Maybe you’ll be able to get into The Siren that way…

Before Scribe, before Dawn Raid (although its roots are here), before Chains, before the Otara Mil­lion­aires Club, there was, con­trary to com­mon wis­dom, a huge hip-hop scene in South and West Auck­land going back to the ear­ly 1980s. There was even an album (cas­sette only) AK89: In Love With These Rhymes (which seems to have dis­ap­peared – does any­one have a copy? I’d love one.) put out by Simon Laan and bFM in 1989.

And if any fur­ther evi­dence is need­ed, here is some archive footage, new­ly dis­cov­ered, of the 1989 Hip Hop Bat­tle of the Bands, held in Manukau City Cen­tre, which is quite bril­liant. I was a judge and was fair­ly heav­i­ly involved with a few of these acts on and off. I’ll try and find the pho­tos and scan.


Thanks to Grant ‘CRC’ Kear­ney, who real­ly was as young as he looks in these back then…


Join the discussion and tell us your opinion.

Rus­sell Brown
August 14, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Yes! I went out to that con­test at Manukau City to recruit tal­ent for the first Housequake.

We even­tu­al­ly put sev­er­al of the acts onstage, includ­ing the Amer­i­can woman whose name I can’t remember.

The best name — if not the best crew — on the day of the HHBOTB was … Run FOB. Got­ta love that.

August 14, 2010 at 4:18 pm
– In reply to: Russell Brown

Her name was Koi-Ski, I record­ed her as part of Sis­ter­mat­ic, the released for two days only sin­gle I did for the New­mat­ics-go-acid-hip-house band

George Dar­roch
August 22, 2010 at 8:51 pm

I would have been about 5 years old then (sor­ry, not try­ing to make any­one feel old!), but can tes­ti­fy to how thor­ough­ly hip hop was part of Man­gere’s fab­ric by the ear­ly 90s. This makes me feel very nos­tal­gic for a time and place. I’d love to see more.

Stu­art Page
September 15, 2010 at 7:45 am

Fab­u­lous clip. I remem­ber see­ing some of those hip-hop bat­tles, and DJ champs, awesome!
Rus­sell, those two House­quake events were amaz­ing! I remem­ber them well. The sec­ond one sold out with a queue all the way to Symonds St. Dang! Still got a cou­ple of those posters.

Mark dCL
September 18, 2012 at 6:46 am

wow… spot­ted pete mclen­nan’s total effect post — — and end­ed up here on a mem­o­ry lane trip. awe­some to see that there’s stuff doc­u­ment­ed. voodoo rhyme syn­di­cate was my intro to that whole scene — ene­my pro­duc­tions, boy c and the bb3, semis, sis­ters under­ground… plen­ty of memories!

Leave a reply