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Upper Hutt Posse Receive 'Independent Music NZ Classic Record' Award 2016

Upper Hutt Posse Receive 'Independent Music NZ Classic Record' Award 2016

Friday 8th April, 2016 2:22PM

Seminal New Zealand hip hop group Upper Hutt Posse are the recipients of this year's Independent Music NZ Classic Record for their hugely important record E Tu. The 12-inch was released in 1988 via Jayrem, and is hailed as the country's first rap record. The title-track pays homage to rebel Māori warrior chiefs of Aotearoa's colonial history, Hone Heke, Te Kooti, and Te Rauparaha and still holds relevancy today - almost 30 years later.

Judging panelist Peter McLennan said of the 12-inch: "E Tu is a hugely important record, both culturally and politically. It showed local rap fans and budding rappers that we could make this exciting new genre our own, with rhyming in Te Reo and English, and by name-checking local history. Upper Hutt Posse are our hip-hop pioneers, and they opened the gates for the likes of Dam Native, Three The Hard Way, and Che Fu."

Upon learning of the award founding member Dean Hapeta (also known as D Word or Te Kupu) said: "It's great for a conscious song of resistance to be respected in this way, and although it already has a firm place in the hip-hop musical history of Aotearoa, this award is somewhat unexpected and therefore a little extra pleasing. UHP appreciates the regard shown to us, and to all musicians, composers and artists who're compelled to create songs of conscience, ka whawhai tonu tatou!"

The Independent Music NZ Classic Record is part of the Taite Prize celebrations which are held later this month. The award is given to a record of great significance in NZ music history. Previous winners are The Gordons, Herbs and AK79.

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