This month marks 20 years since hip hop music first left the United States Of America, as Kiwis right around the world remember the release of the double platinum certified New Zealand rap single ‘Not Many’ by Christchurch rapper Scribe, from his iconic 2003 album ‘The Crusader’.

The momentous milestone in both Southern Hemisphere hip hop, and more specifically, Polynesian music has been celebrated on radio stations and streaming playlists right through Australia and New Zealand – as rapidly ageing middle aged men take a moment to remember their glory days.

Back when they would power through vodka sunrises in an air conditioned New Zealand night club, with a puffed out chest like they were bullet proof and their darling wahine under their arm.

This explosive rap song entered the New Zealand Singles Chart at number 5, before quickly taking the top spot. It spent a total of twelve weeks at number one, and became the top single of 2003. However, during its run at # 1, Scribe’s album The Crusader was released – which debuted at number one on the New Zealand Albums Chart. This was the first time in New Zealand history that a musician artist simultaneously topped the singles and albums chart. In its tenth charting week, it was certified platinum. It has since been certified double platinum.

However, the record-breaking sales numbers and continuous months spent at the top of the charts simply does not do this song justice, with many New Zealanders struggling to articulate what it was like when this track hit the nightclubs in their home country.

Betoota Ponds pallet rack installer, Sione Maivia (41) is one of these usos.

“Bro” he says.

“Can you imagine?”

“Nah. You can’t imagine”

“I don’t even know why I said that. If you weren’t there, you don’t know. You can never know”

As Sione struggles to articulate, the only vaguely comparable moments in rap music may have been when Biggie Smalls shouted ‘Where Brooklyn At?’ – or when Dizzee Rascal appeared on stage with Florence and The Machine for a live grime remix of ‘Who Got The Love’ at the 2010 Brit Awards.

Even thinking about it now, Sione says not even a Warriors NRL premiership will be able to top the unbridled New Zealand pride that hit the clubs like a tsunami two decades ago.

“Bro that’s where I met my wife”

“She saw me shouting East Canterburyyyyy on the dance floor and winked at me.

“I’m not even from there, neither is she”

“But it’s all good”

“It’s all good when you come down to my h… See there I got again uce”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here