Upper Hutt Posse are the progenitors of hip hop music in the South Pacific. Originally formed as a four piece reggae group in 1985, the Posse emerged at the forefront of the local response to emerging rap culture. Their unique fusion of rap and reggae (in both English and Maori languages) has been an inspirational injection into the national music scene, and a powerful vehicle for UHP's revolutionary socio-political perspectives and contemporary Maori aspirations.
In 1988 they released this country’s first rap song 'E Tu' (Stand Up) following a year later with the first rap album 'Against The Flow', touring with impassioned performances that brought notoriety and respect. With 5 albums (the fourth of which was awarded ‘Best Mana Maori Album’ at the NZ Music Awards 2003) and 18 music video clips, UHP are currently working on their sixth album and released the first single ‘Ka Whawhai Tonu Matou’ (We continue to struggle) in December 2008 celebrating 20 years since their debut.
The song-writing vision of Te Kupu (The Word) and MC Wiya is the solid backbone of this ever fresh, fluxing collective of vocalists and musicians. Currently performing as a nine piece live group which includes a horn section.
UHP embrace a kaupapa (objective/purpose) of consciousness-raising and are unrelenting in their momentum, addressing global imperial capitalist culture from an indigenous perspective and enlivening peoples determinations to realising an altruistic vision of human culture. The perceptive scope of UHP's bilingual lyricism and originality secure them a distinguished position in the local music industry.