Nostalgic, generational, and current tunes that if you don’t know, you need to know
Lucky Lance—Always Sunny in Ōmāpere
Shots of the areas surrounding Opononi make for a distinctive music video. From Opononi bowling club to Waimamaku memorial sports centre, Lucky Lance uses the backdrop of the Hokianga to create a healing song. Lance urges us to go at our own pace, to not fall into the rat race and trade our own for something more.
The birth child of Rūaumoko and Detroit techno, MOKOTRON gives us enough bass to shake Te Ika-a-Māui. Incorporating Māoritanga into their music, MOKOTRON offers powerful indigenous bass to a static world. Incorporating Māori musical elements means that MOKOTRON creates something new, something distinctive, and something that no one else has.
Many Pacific Island cultures had no written language. Everything is oral so the intersection between our people and hip hop is there. Samoan MC ‘Kas’ Tha Feelstyle incorporates his language into ‘Suamalie’. Kas was separated from Samoa, coming to NZ as a child. Suamalie and its accompanying music video is a celebration of him returning home. In a recent interview Kas stated “As a hip-hop artist, the dream is to go to New York, the home of Hip Hop. For me, my dream was to go to back to Samoa”
The Samoan language is amazing, it is powerful and percussive. But its use in rap verse is difficult, and speaks to the skill of Kas as an MC. More importantly, Kas creates the blueprint for not only future Samoan MCs, but any Samoan creative wishing to incorporate their culture in everything they do.
Church & AP—Church On A Sunday
Sampling the Adeaze classic ‘Memory Lane’, Church & AP take us back to their childhoods with stories that highlight the shared experiences of recent brown people in Aotearoa. From Adeaze playing in the family van to “waiting for bell, to boost / Sprinting out the front gate, straight up potter avenue”.
Eno X Dirty—Utu
Grey Lynn’s finest. Dirty incorporates te reo Māori effortlessly in a way that is both crafty, menacing, and true to the song’s title, ‘Utu’ (Revenge).
Aotearoa—Maranga Ake Ai
Written and sung by Sir Joe Williams, ‘Maranga Ake Ai’ is a protest song that translates into “to wake up”. During the 1980s, Māori became increasingly educated and aware of the injustice they were facing in Aotearoa. Since 1985, the song has been sung at many Māori political protest movements.
King Kapisi—Screams from the Old Plantation
Kapisi blends his Samoan roots with hip hop culture. ‘Screams from the Old Plantation’ is an iconic song that brings nostalgia to many Pacific kids. Kapisi proudly reps his Pacific nation of Samoa while handing out wisdom to his people. “Pass on the knowledge so the tongue leaves its cradle or take them back home to the motherland and teach / the ways of our elders’ lifestyles and the speech”.