South Auckland hip hop crew hope to inspire rangatahi

By Tepara Koti
South Sufficient releases first single - Photo / Joel Shields

Newly-formed hip hop crew "South Sufficient", based in South Auckland, have released their first single in time for New Zealand Music Month, and hope to inspire more rangatahi to follow their dreams.

Leonard “Impakt" Rawiri, Whare “Envioso” Tana and Ben "Champ" Layne are no newcomers to the industry, while Joel “Status” Shields and Skye “MzSkye” Stirling (Te Whānau-a-Apanui, Ngāti Whakaue) are looking to make their respective marks on the local hip hop music scene.

Although South Sufficient's members have varied backgrounds and experience in the music industry, Impakt says all five members are passionate about getting their music out there to be enjoyed by young and old.

"All the artists are from all over South Auckland; three members are Māori, one is Pākehā and one is from Barbados - aged in our 20s and early 30s," says Impakt.

While cyphers have been around for some time, its popularity has picked up in recent years as more awareness around hip hop culture takes flight.

The crew's leader, Leonard "Impakt" Rawiri (Tainui) says their cypher video was to help introduce the crew to Aotearoa, and that along with this release, each artist has been working hard on their own singles to keep their creativity flowing.

Impakt explains that South Sufficient was born out of a similar concept he was part of in Brisbane, "Built For This", for ex-pats who shared the same love for hip hop music.

Upon returning to Aotearoa at the end of 2014, he decided it was the right time to get the artists together, " help one another on our journeys in music, inspire youth through New Zealand Hip Hop with a positive vibe."

"NZ Music Month is so good for musicians as it is a spotlight on local artists, exposure for artists is increased and people are more receptive to listening to all types of music in any genre," he adds.

The crew's message to aspiring rangatahi - "Our music is very positive and uplifting, so hopefully they gain the self-esteem to go out there and give life their full attention and not hold back anything, see the world and live life to the fullest."

You can check out more of their updates via their facebook page, or via their official Vevo YouTube channel.