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Lucid Hiest aka Isiah Ngawaka is a singer/rapper and producer from Hawkes Bay New Zealand who has released his debut album Absence In Motion.

I would describe Lucid Hiest’s sound as Drum 'N' Bass/Hip-Hop fusion similar in style to Salmonella Dub and Tiki Tane with a dash of Timbaland for good measure.

The album’s lyrics reflect an emotional conscience of the hardship and determination he has experienced on his journey to discover and develop his musical career.

Absence In Motion is released independently in association with  Voodoo Creation Records. The album cover shows a shirtless and ripped Isiah Ngawaka enveloped in smoke. The presentation and art work of the album look professional and the production is equally professional.

Lucid Hiest has some dope double time rap flows and a nice singing voice and on these songs he effortlessly blends the two. He produces his own beats and does an impressive job with it.

My favourite songs on the album were Party In The Bathroom which is the last song on the album. I would describe it as a House/Hip-Hop fusion club banger. I was also feeling his song Hawkes Bay which demonstrates his songwriting chops. It has a great melody, great beat and some tight double time raps.

Lucid Hiest is obviously uber talented. He writes great songs, produces, raps, sings. The guy does it all and does it all extremely well. He’s basically a one man hit machine.

Isiah Ngawaka is on the grind big time and putting his best foot forward with this impressive debut album.

Lucid Hiest is the whole package. I would be surprised If he didn’t get massive love from urban radio. If he gets in with a DJ or station willing to push him and get his songs out to the masses, we could see the rise of a brand new star.






JCK is a hot new Hip-Hop artist from New Zealand who is releasing an album called 'Land Of The Wrong White Crowd' mid 2015.

Before New Zealand gets pre-occupied with summer and holidays I would like to take this opportunity to introduce JCK to you in an "Interview With The Vampire" See video below.





Watch out for JCK's new single dropping Friday the 13th of February on the projector at Eden Bar in Auckland.

I've seen the video and I can safely say that the new single 'Tipee Tipee Taa Taa' is every kind of WTF!

Controversial to say the least. 'Tipee Tipee Taa Taa' is the first single to drop from the forthcoming Hip-Hop album 'Land of The Wrong White Crowd' by the hot new New Zealand Hip-Hop artist JCK.

The single makes fun of famous New Zealanders and the music video is like something straight out of American Horror Story. Featuring near naked models, talking Gorillas and a vampire called Jumpgeusse. Pronounced (Jumpy-Juice)

The teaser video alone has clocked up a hefty number of you tube views.


See the teaser for the forthcoming single 'Tipee Tipee Taa Taa' below.


 “ On the surface this is a Diss track. I’m being a total jealous envious Brat. Theres no two ways about it. But there are so many levels to this song. I think it’s really about me trying to come to terms with the environment I’ve found myself in over the span of my career. I think in this song I’m taking on the role of the hater to understand what makes these people tick. I would say it’s a comment on society as a whole.

JCK certainly flexes his creative muscle with this project having single handedly made the music video and single.

“I make my own music videos and produce my own music, I’m doing every role you can think of from camera man, lighting, make up, directing, producing, editing. The whole shebang. It’s all DIY, but I make it look like a million dollars”

Who is JCK making fun of?  "I can't say, all that I can say is that It could be you, It could be someone you know"......

The single is scheduled to drop on Black Friday 2015 with a release party at Eden Bar followed by The "Tipee Tipee Taa Taa" Auckland tour and just to add to this twisty tale. JCK is showcasing a lot of the album which is largely electronic based with arrangements played on acoustic guitar.


If you would like to get JCK in for a live to air or an Interview....he'd love to.

You’ll be seeing a lot of JCK in 2015 so lets make our selves acquainted.


Contact James

Locked Down And Dope Records





L.A.Z Blatant Honesty


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L.A.Z aka Larry Fyntz, real name Laz Karaka is a NZ Hip Hop artist that stands out from the crowd for his share talent and originality. Every time I’ve seen L.A.Z, from his What Kind Of Raps You Got entry, to his One Outs Street Battles performances, he’s impressed the hell out of me.


