Aotearoa is experiencing a new golden age of local hip hop. After a few years in the wilderness, the local rap talent has bubbled to the surface releasing music as good as anything coming out of the US right now. One of these artists goes by the name Poetik (Ventry Parker), and his EP ‘Hamofied’ – one of the best rap projects of 2018.
Raised in Apia, Poetik’s new project comes off the back of him winning the Philip Fuemana Most Promising Pacific Artist Award in May last year and follows three independently released records by a musician who is Samoan to the core.
Poetik’s style of rap, as exemplified on this EP, combines confrontingly honest lyricism about subjects such as systemic racism and Polynesian culture with West Coast-inspired g-funk beats.
‘Hamofied’ is straight up good time party hip hop, albeit with a conscious bent. Poetik stays true to his Samoan roots on here and is not afraid at times to get political, something which has earned him the nickname the ‘Poly Pac.’
Tracks such as Let’s Kick It, which features fellow local rap superstar Melodownz, and Get It Down, are straight out of the ‘90s LA rap playbook. Solid grooves and chilled vibes setting the scene for Poetik to show off his excellent lyrical flow and vocal chops.
Outspoken and direct in raising a wide range of real social issues, he also brings the Polynesian flavour strongly. This is especially the case on Hamofied Funk with its great sampled horn part, and on Life Is A Hustle – surely one of few recorded tracks in music history that catchily namedrops the Samoan beer Vailima.
Given the number of quality releases being put out by New Zealand rappers at the moment, the competition is fierce. This has not fazed Poetik though, who with this release has issued a statement of intent that other rappers in the game best watch out for.