Dam Native

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Dam Native
(formerly Native Base)
Origin New Zealand
Genres hip hop
Years active 1992–present
Website http://www.damnative.com/
Past members Danny Haimona
Bennett Pomana

Dam Native is a New Zealand hip hop group formed in 1992.


Dam Native is a New Zealand hip hop group that was prominent during the mid- to late-1990s. Its first members consisted of Danny Haimona and Bennett Pomana, now an ex-member. The group formed in 1992 under the name Native Bass and released an album at a time when the industry was virtually void of any New Zealand hip hop.[1]

Dam Native focuses on Māori issues and other political issues relating to New Zealand. The group have released two albums, Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted (sometimes shortened to K.D.R.U.) released in 1997 and Aotearoa... Nobody Does It Better" released in 2010.

Dam Native are hip hop pioneers responsible for an "Urban Musical Cultural Revolution"[citation needed] in Aotearoa/New Zealand. With hip hop as the vehicle and tangata whenua as the driver, Dam Native single-handedly were the first to bring international respect and recognition to Aotearoa/New Zealand hip hop music.[citation needed] Through poetic skills of a higher level, songwriting genius, phat beats, underground street integrity, and a passion for hip hop culture, Dam Native immediately became the benchmark for street music in New Zealand.[citation needed]

Spanning nearly two decades Dam Native's involvement in the New Zealand music industry saw them not only support major international acts such as Public Enemy, Ice T, Spearhead, Ben Harper, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Del the Funky Homosapien, Big Day Out Tour New Zealand and Australia, Body Count and The Fugees, but also became not only the first "true/real" hip hop group but the first "Maori Hip Hop"[citation needed] group to win two NZ music awards.

In 1997, the Dam Native won two awards at the NZ Music Awards - the group won Most Promising Group and Daniel Haimona won Most Promising Male Vocalist. "Behold My Kool Style" music video director Jonathan King was nominated for Best Video.[2]

Members of the band[edit]

  • Daniel Haimona
  • Bennet Pomana A.k.a B-Ware
  • Hype The Native a.k.a. Pounamu Eagle, Trema 101, H.T.N, Hype
  • MC, songwriter, musician, b.boy, programming, Dam Native Creator
  • Tribal affiliation: Te Arawa, Tainui, Nga Hou E Wha
  • Bryson Campbell
  • Blackman a.k.a. Wooly Blak, BLK, Black The Native.
  • MC, songwriter, musician, programming, live band musical director
  • Tribal affiliation: Te Arawa

Dam Native Live Band[edit]

Recently, a live band has been put together, normally referred to as Dam Native Live Band to distinguish from MC sets.

  • Lead vocals: Hype the native
  • Vocals, guitar: Blackman
  • BVs: 612
  • Bass guitar: Jo Keating
  • Guitar: T.K aka Thomas kani kani
  • Keys: Timothy William [1]
  • Drums: Tomachi aka Tom Atkinson
  • Percussion: Jo Kopua


Date Title Label Charted Country Catalog Number
1997 Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted Tangata - NZ TANGD528
2010 Aotearoa... Nobody does it better Heart Music - NZ HMCD001


  1. ^ "Dam Native". NZ On Screen. Retrieved February 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ "1997 New Zealand Music Awards". NZ Music Awards. Retrieved 26 May 2012.