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‘Dream’ performance for Battiest brothers at NBA game in Los Angeles

Seminole brothers Spencer Battiest and Doc Native perform their award-winning hit “Dream” during halftime at the Dallas Mavericks versus Los Angeles Clippers game Nov. 23, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Indigenous Enterprise dancers Kenneth Shirley and Nanabah Lopez Kadenehii performed traditional pow wow dances during the song. (Photo by Varon Panganiban)

After two years of not performing in person, Seminole brothers Spencer Battiest and Doc Native performed on one of Los Angeles’ biggest stages Nov. 23 – Staples Center – in front of an audience of 17,067 during halftime at the Clippers versus Dallas Mavericks NBA basketball game.

[Click here to see video of the performance]

The Clippers invited the brothers to perform their award-winning song “Dream” as a celebration of Native American Heritage Month.

“What a way to come back,” Battiest said. “To get the call to come to the Staples arena is a really big honor. They specifically asked for “Dream,” which means they agree with the message.”

Alongside Indigenous Enterprise dancer Kenneth Shirley, Spencer Battiest performs “Dream” during halftime at the Dallas Mavericks verus Los Angeles Clippers game Nov. 23, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. The performance was part of the Clippers commemoration of Native American Heritage Month. (Photo by Varon Panganiban)

“I always dreamed of going there to watch a basketball game, let alone headlining at center court,” Native said. “It’s an honor being a representative for all of Native America and all indigenous people.”

The brothers, who grew up on the Hollywood Reservation, weren’t the only Native Americans who performed. Before the game, the national anthem was sung by PJ Vegas, the son of Redbone’s Pat Vegas.

“Dream” recently won best music video of the year at the American Indian Film Festival. Two Native dancers who appeared in the video, Kenneth Shirley and Nanabah Lopez Kadenehii, performed traditional pow wow dancing at the beginning of the brothers’ six-minute performance at Staples Center. The dancers are from the dance group Indigenous Enterprise.

Doc Native raps his portion of “Dream” during halftime of the Dallas Mavericks vs Los Angeles Clippers game Nov. 23, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Varon Panganiban)

“We wanted to show as much culture as we could during our six minutes,” Battiest said. “It’s a total Indigenous night.”

During the pandemic with no in-person performances, Battiest and Native kept up their routine of writing, working out, vocalizing and working on the craft of songwriting.

“You think nothing is going to happen and then out of the blue, the Clippers call,” Battiest said. “We have faith that with our hard work and talent, we will rise to the occasion every time.”

The Clippers lost the game, 112-104, but the crowd got a taste of Native American entertainment.

“It’s just another moment we have a big platform to share with the world who we are as brothers and performers and bring our culture along with us,” Battiest said. “We are just a couple of rez boys doing what we do best.”

Spencer Battiest sings “Dream” during halftime at the Dallas Mavericks versus Los Angeles Clippers game Nov. 23, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Varon Panganiban)
Doc Native raps his portion of “Dream” during halftime of the Dallas Mavericks versus Los Angeles Clippers game Nov. 23, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Varon Panganiban)
Seminole brothers Spencer Battiest and Doc Native finish performing their award-winning hit “Dream” during halftime at the Dallas Mavericks versus Los Angeles Clippers game Nov. 23, 2021, at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Indigenous Enterprise dancers Kenneth Shirley and Nanabah Lopez Kadenehii performed traditional pow wow dances during the song. (Photo by Varon Panganiban)
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Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at beverlybidney@semtribe.com.
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