Upper Hutt Posse

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Formed as a four piece reggae group in 1985, the Posse emerged at the forefront of the local response to emerging Rap culture to become the progenitors of Hiphop music in the South Pacific. Their unique fusion of Rap and Reggae (in both English and Māori languages) has been an inspirational injection into the national music scene, and continues to be a powerful vehicle for their revolutionary socio-political perspectives.

In 1988 they released this country’s first Rap song ‘E Tu’ (Stand Up) following a year later with the first Rap album ‘Against The Flow’, touring with impassioned performances that brought notoriety and respect.

Now with 6 albums and 19 music video clips UHP have just completed a Dubstep/Drum&Bass album titled ‘Tohe’ representing the electronica facet of the group. Simultaneously they’re recording their seventh album titled ‘Declaration Of Resistance’ which represents them proper as the nine piece live group they are today.

Current lineup is founding members Te Kupu (guitar/vocals), MC Wiya (bass/vocals) & Blue Dread (percussion/vocals) alongside newcomers Des Mallon (drums), Todd Parata (keyboards), Jeff Henderson (alto saxophone), Jeremy Coubrogh (tenor saxophone), Gerard Crewdson (trombone) and Isaac Smith (double bass/tuba).

The song writing vision of Te Kupu (The Word) and MC Wiya remains the solid backbone of this ever fresh, fluxing collective, with the renewed live band sound intensifying their arousing musical activism.

UHP embrace a kaupapa (objective/purpose) of consciousness-raising and are unrelenting in their momentum, addressing global imperial capitalist culture and enlivening peoples determinations towards progressive societal ideals. The perceptive scope of their bi-lingual lyricism and originality secure them a distinguished position in the local music industry.

Last edited: 11.04.16

From Wikipedia:

Upper Hutt Posse (UHP) is a musical band in Aotearoa/New Zealand. The progenitors of Hiphop music in the South Pacific originally formed as a four-piece reggae group in 1985, the Posse emerged at the forefront of the local response to emerging rap culture. Their unique fusion of rap and reggae (in both English and Māori languages) has been an inspirational injection into the national music scene, and a powerful vehicle for their revolutionary socio-political perspectives. Influenced primarily by socio-politically conscious reggae and rap music, from Bob Marley to Gil Scott-Heron to Public Enemy. The band name is derived from Upper Hutt, the city in which they formed. Read more on Wikipedia


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From DigitalNZ:

  • View on NZ On Screen Upper Hutt Posse

    Source: NZ On Screen

    "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 NZ’s first local rap release in 1988. Acclaimed debut album Against the Flow was released on Southside the following year. Their music has also incorporated elements of soul, funk and raggamuffin toasting. Members have included Darryl (DLT) Thompson, Emma Paki and Teremoana Rapley. " (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen Stormy Weather

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Hip Hop ; Music Video

    "Rappers Upper Hutt Posse were the first NZ hip-hop act to release a record (and one of the most radical) — but this reflection on troubles at home and abroad brings out a more reflective side. Against news footage of the Springbok Tour, Bastion Point and a host of international trouble spots, the sweet soul vocals of Teremoana Rapley and Acid Dread (Steve Rameka) float in and out of the raggamuffin toasting of MC Wiya (Matt Hapeta) and Dean Hapeta’s less than cheery weather forecast. This music video was one of the first to be funded by NZ on Air." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen E Tu

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Hip Hop ; Music Video

    "This militant debut from rappers Upper Hutt Posse was NZ’s first hip hop record. Dean Hapeta announces himself with a history lesson proudly name checking the great Māori warrior chiefs of the 19th Century — Hone 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. The Hapeta-directed video might lack for budget but its down-the-barrel delivery carries a degree of confrontation rarely seen from NZ musicians up to that point." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen Ragga Girl

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Reggae ; Hip Hop ; Music Video

    "Upper Hutt Posse were the first group to release a hip hop record in New Zealand, with their politically charged breakthrough 1988 single 'E Tu'. On this single from 1992, they make something of a return to their reggae roots. By now the group had expanded from the original four-piece, and included Teremoana Rapley — also part of Moana and the Moahunters — on additional vocals. The song would later appear on the soundtrack of Once Were Warriors, with Posse members Dean and Matt Hapeta (aka D-Word and MC Wiya) making cameo appearances in the film." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen Tha Feelstyle

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Music Video

    "Samoan-born MC Feelstyle has long been lauded amongst Aotearoa's hip hop elite for his ability to craft music in both his native Samoan and English. The rapper earned a place in the history books, under the name RIQ, when he edged out Upper Hutt Posse to win the country's first ever MC battle in 1987. He's been in demand since, working closely with a list of Kiwi music's who's who and dominating the 2005 Pacific Music Awards with debut album Break It To Pieces.  " (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen Hip Hop New Zealand

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Documentary ; Arts/Culture ; Television

    ""E tu stand proud, kia kaha say it loud", Dean Hapeta's lyrics typify the socio-political messages in NZ's early rap music. The four elements of hip hop: breakdancing, graffiti, DJ-ing and rap are examined through interviews with key players in the hip hop scene (including King Kapisi, Che Fu, Upper Hutt Posse). A recurring theme in the Sima Urale-directed documentary is that local hip hop artists are less interested in the "girls, booze and bling" school of hip hop, and more interested in using their art to make a political statement. " (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen AEIOU

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Soul ; Te Reo ; Music Video

    "This was the first music video funded by New Zealand on Air. The song is a colourful plea for Māori youth to preserve their culture by learning the reo — it also doubles as a handy guide to Māori pronunciation. Director Kerry Brown created vibrant animated backgrounds to match the song’s hip-hop beats. The cameo appearances include Moana Maniapoto’s father, MC OJ and the Rhythm Slave, Mika and various crew members. The Moahunters were Mina Ripia (who went on to her own act Wai) and Teremoana Rapley (from Upper Hutt Posse, who went on to manage King Kapisi)." (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen DLT featuring Che Fu

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Music Video

    "Napier-raised hip hop producer Darryl Thomson (DLT) is thought to be the first person to 'scratch' on a locally produced record. At 16 he was inspired by a Life article about rap and breakdancing. DLT was a founding member of influential NZ hip hop group Upper Hutt Posse, and also founded Dam Native. In 1996 he collaborated with Che Fu, who had recently left band Supergroove. The result was 'Chains', which topped the Kiwi charts, won three NZ Music Awards including Best Single, and kick-started Che Fu's solo career.  " (NZ On Screen summary)

  • View on NZ On Screen Joint Force

    Source: NZ On Screen

    Resource type: Music Video

    "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." (NZ On Screen summary)

 

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