Upper Hutt Posse Profile

Ariana Tikao
Published: 7 Dec 2016
Updated: 26 Oct 2018

“Karanga, rangatahi, whakarongo! Whakarongo!” are the opening lyrics of Upper Hutt Posse’s iconic debut ‘E Tū’, which urges young people to “Listen up”, “Stand up!” and “Be Proud!” Nearly 30 years later the band continues to produce music that challenges what founding member Te Kupu refers to as “the shitstem”.

Upper Hutt Posse (UHP) stands firmly as the progenitor of hip hop music in Aotearoa. The group has 22 music videos and seven albums to date. It formed in 1985, initially as a four-piece reggae band, and is named after the area in which the Hapeta brothers grew up.

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Upper Hutt Posse - Mō Ake (2010)
Upper Hutt Posse - Ragga Girl (1992)
Upper Hutt Posse in Sydney, 1990
Journalist Graham Reid and Upper Hutt Posse's D Word, 1994
Upper Hutt Posse with Murray Cammick and Auckland DJ and Box doorman Time Sulsui, 1990
Photo credit: Photo by Darryl Ward
Upper Hutt Posse performing as a reggae band at the Clarendon, Wellington, 1987
Photo credit: Upper Hutt Posse 
MC Wiya and D Word, Detroit 1990
Upper Hutt Posse in Christchurch, 1988
Upper Hutt Posse - Ka Whawhai Tonu Mātou (2011)
Upper Hutt Posse and friend at the 1989 Rheineck Rock Awards at The Powerstation in Auckland's Mt Eden
Photo credit: Photo by Brigid Grigg-Eyley
Upper Hutt Posse receive the Taite Classic Record award, 2016
Teremoana Rapley and D Word of Upper Hutt Posse, Sydney, 1990
Upper Hutt Posse - E Tū (1988)
Movement in Demand, Tangata Records, 1995
Upper Hutt Posse - E Tū remix (te reo, 2004)
Upper Hutt Posse's groundbreaking E Tū, 1988
Upper Hutt Posse - Resistance (2011)
Mike Weston and Tangata Records co-owner and Upper Hutt Posse manager George Hubbard
Photo credit: Photo by Simon Grigg
Upper Hutt Posse's 2011 album Declaration Of Resistance, released through Kia Kaha Productions
Upper Hutt Posse's D Word, 1992
Upper Hutt Posse's 1989 single Do It Like This, released on the Southside Records label through Festival Records
Upper Hutt Posse in Mount Street, Auckland, 1990
Upper Hutt Posse with Public Enemy, Auckland 1990
RNZ – NZ Hip Hop Stand Up: episode 1 – Upper Hutt Posse ‘E Tū’
Upper Hutt Posse and support acts at the Rimutaka Tavern, Upper Hutt, on the Declaration Of Resistance Tour 2012
Upper Hutt Posse - Dread On A Mission (1997, directed by Chris Graham)
Upper Hutt Posse - Know (2011)
Housequake! II poster for a house/hip hop extravaganza at Auckland's Power Station, 23 March 1989. The event featured DJs and a performance by Upper Hutt Posse
Photo credit: Russell Brown collection
DLT, Upper Hutt Posse, 1990
Upper Hutt Posse, 1990 - Acid Dread, D-Word, DLT, Wiya
Upper Hutt Posse - Ragga Girl (live on TV3's Yahoo)
Upper Hutt Posse - Ngāti (2006)
Upper Hutt Posse - Stormy Weather (1991)
As The Blind See (1996)
Upper Hutt Posse - That's The Beat (1990)
Hip Hop New Zealand documentary part 1 (2003)
Upper Hutt Posse - Tohe (Kia Kaha Productions, 2010)
Upper Hutt Posse on Māoribank Bridge, late 1980s. From left: MC Wiya, Te Kupu/D Word (standing), MC B-Ware (kneeling), DLT (on railing), Blue Dread
Upper Hutt Posse - Great Crime (2008)
Labels:

Southside Records


Tangata Records


Kia Kaha Productions

Upper Hutt Posse was inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame in 2018. The Hall of Fame is an initiative of Recorded Music NZ and the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA), whose support of AudioCulture enables the site to stream music content.