This year’s Tolles Lecture featured a fusion of hip-hop, power, protest, and humanity thanks to award-winning Indigenous DJ and producer Dan “DJ Shub” General.

Known as a joyful collaborator and non-stop creator who skillfully weaves craft, message, and heritage, Shub visited campus on Feb. 23 to host a conversation following a screening of his music video “Indomitable” and a video from his newest work, “War Club.” He was joined by special guests Chris Thomas and his Smoke Dancers, who performed a Haudenosaunee Social Dance before Shub hosted War Club Live in Tolles Pavilion.

“I left with appreciation for the way he seamlessly incorporated Native drums and language into his beats,” said Madeleine Cerone ’26. “It was a gorgeous bridging of Native tradition and modern dance music.”

Shub is best known as the “godfather of PowWowStep,” a new music genre that combines elements of traditional Indigenous music with modern electronic music, rap, and other genres, and his unique collaborations with artists, dancers, musicians, and composers of all kinds. A member of the Six Nations of the Grand River, Shub has won numerous awards, including the JUNO Award for best Contemporary Indigenous Artist of the Year in 2022 and a Best Music Video from the Native American Music Awards in 2017 for “Indomitable.”

The performance reminded me why I’m concentrating in cultural anthropology. Culture is beautiful in all of its forms, and I’m fortunate to have been invited into just a sliver of the world’s art and traditions.”

Dana Blatte ’26 anthropology major Dana Blatte ’26

“War Club,” his latest celebration of Indigenous power, is a special filmed on Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve in Ontario that features his trademark finger-smoking scratch-a-thons, an all-ages cast of traditional dancers, and audiences dancing to musical collaborations with Phoenix Pagliacci, Boogát, and Fawn Wood that tells the tale of a young girl searching for her brother with the help of an enchanted war club.

The Tolles Lecture is an annual series sponsored by the Winton J. Tolles Lecture Fund, established in 1991 by members of Hamilton’s Class of 1951 in memory of Winton Tolles, Class of 1928 and dean of the College from 1947 to 1972. The fund enables the College to bring to campus distinguished speakers in the fields of literature, journalism, and theater to lecture and meet with students.

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