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Tame Iti - The Man Behind the Moko

Television, 2005

This documentary presents insight into the man most New Zealanders know as the Māori radical with a moko. Delving beyond the sensational headlines, Tame Iti is presented in the context of his whānau and beliefs. Iti tells his own story: from growing up in his beloved Urewera, and his role in Ngā Tamatoa, to heroes (Kenana, Guevara), moko, match-making and a late-starting art career. Iti’s children reflect candidly on an activist father who “is a kid at heart”. The doco screened on TV2, prior to Iti’s arrest during the infamous 2007 ‘Urewera raids’.

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Mo' Show - Mo' Show in Jamaica

Television, 2002 (Full Length Episode)

In this Mo’ Show edition Mark Williams and Otis Frizzell explore Kingston, Jamaica with their tour guide — poet and singer Italee (an appearance that led to her being cast in a series of NZ rum TV adverts). She introduces them to reggae stars Luciano, Dean Fraser and Buju Banton (who, like any good scientist, refuses to disclose the secrets of his work); and a visit to Hellshire Beach allows them to sample its celebrated (and dangerous-looking) Jamaican style fried fish and pastry. After watching Italee perform in a club, the pair take to the stage themselves.

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Series

Mo' Show

Television, 2001–2003

This vehicle for self-styled “failed teenage rappers” Mark Williams and Otis Frizzell (previously MC OJ & The Rhythm Slave) took its name from their initials. A TV extension of their long running radio show, it was inspired by hip-hop rather than being about it. The premise was simple: the pair were let loose with digital cameras — Frizzell learnt to operate his reading the manual during their first flight — to find exotic locations, Kiwi expats and international stars (at London's Pinewood Studios Lee Tamahori introduced them to Halle Berry and Pierce Brosnan).

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Artist

MC OJ and Rhythm Slave

Irrepressible duo MC OJ (Otis Frizzell) and the Rhythm Slave (Mark Williams) emerged as teenagers in the first wave of Kiwi hip hop. In the early 1990s they released album What Can We Say? and a series of singles for Murray Cammick's Southside label. After a brief spell in quartet Joint Force, the pair turned their attentions to televison to front the hip hop influenced Mo'Show. Frizzell (son of artist Dick Frizzell) is a prominent graffiti artist and tattooist to the stars, including Robbie Williams; Williams directed the award-winning music video for 'The Catch' by Fat Freddy's Drop, and often performs with the band live.

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Artist

Joint Force

Mid 90s hip hop act Joint Force was a brief collaboration featuring MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave (aka Mark 'Slave' Williams and Otis Frizzell) and Darryl 'DLT' Thompson with production by silent partner Angus McNaughton. The alliance arose after Williams and Frizzell began looking for a full-time DJ. They found one in Thompson who had parted ways with Upper Hutt Posse. One Inch Punch, their debut eight track EP, added Jamaican dub and dancehall influences to their hip hop beats and rhymes and featured a remix from Beasties Boys producer Mario Caldato.

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Money Worries

MC OJ and Rhythm Slave, Music Video, 1991

Although this track from teen hip hoppers Otis Frizzell (MC OJ) and Mark Williams (Slave) is very much a collaboration of Auckland talents, the video sees them on the streets of Wellington - plus the railway station and massive wharf building Shed 21, before it was turned into apartments. Co-written by the pair with (and produced by) Mark Tierney and Paul Casserly from Strawpeople, it features a screaming chorus from Mikey Havoc, then lead singer of Push Push. An early video to be funded by NZ On Air, the hyperactive promo was directed by Matt Palmer (Breathe).