upper hutt posse

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WAI INTERVIEWED (2000): One hundred percent te reo to the future

WAI INTERVIEWED (2000): One hundred percent te reo to the future

Maaka McGregor has had a good day. In Auckland for a week from his home in Titahi Bay and talking up the Wai 100% album he has recorded with his partner Wai (aka Mina) Ripia, he's just come from Mai FM. His pitch met with a positive, if unpublishably enthusiastic, response from programme director Manu Taylor. A good day. McGregor is...

TRINITY ROOTS REMEMBERED (2005): Spirit in the dark, and light

TRINITY ROOTS REMEMBERED (2005): Spirit in the dark, and light

What set Trinity Roots (1998-2005) apart for me was their musical subtlety, the nuanced way they moved from what we might call roots folk and reggae through elements of waiata, jazz and pop to create something which was at times indefinably about this country right now, yet also possessed a timelessness, as if it could have been written and sung...

DALVANIUS PRIME REMEMBERED (2002): from little things, big things grow

DALVANIUS PRIME REMEMBERED (2002): from little things, big things grow

It's a fair if not entirely original observation that the late Dalvanius Prime made an immediate impression. I'll never forget the day we shook hands in Patea. The big man was, typically, wearing his body-hugging pink tracksuit. Back at his modest, almost alarmingly small home he showed me his memorabilia and treasures, and was...

Wai: Ora (Wai/Jayrem)

Wai: Ora (Wai/Jayrem)

When the debut album, 100%, by Maaka McGregor and Mina Ripia (aka Wai) was released in 2000 (see here) it was hailed as a ground-breaking event for its deft blend of te reo (Maori language) and electronica. Yet in many ways the musical landscape had been laid by the likes of Dalvanius with Patea Maori, and then Moana who had also sung in te...

DEAN HAPETA'S 2002 UPPER HUTT POSSE REMIXES: Say The Word, and you'll be freed

DEAN HAPETA'S 2002 UPPER HUTT POSSE REMIXES: Say The Word, and you'll be freed

Dean Hapeta was the mainman in the Upper Hutt Posse (which also included singer-songwriter Emma Paki), the group which recorded the first New Zealand rap single E Tu in 1988. It was a powerful (if thin-sounding) statement of Maori anger and unashamedly used te reo (the Maori language) to strident effect. See lyrics below. Hapeta - as Te...

Te Kupu: Ko Te Matakahi Kupu (Kia Kaha)

Te Kupu: Ko Te Matakahi Kupu (Kia Kaha)

Dean Hapeta, of Upper Hutt Posse, always aimed for more than bragging and a catchy hook. He styled himself D-Word and has done spoken-word performances. His new nom de disque is Te Kupu (aka the Word). I guess that all confirms it: Word values the power of the word. As the volatile founder of the Upper Hutt Posse - sometimes favouring...

Upper Hutt Posse: Tohe (Kia Kaha)

Upper Hutt Posse: Tohe (Kia Kaha)

For quite a while it seemed that the seminal Aotearoa/New Zealand hip-hop outfit Upper Hutt Posse might have been reduced down to Dean Hapeta, who was actually appearing under the name Te Kupu (aka The Word). But here, on an album which kicks along on the back of staccato, minimalist dubstep beats and huge reggae style bass, the Posse are...

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA INTERVIEWED (1988): The shape of things hip-hop and political to come?

AFRIKA BAMBAATAA INTERVIEWED (1988): The shape of things hip-hop and political to come?

He answers the phone exactly as you might expect - a booming, stentorian tone like some Old Testament prophet and commands: “Speak.” We speak . . . and the voice changes into the quiet tones of unassuming politeness as he patiently explains his political philosophy -- and there's a lot of it. For this is Afrika Bambaataa,...

Various Artists: Ihimaera (Universal)

Various Artists: Ihimaera (Universal)

Following the successful projects setting the poems of New Zealand writers James K Baxter and Hone Tuwhare to music comes this, the words of writer Witi Ihimaera getting musical adaptation by the likes of Warren Maxwell (of Trinity Roots), LA Mitchell, King Kapisi, Teremoana Rapley, Charlotte Yates (prime mover behind these projects) and others....

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