He’s released an album this October for free download and as you might expect, it’s…..you guessed it….impressive as hell


Blatant Honesty is a 13 track album by L.A.Z featuring Funk Village, The Illatary with production features by L.A.Z, SickDrumz, EmBeatz and Angry Nate.


L.A.Z has a youthful voice and his rap style is nimble and fast paced. L.A.Z’s a fantastic rapper but also a talented beat maker and amazing songwriter. Every track is dripping with originality and skill. The songs sound up to date and modern and the production and beats are skilfully crafted and captivating. Most of the production is bass heavy and synth heavy. No 90’s or early naughties sounding boom bap on this one.

Stand out tracks for me are Duck My Sick, ANMFTSAU, Hone Heke, Burn This Bitch Down, and my personal favourite, No Love From You. L.A.Z sites rappers Meek Mill, YelaWolf, Hopsin, Eminem and Tech N9ne as influences and as someone who's a fan of these artists, I can confidently say, you will like this album.

I’ve seen pretty much zero publicity for Blatant Honesty, but it’s still had plenty of listens on his Soundcloud page. Which tells me he has a good amount of people who already know about Larry Flyntz skills.  Like he says on his song Motive Haters, L.A.Z is hood famous ....sooooo if you didn't know.....now you know.

This is a free album and I recommend you cop that.

Get Blatant Honesty by L.A.Z here.



Check out the music video for Duck My Sick.





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Dylan Smiler aka Dyslo came from rough beginnings, including the thug and drug life. His early years were spent watching his parents fight and finally overcome their addictions, later becoming his biggest inspiration.


Dyslo is sharing his inspiration on 'Broken Down Doors', the new 17 track album from Dyslo and Kelly Rose, with beats by SoulChef.


Following on from their last release 'Higher Learning',  'Broken Down Doors' is a little more mellow and easy listening, while still heavily on the positive message tip. 


Dyslo sticks to his trade mark formula, rapping about his reality, struggles, situations, thoughts and feelings. Kelly Rose backs him up with her soft backing vocals and chorus hooks. She comes to the forefront on the songs 'Thieves And Vultures 'and 'Feel The Same' and has a much bigger part on this album.


Dyslo is a man on a mission. 'Broken Down Doors' is his second release this year. I came across Dyslo earlier this year when he released his 'Higher Learning' album.

You’ll find Dyslo on the constant hustle, waking the world up to his five albums 'Slo Assassin Street Mix', 'Lifes Like A movie', '2 Hood For Radio', 'Higher Learning' and 'Broken Down Doors'.


'Broken Down Doors' also features rappers Dziak, Pakkz The General, Munashe, Forsyt and Ice Man. With beat maker SoulChef bringing some very soulful boom bap to the project.

The production on the album is professional and the overall feel is very laid back and easy listening. The kind of album you wanna pour a bath and relax to.


If you want TRUTH, HEART and SOUL, you will appreciate Dyslo's music.















Emerald is a singer/rapper/producer from Dunedin, NZ.  She makes alternative rap. I had a listen to her E.P the Emerald E.P  and her music reminds me of live Hip Hop/Funk bands like The Shades and her eclectic influences of rock, funk and blues make for an interesting listen.

She recently got back from completing a Bachelor in Contemporary music performance in the deep south and is now about to put out her first music video. 

Emerald also loves to perform. Her favourite venues are outdoor festivals such as last years Twisted Frequencies. She also loves to collaborate with other local artists.

I caught up with Emerald and asked her a few questions.

Q. Who are some of your musical influences.

A. Female MC, Dessa (Of DoomTree), Nas, Talib Kweli, and kiwi rapper and friend, Trillion."I want to write music that expresses who I am. Music that people can relate to and enjoy whether they are Hip hop heads or not." 

