Wellington reggae act formed in 1989 taking a name proudly reflecting their origins from outside of Auckland. Ian Morris produced their catchy debut single ‘What’s The Time Mr Wolf’ which drew on imagery from vocalist Ruia Aperahama’s Ratana faith. It made little impact until its inclusion in Once Were Warriors catapulted it into the Top 5. Their debut album won Best Māori Album at the 1993 NZ Music Awards. Aperahama and his brother Ranea have recorded two albums of Bob Marley songs in te reo while drummer Maaka McGregor formed Wai 100% with Mina Ripia.
It's the holidays: time to let your hair down, have a swim, give in to your appetite...and have a boogie. From Kings to The Clean, from 'Ten Guitars' to 'Trippin', let NZ On Screen supply the music, with this epic playlist of classic Kiwi party songs. In the backgrounder, music fan and publicity maestro Nicky Harrop takes us through the tracks, before bidding adieu to NZ On Screen.
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).
This jaunty debut single from Wellington reggae band Southside of Bombay is as deceptive as the happy family sing-a-long it accompanied in Once Were Warriors (which turned it into a belated chart hit). Far from being a nursery rhyme, its lyrics are informed by composer and vocalist Ruia Aperahama’s Ratana religion and a belief in the clock ticking towards an end time. Cinematographer Richard Bluck’s Wellington-filmed video captures the band performing on the south coast, cut with archive footage of Aotearoa activism ... as Mr Wolf watches on. The song was produced by Ian Morris.
This Māori Television series follows South Auckland dance crew The Palace as they prepare for the World Hip Hop Dance Championships, and a shot at their fourth title. This first episode films open auditions where dancers, including two gay brothers from Tokoroa, hope to join 'The Royal Family'. Led by choreographer Parris Goebel — who talks here about her method and early days — the crew have won global fame, including bringing its 'Polyswagg' to the hit video for Justin Bieber’s Sorry. There are also scenes of Goebel choreographing 2015 Kiwi movie Born to Dance.
This 1992 TV One documentary follows the All Blacks on their first post-apartheid visit to South Africa. The footy tour tomfoolery of producer Ric Salizzo’s earlier All Blacks docos is subbed off for reflections on politics and sport from players — including ex-All Black Ken Gray, who refused to tour the republic in 1970 and joined protesters in 1981. Not all goes to script for a “new South Africa”: the Afrikaans anthem is played before the Ellis Park test, and the All Blacks win. Future South Africa cricket star Herschelle Gibbs is a young coloured player mentored by the ABs.
This militant debut from rappers Upper Hutt Posse marked New Zealand’s first hip hop record. Dean Hapeta announces himself with a history lesson proudly namechecking the great Māori warrior chiefs of the 19th Century — Hōne Heke, Te Rauparaha, Te Kooti — and their Māori Battalion successors. ‘E Tu’ is also a personal manifesto, with promises to preach the truth but not to brag or wear gold chains. Hapeta's down the barrel delivery carries a degree of confrontation rarely seen from New Zealand musicians up to that point.
“Unlike Siamese twins who are joined at the hip, we’re joined at the hip-hop…” This 1992 single was the opening track from MC OJ and Rhythm Slave’s What Can We Say? album, released on Murray Cammick’s Southside Records. The duo rap that “we won’t stop until we get enough”, and the hyperactive black and white video captures the youthful energy of the then teenage pair. There’s Converse trainers, turntables, breakdancing, a sinuous silhouette, a ballerina, a hip hop wedding, a massive pillow fight — and some giant trousers that MC and OJ jointly inhabit.
Hip hop act Upper Hutt Posse is led by Dean Hapeta (aka Te Kupu and D Word), a poet and orator influenced by black American thinkers like Malcolm X. The group set out to fight racial injustice through music. Hapeta's radicalism quickly made him and the Posse into tabloid targets. Their bilingual single ‘E Tu’ became Aotearoa’s first local rap release in 1988. Acclaimed debut album Against the Flow was released on Southside the next year. Their music has incorporated elements of soul, funk and raggamuffin toasting. Members have included Darryl (DLT) Thompson, Teremoana Rapley and Emma Paki.
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.