Dam Native

aka DAM N8V

Dam Native’s first album, Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted (1997), is widely considered one of the best hip hop albums ever to have come out of Aotearoa. The lyricism of lead rapper Danny Haimona (aka Danny D) fused hip hop attitude with a deep knowledge of Tikanga Māori and he fronted a live crew that sometimes extended out to a dozen rappers, singers, musicians, and breakdancers.

Haimona grew up in Island Bay, Wellington, and one of his childhood friends was a young Jon Toogood (pre-Shihad): both played cricket and made the local rep team. However, when Haimona was 13 years old, his father moved the family to Auckland for his work. The sudden move left Haimona feeling disconnected and listless. He was hanging around Aotea Square in Auckland’s CBD one day when he happened to meet DLT and Teremoana Rapley, who had moved to the city as part of Upper Hutt Posse. Coincidentally, the pair happened to live in the same part of town (Mt Eden) and became mentors in the years that followed. They also introduced Haimona to master carver, George Nuku, who often let the youngster stay at his house.

Cover of Dam Native's second album Aotearoa Nobody Does It Better (2010)
Behold My Kool Style, a 1996 single from Dam Native
Dam Native - Bryson Campbell, Danny Haimona
Dam Native
Dam Native - Horified One (1996, directed by Rongotai Lomas)
Dam Native - second album interior artwork design
Dam Native - Lick My Patu (2012, directed by Daniel Haimona, Rongotai Lomas)
Dam Native's 1997 single The Son featured Che Fu and was produced by Andy Morton.
RNZ: NZ Hip Hop Stand Up S2 Ep3 - Dam Native - Behold My Kool Style
Dam Native - Whakarongo Mai Nei
Dam Native - Danny D, Bryson Campbell, Bennett Pomana
Dam Native - B. Wave, Daniel Haimona, Bryson Campbell, Che Ness
Photo credit: Simon Grigg collection
Dam Native feat. Che Fu - The Son (1997)
Dam Native - Only You
Cover of Dam Native's debut album Kaupapa Driven Rhymes Uplifted (1997, Tangata Records)
Dam Native on the cover of New Zealand Musician June-July 1997. 
A poster to promote the Ram Dancehall single and live event with Danny D aka Dan E Dee on the right.
Daniel Haimona
Photo credit: Photo by Chris Traill. Simon Grigg collection.
Dam Native - Behold My Kool Style (1996, directed by Jonathan King)
Tipene feat. DLT, Tyna & Dam Native - Pioneers
Dam Native - poster for second album launch
Danny Haimona, Dam Native
Dam Native - art design for debut album

Danny D Haimona - MC

Bennett Pomana - MC

Teremoana Rapley - vocals


Bryson Campbell - guitar

Hone Manukau - MC

Thomas Kani Kani - guitar

Pirimia Falwasser - backing vocals

Tom Atkinson - drums

Jo Keating - bass

Timothy William - keyboards

Jo Kopua - percussion


Dam Native remixed the Emma Paki song ‘Standalone’ in 2003 and Haimona added rapped verses to the track. This version was released as a single with an accompanying music video featuring Haimona.


Tangata Records

Heart Music

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