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Band Hip Hop Soul


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"An album worth the wait from NZ's hip-hop soul diva"

Rating: * * * *

Most things Mu (from Fat Freddy's Drop) has anything to do with take time. Sometimes an age - remember the eternal wait for Fat Freddy's debut album which finally surfaced in 2005? But as that record proved, they're worth the wait and hip-hop soul diva Ladi6's debut album, Time Is Not Much, which was three or so years in the making, is no exception.

Mu co-produced the album with Parks (Ladi6's musical collaborator and life partner) and refreshingly it's not littered with guests. Even her cousin Scribe's bolshy rap on Call You Out ("I'm trouble, I'm B-A-D.) is short and succinct and more effective because of it.

And while Mu and Parks' ebbing and loping production presence comes through, and the powerful playing of a great band is a hallmark of the album, Ladi6 (real name Karoline Tamati) makes Time Is Not Much her own with her unique, nasal serenades and smooth, commanding raps.

It's a touching and sad record, with the title the name of a poem written by Tamati's 10-year-old cousin Boogie who died earlier this year, but it's also inspirational. There's no moping here. So Far and Down & Out, two of the more forlorn tracks, are delivered with sweetness and a take it on the chin confidence. And Walk Right Up, with its addictive reggae skank and purring organ, is one of the local songs of the year.

There's also a slinky, late night mood that comes through in the latter half of the album with Believe Me's phat, shin-shattering bass, the percussion party and rambling on More Than Fake, and the posturing, finger-pointing Jack Knife has a sniping hardcore attitude.

Considering the number of years she's been around - her first big song If I Gave You the Mic was with all girl hip-hop crew Sheelahroc in the early 2000s - and the promise she's showed, it's a relief to get a body of work that finally realises her potential.

- Scott Kara
- NZ Herald

"Ladi6 - 15 November, San Francisco Bathhouse"

Ladi6's recently released debut album Time Is Not Much has pretty much universally been getting rave reviews (including right here on Texture), and you can definitely add my voice to the clamour of approval.

Needless to say I was excited by the prospect of catching Ladi6's gig at the Bathhouse - the final date on the New Zealand leg of her album release tour. And clearly I wasn't alone, as by the time the lady herself took the stage sometime around midnight, there was a solid and friendly crowd there to greet her.

No-one who spent some time on the dancefloor would have left disappointed. Backed up by the very capable DJ Parks (her partner and the co-producer, with Mu, of Time Is Not Much), Ladi6 is a formidable live performer, slipping effortlessly between the roles of hip-hop MC and soulful diva.

Having said that, I found the sound mix on the night to be a bit muddy - a sharp contrast to the album's crisp production. And while it was a great show, I couldn't help but think that it might have been even better had she been backed by a live band.

Nevertheless, I can't recommend the album - or the live experience - enough. Put the word out to Santa that you'd like Time Is Not Much in your stocking this year - and next time Ladi6 plays, make sure you're in the front row.


Walk Right Up - LP
Time Is Not Much - Debut album



Ladi6, renowned for her energetic live performances, sublime soulful vocals and socially conscious lyrics is a world class female vocalist and MC.

Ladi6 started her musical career as part of New Zealand’s first all-girl hip-hop group Sheelahroc. Sheelahroc had the hit track “If I Gave You The Mic” which has become an underground classic.

Her band Verse Two quickly gained a reputation as a top New Zealand live soul/hip-hop group. They won the bNet best new act award, toured New Zealand with packed shows and supported international acts such as The Roots, De La Soul and 50 Cent.

Ladi6’s touring and collaborations have established her a significant following throughout New Zealand, Australia and Europe. She has performed at all the key festivals in New Zealand including the Big Day Out, Rhythm and Vines, Splore and Parihaka to name a few. She has toured Australia extensively at festivals such as the St Kilda Festival and SoCo Cargo and performing with top international artists in Australia such as Ohmega Watts, Scribe, Fat Freddy’ Drop, Shapeshifter and Freddie Cruger. She has toured Europe and throughout the UK with her partner in crime - Parks.

Ladi6’s distinctive voice has featured on some of the top underground albums to come out of New Zealand in the last decade. Her vocals feature on standout tracks by some of Aotearoa’s finest talent including Shapeshifter, Scribe, Fat Freddy’s Drop and 50 Hz and internationals such as top German Hip Hop artist Sepalot.

Ladi6’s highly anticipated and long awaited debut solo album Time Is Not Much is produced by Mu from Fat Freddy’s Drop and Parks, and was released in New Zealand in October 08 has just been released Australia.