Their website lists them as the "pioneers of horrified hip hop" — and trailblazers they were when they released their first album under the name Native Bass in 1992. At the time, hip hop was practically unheard of in Aotearoa. Later renamed as Dam Native, Danny Haimona and Bennett Pomana were credited with raising awareness of Māori issues through their music. The duo's first album, Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted, has been acclaimed as the best hip hop album made on Kiwi soil.
Directed by prolific music video maker turned movie director Jonathan King, this clip for pioneering hip hop duo Dam Native won Best Video at the 1997 NZ Music Awards. It evokes the look of a sepia-tinged colonial era photo, and the art direction —Edwardian suits and tokotoko (walking stick) — are beautifully realised. The film was then deliberately scratched to help it look aged. The result makes an effective backdrop to the song’s political lyrics. DJ Sir-Vere called the track “an original Aotearoa classic”.