Q. You do the occasional rap battle. Why? 

A. "Just so I don't get rusty. And it's fun". 

Q. How did your music video for Difficult come about?

A. I had an amazingly talented film making friend who I'd been looking to do a project with, so I wrote a song, chucked a few of my musical friends in it, then hitched up to Kaikoura and made a video with her. It's been an awesome experience that I've learnt a lot from. Can't wait to make another one."

Q.How would you describe your music in one sentence?

A. Damn, I had to come back to this one. Tough. I'm gonna say my music is 'Rhymes to inspire introspection'. 

Q.What sets you apart from other acts/groups?

A. The obvious one is being female. Beyond that, my music is honest and real. I'm not trying to be gangsta. I tackle fresh topics. I'm expressing my own unique thoughts and experiences. I love what I do and I think that shows in my presence on stage. 

Q.Whats your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?

A. Favourite thing is the love that you get within the hip hop community. Even as the white girl at the battle there's still a mutual respect. Least favourite thing is the bad rep we have. I often see peoples faces lose interest when I tell them my music is rap. That's a pity because I try to write my music so there is something for everyone. But a lot of people switch off before they've heard it because they are picturing me rolling with 50 Cent or something.

Q.What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers? 

A.Just do it! Keep looking outside yourself for inspiration. Collaborate with others. You never know who might be keen to work with you. Make every song better than your last. My ears always prick up when someone raps about something real that I can relate to. Find something important to say and deliver it in a way that is authentically you. 

Watch out for her music video Difficult featuring Jacob Wright, LEWKA and Myra D dropping next week. I’ve had a sneak preview and it’s pretty dope.

Check out these fantastic screen shots from the up coming music video Difficult.

Check her out on Facebook, Soundcloud, Youtube, and Bandcamp.

Buy the latest Ep. (You choose the price)


Free song downloads of earlier material:












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Tauranga Hip-Hop crew House Of Gold is Mr Ridl, Quizzy, Havok, Merlin and VSOP1 They recently opened for international superstar Lloyd at Taurangas La Casa. I caught up with Axel Rose aka Mr Ridl to find out more about them.


Who and what is House Of Gold?


We are simply 5 good as mates that like to rap and record and produce our own music. We have all developed our own styles and are progressing ERRYDAY !You can catch us in the weekends usually dipping through Tauranga town, and local parties and gigs, hopefully performing at most !


When did you start and what inspired you to make music?


We all started at our own times but as a crew we have been going hard for about 3 years now


How would you describe your music in one sentence?


3 words House Of Gold.... hahahaha we got a lil bit of everything really, we got some old school some turnt some trill some real shit and some chopping shit.


What sets you apart from other acts/groups?


We get down with other crews but we just keep it real to our self and just work for our dream.


Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?


We are proud of all our music because all our tracks represent us as a crew.


Where do you come from or what part of NZ do you or your group represent?


We all come from Tauranga we represent all over New Zealand but more Papamoa.


Do you produce your own beats or do you use any particular beat maker?


Some times we do but lately we have been buying our beats of other beat makers around the world, but I am learning to make some new beats.


Whats your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?


Our favourite is where Hip-Hop can make any bad day a good day .Our least favourite thing is the amount of people that try to stop other artists from making their own type of music


Tell us about your next release.


House Of Gold is working on our 1st every Album it has 25 tracks with 5 music vids and will be making hard copies of it.We will also be planing a little tour around Tauranga to drop it.


What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?


For real just keep going hard at what you do. Sit back and have a look at other artists and see what they are doing wrong and don't do it hahah always talk to new people to make new mates that can help you out in the rap game.Most of all STAY ON YOUR GRIND.


What can we expect to see from you over the next year?


More gigs a more music more vids and maybe a tour.


Check out the latest from Mr Ridl with the music video for Started Off Local.







