They came up in the dance party scene but gradually moved more solidly toward hip-hop. Their hit song, ‘Hip Hop Holiday’, blew up on both sides of the Tasman, but the borrowed hook wasn’t cleared so the income was lost and the group sat out their contract rather than continue with their recalcitrant record label. They returned a decade later, just as local hip-hop was finally getting its due and had a second taste of success with the hit song, ‘It’s On’, before disbanding for good.
3 The Hard Way were the first New Zealand act to take away the No.1 spot on the singles chart from another local artist twice – ‘Hip Hop Holiday’ knocked ‘The Heater’ by the Muttonbirds off the top slot and ‘It’s On’ pushed off Scribe’s track ‘Not Many’.
Three The Hard Way is a 1974 film by Gordon Parks Jr, starring black action stars Jim Kelly, Jim Brown and Fred Williamson as a trio fighting white supremacists.
The Urban Dictionary defines the phrase "3 The Hard Way" as something impossible to achieve - in a craps (dice) game, 6 the hard way is when you roll a pair of threes, therefore 3 the hard way is an impossibility.
Chris Ma'ia'i - vocals
Mike Paton - turntables
Lance Manuel - turntables