3 the Hard Way

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For the 1974 action movie, see Three The Hard Way (film).
3 the Hard Way
Origin New Zealand
Genres hip hop
Years active 1994–present
  • Mighty Boy C
  • DJ Mike Mixx
Past members DJ Damage

3 The Hard Way is a New Zealand hip hop group formed in 1994. They are best known for their two number one singles - "Hip Hop Holiday" from 1994 and "It's On (Move to This)" from 2003.


3 The Hard Way's first release was "Hip Hop Holiday", which was released on Deepgrooves Entertainment in 1994. The song spent three weeks at the top of the New Zealand charts, selling in excess of 7,500 copies. Following the success of the record and the top-ten status of its follow-up, "Many Rivers", the group released their debut album later that year, Old School Prankstas.

"Hip Hop Holiday" spent three weeks at #1 and also charted in Australia, peaking at #17. The song featured an element of "Dreadlock Holiday" by 10cc. Due to a mix up with the clearance rights, all of this song's royalties now go to 10cc members Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart.

At the end of 1995, after a dispute with their label Deepgrooves Entertainment the group decided to take a break. That break lasted longer than anyone anticipated, and, despite a number of demos freshly recorded, it wasn’t until a chance meeting with producer Alan Jansson in 2001 that 3 The Hard Way found themselves back in the studio, signing a deal with Jansson and Simon Grigg's Joy label through Sony Music.

3 The Hard Way released their second album Eyes on the Prize in November 2003. It peaked at number 14. The first single released from this album, It's On (Move to This), which featured expat R&B singer Clement Karauti, went #1 after 4 weeks in the charts and made further New Zealand music history when 3 The Hard Way became the only NZ artist/s to take the #1 spot from another NZ artist twice. This time it was Scribe whose single Stand Up spent 12 weeks at the top of the NZ charts. Former member Lance 'DJ Damage' Manuel did not rejoin the band when they reformed. As a result of personal problems, the band have been quiet since.

"Old School Prankstas" was reissued by Joy Records in 2012.

Band members[edit]

  • Chris 'Mighty Boy C' Maiai
  • Mike 'DJ Mike Mixx' Paton
  • Lance 'DJ Damage' Manuel



Date Title Label Charted Certification Catalog Number
1994 Old School Prankstas Deepgrooves Entertainment 5 Platinum DG037
2003 Eyes On The Prize Joy Records 14 Gold JOY 105


Year Single Album NZ Singles Chart Certification
1994 "Hip Hop Holiday" Old School Prankstas 1 Gold
"Many Rivers" 10 -
"All Around" 22 -
2003 "It's On (Move to This)" Eyes On The Prize 1 Gold