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If you're like me you might have caught the Under The Land radio show on The Flat fm www.theflatfm.co.nz and seen some of their interviews with some of Aucklands local rappers on Youtube. I'd seen the name on Facebook and had recently liked their page but to be honest I didn't know much about Under The Land so I caught up with Daniel Murray aka Shephurd to find out more about them. 


What is Under The Land.


- A home for musicians first and foremost, Under The Land is based on the record label format where members have full creative options for their works. As long as there is passion and quality in each recording we back it up. A tight nit crew with various collaboration projects forming a web where anyone can jam with anyone to make anything. Under The Land recently has branched out and taken a new form as a radio show on The Flat FM where each week we play local and international chilled out Hip-Hop based music.


Where do you come from or what part of NZ does UTL represent?


- Auckland.. North shore and the Hibiscus Coast is where it started and has continued to be run from, except for a period of time when it was based in Perth, Australia.

UTL represents quality music created on a low budget. We don't chase the top 20 charts, we are all about making dope joints people can vibe to from a little mix up of genres.


Who started UTL and what inspired you to get involved in music?


- Shephurd (Daniel Murray) formed UTL in November 2007 as a bebo group, over the years evolving and becoming whatever it is today. I was sitting at my desk at work bored off my ass with the career I was chasing, Installed a DAW on my work computer, plugged in the headphones and started imitating the music I was listening to - Bone Thugs N Harmony notably. Once I realized that music is where I want to devote my life to I made sure every move I made in life would some how benefit the art.


What’s your vision for UTL?


- Really, just to make dope music that not only feels good to create and perform, but also something people would actually want to invest their money in to listen to it, to come to live performances etc..   Far from money hungry - we know what it is like to have no money, we know no one buys records these days.. UTL is driven to become that indie label that invests in the artists to the point we look like we could easily be rocking a major label, So we are set out to do dope music pressed to quality made CDs and Vinyl releases, Small scale to large gigs.. Investing our own money into top notch music videos and really just representing New Zealand music to the absolute fullest.


Tell us about UTL next release.


- On the re-launched Under The Land, Shephurd - Exit 420 EP is dropping first. Not a big release, just something to build up from. A small batch of CDs, test the waters with the Vinyl pressing perhaps. After Exit 420, the first full scale album we are dropping is a self-titled LP from 'The Escape' Which consists of myself (Shephurd) on the beat and MC-turned-singer Misaya. The Escape LP was recorded back in 2012 in two weeks.. We have been waiting for Under The Land to reach a level where we can mix it down professionally, press up CDs & Vinyls of a high quality and get some dope music videos under way to help promote it, all which we couldn't do in '12 at the standard were trying to set. After The Escape LP we have various small projects to drop which we are working on now.


What can we expect to see from UTL over the next year?


- The music we have been crafting to perfection over the last couple years. UTL's first music videos, pressed Vinyls and CDs, Online distribution. And Events.. UTL shows are coming back in a new way from what we used to put on when it was primarily a rap label.. So getting real nice with the live sound mix and lighting.. visuals etc.. Making a show, not just another club gig. Integrating the brand closer with The Flat FM now we are working with them.


What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?


- What I would expect of anyone who is attempting to make a life out of music is just that - It is a life style. Music.. the Hip-Hop culture especially.. It's a lifestyle.. You have to be willing to go hungry for the love of the music. sweat and bleed music as you go day by day making as many moves as possibly to make that end result come to fruit. If your going to rap, Don't be half assed about it. Learn how to work in a professional manner in the studio, perform without getting black out drunk.. re-write everything a couple times.. basically you want to create a product that will go down in history as a classic. If you are not striving to make this kind of work then perhaps keep it as a hobby. You are putting your time and energy into a piece of ART..  Make it count.


