Xiuhtezcatl’s music goes beyond his words.


Xiuhtezatl’s work as an activist translates into his music. He grew up looking up to Joey Bada$$ and Chance the Rapper, young rappers who tell stories of a different generation on the streets. X’s own path is rooted in hip-hop culture. He, too, learned from the lack of the order and structure that is granted to a white majority in America. For X, being a hip-hop artist means giving his Mexican roots visibility in a world that marginalizes his community.


“My music is both a tool for resistance and a medium to tell my story,” he says. Xiuhtezcatl grew up immersed in the indigenous Aztec traditions of his father and advocating for social and environmental justice with his mother. He says, “My dad taught me that all life is sacred. When I was a little boy, we would always talk about our responsibility to protect our land, our culture, our earth as indigenous people. These teachings are the foundation of the music I write and the things I fight for.”


This past year, Xiuhtezcatl has been working with a team of world-class producers and musicians on his debut album, Break Free (set to release later this year). The body of work shows a concept-driven approach to showcasing his musical strengths, from his lyricism to his energy. 


“This record is going to change the way the world sees me, and it’s going to change the way that I’ve told my story to the world,” he said in an interview with Rolling Stone.


At the age of 7, Xiuhtezcatl began songwriting and performing as a means to reflect his world and activate his generation. His rousing story and performances captivated a global audience, garnered millions of views on YouTube, and were featured on major publications, including: Rolling Stone, Billboard, Vice, and the NBC. Recently, Xiuhtezcatlappeared before the UN General Assembly, collaborated on stage and in the studio with Nahko and Bassnectar, and appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher and The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. Additionally, he wrote the best-selling book, We Rise, and has a second book on the horizon.


Prior to his debut album, Xiuhezcatl is introducing himself with Broken, his four-track EP out July 27th. On “Limits” off the EP, he writes:


“I just wanna make music that’ll make you put your hands up

Stand Up

I don’t think you really understand us

Fight for the cause, die for the dream

Livin’ to the limits when the squad’s on the scene

Try to clip my wings and I still goin’ fly

Running outta ink, I still goin’ write

Raising the damn bar of musical excellence

Rappers sound illiterate, while I express eloquence

My album is the evidence, I’m better than I’ve ever been”


An old soul with a young heart, Xiuhtezcatl is taking on the world and waiting for no one.


It’s time we catch on.

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