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With Out Rezervation

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Biography

WithOut Rezervation was one of the first rap groups composed of Native American singers. It paved the way for other artists such as Robbie Bee, Haida, Natay, and Julian B. The group, which also goes by the abbreviation of WOR, consists of primary lyricist Chris LaMarr, Mike Marin, and Kevin Nez.

The three rappers use hip-hop to impart their message of Native American empowerment to the younger generation. They established WOR in 1992 in California at the suggestion of community elders who wanted to draw more youths to a festival devoted to culture and music. Two years later they released their first CD, Are You Ready for WOR?, through Arizona's Canyon Records and Arts label. The album focused on the dissatisfaction of Native Americans with matters such as the hoopla that surrounded the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' discovery of America, as well as other issues such as race relations and sports mascots.

Their second album, World WOR Two, was put out in 1999 by WithOut Rez Productions. LaMarr and his wife established the label in 1995 after he completed his studies at law school. While the group's first album focused on a wide spectrum of Native American issues, the next narrowed its focus to more personal struggles such as honor and respect.

LaMarr, aka M.C. the Messenger, is a native Californian. He is a member of the Pit River/Paiute tribe. Nez, aka Nez the Nemesis, is a Navajo and also a native of California. His wife, Renee, is LaMarr's sister. In addition to his duties with WOR, he is a member of B.M.K., a thrash group. Marin, aka Sice the Merciless, once turned down an invitation to join WOR. Also a native Californian, he runs Red Gear, a T-shirt company. He is a Navajo Nation member.