Producers have to switch it up and create some new shit.. There is a lot of dope work being made at the moment.. TDE is rocking it hard, Funk Volume is doing it big on the tours.. These are the kind or artists you need to compare your production levels to these days... This is the shit people want to hear. Get creative with the art direction of your productions, get your beats mixed by someone who knows what they are doing to make the hardest hitting kicks and snares etc.. sickest EQing on the riffs etc.. ballsy as bass.. Make some art, not just another fucking beat that sounds like everyone else on YouTube. ... Thats what it is. ART.


And in general - Everyone that is making music - Buy some damn studio time. If you cannot afford to invest your time and effort into saving up money to make the most top notch quality recordings and mixings, then what is the point? Work like the next song you are creating is going to be heard by Dr. Dre. .. You want that mans head to nod.


Shephurd sent me a sneak peak of his upcoming release Exit 420 an instrumental album. I would describe it as laid back electronic soundscapes mixing elements of Hip-Hop, Dub, Down Beat and Electronica. It's a pretty relaxing listen and I can see if getting love from Alt radio.





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If you're a Hip-Hop head from New Zealand the chances are you've come across SKC Dose 'n' Deps.

Strictly underground and non commercial, SKC Dose 'n' Deps keep their lyrical themes dark and grizzly and their image is both creative and captivating. Always masked, no one has ever seen what these guys actually look like.

The thing I find impressive about SKC Dose 'n' Deps is their massive repertoire of music created in a relatively short time. To me this speaks volumes about their commitment to their craft.

Their latest release is a 13 track album called Live Evil. Live Evil is available as a free down load from datpiff.


I like how SKC Dose 'n' Deps take samples from old movies, youtube videos and T.V adds and use them in their songs. A lot of the vocals on their tracks sound LoFi, but these two elements help create their signature sound. Live Evil is a must have for fans of raw underground and Horror-core Hip-Hop.

SKC Dose 'n' Deps have over 1000 followers on Soundcloud where you can listen to their many songs of their several mix tapes and albums.


I was lucky enough to get an interview with Dose and found out more about SKC Dose 'n' Deps.

Q.How would you describe your music in one sentence?

A.100% crazy insanely rare punch ya grandmum in the face rap fresh from the New Zealand underground Hip-Hop dungeon.

Q.What sets you apart from other acts/groups?

A.We've been rapping for nearly 2 years and never revealed our identity to the public, we've deliberately remained annonymous to be seperate and different from the other nz mc's.

Q.Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

A.If we had to pick one it would have to be "Kiwi On A Cloud" from our Mixtape "Underworld 19.11", it was the first song we recorded on a proper microphone.

Q.Where do you come from or what part of NZ do you or your group represent?

A.We represent for all of New Zealand, but we're originally from Hamilton city.

Q.Do you produce your own beats or do you use any particular beat maker?

A.We make alot of our beats using a few different programs like FLstudio Audacity ect, we also get instrumentals off beatmakers from websites like Soundcloud and Bandcamp and sometimes from a few other sources as well.

Q.Whats your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?

A.Our favourite thing about Hip-Hop is getting to be a part of it, our least favourite thing about Hip-Hop is when rapper's bite other rapper's styles

Q.Tell us about your next release.

A.Our next release is F#$kd Up, crossing fingers we dont get arrested for it, there's heaps of new swear words, some legendary underground nz g-rhymes, a seance, a couple harty bars here and there and some new collabs from other local nz artist's/ producers.

Q.What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?

A.Its cold out here but the tough still hustle, it's an uphill struggle, you could fall face first in a mud filled puddle, but dont let that dampen you spirits its a fact that we winning dont act like you diddnt no. "Victory's possible cynicism an obsticle - SKC"






Click here to go to TWOBARSHORT VOL TWO by TWOBARSSHORT on Bandcamp.

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King Kai,NPC, Eyez and Micsure are a Dunedin/Christchurch based Hip-Hop crew called TWOBARSSHORT.

TWOBARSSHORT have just released a four track E.P called TWOBARSHORT VOL TWO

Independently released on Bandcamp and available for what ever you think It’s worth. TWOBARSSHORT have delivered four tracks of crispy well produced and keenly crafted songs that will resonate with fans of underground NZ Hip-Hop.

TWOBARSSHORT are aiming to release four E.P's in 12 months. Volume One was released in May this year and is also available on Bandcamp.

TWOBARSSHORT are in touch with the NZ Hip-Hop scene. Delivering what I feel the Hip-Hop heads of New Zealand want and thats straight from the heart non commercialised Hip-Hop. Like the lyrics to the opening song So Sly say. Their music is for the druggies, the skaters and the misfits and theres not a commercial offering in site.

TWOBARSSHORT have an authentic New Zealand flavour to their sound and manage to deliver without sounding overly American which I personally always appreciate and their vocal delivery is tight, energetic and upbeat.

The stand out element in this E.P is the production. King Kai makes dope beats and the mixing and mastering on the E.P sounds top notch.

I caught up with Micsure and asked him a few questions about TWOBARSSHORT and the new E.P.

How would you describe your music in one sentence?

A collaboration of Hip-Hop heads trying to still live in the nineties.

What sets you apart from other acts/groups?

I guess our drive to release four E.P's within 12 months. I don’t really know any one who has done that.

Which one of your songs are you most proud of, and why?

I personally like track 2 on the E.P (Bricks in the wall) because of the level of the verses we bring and the hook sticks in my head.

Where do you come from or what part of NZ do you or your group represent?

We are mainly Dunedin based with the exception of Micsure who lives in Christchurch.

Do you produce your own beats or do you use any particular beat maker?

King Kai aka Hamish Clulee makes the beats and produces the tracks he also emcees on some tracks. He's an all rounder.

Whats your favourite and least favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture?

My favourite thing about Hip-Hop culture is the freedom of speech being able to use the format to say what ever u want and try to make it sound dope at the same time. My least favourite is the fact people have seemed to have forgotten what Hip-Hop is and we are seeing an increase of watered down raps breaking the air waves. Ultimatley warping the definition of Hip-Hop for todays youth to something that to me is strictly advertisement.

Tell us about your E.P.

This is the second E.P in a series of four. We just lay down what we feel at the time. Go with the flow then King Kai makes it sound sicker than when we started. We aren’t going for any particular sound we just do what each mc/producer feels n chuck it together giving each verse a unique sound almost changing the feeling of the song completely.

What advice would you like to give to other aspiring rappers/producers?

I know its corny but just keep doing what ya doing yo.

What can we expect to see from you over the next year?    

Over the next year two more E.P's and hopefully a bundle of gigs.







Coconut Lime is the new New Zealand On Air funded music video from Team Dynamite featuring Che Fu.

Team Dynamite are Tony Shihamau aka Tony TZ and Lance Fepuleai aka Lucky Lance with production from Haz Huavi aka Haz Beats

The music video has an awesome Kung Fu style theme. Following a story of two Kung Fu wannabes who get their buts kicked by a group of marauders. After their defeat they realise they’re not as bad ass as they thought they were. So they employ the help of Master Fu (Che Fu) who trains them in the Coconut Lime style. After returning from training, the duo find their master dying on the ground and his home set ablaze by villains. Distraught by the death of their master, they vow to avenge him. Master Fu’s dying words are “use the Coconut Lime style”. They set off to avenge their master and inevitably defeat their enemies and avenge their master with the mighty Coconut Lime style. 

The music video made by Eddy Fifield is very well done and has a great cinematic look to it. I particularly like the wide screen effect.

The music video has only been out for just over a week and has clocked up a tidy 10,000 views. I’ve already seen it pop up on my Facebook feed a couple of times so it’s definitely appealing to their audience.

Having Che Fu on a track is always a smart move and along with the great music video and extended reach obtained with New Zealand On Air funding scheme, this jaunty track is bound to leave an impression on the NZ music world.

Coconut Lime is off of the album Shepherds Delight available from iTunes.


Check out Coconut Lime by Team Dynamite.