Hip Hop High

5:30pm Saturday, December 18 on TV2

Local series Hip Hop High comes to an end this week on TV2.

New Zealand’s biggest selling hip hop artist, and host of Hip Hop High, Savage, was born Demetrius Savelio, in South Auckland. The star is of Samoan heritage and loves to promote both his South Auckland and Samoan roots.

Savage believes the dangerous street gang culture in which he grew up in limits the opportunities in life for those who grow up around it. He recounts that his own life very nearly went off the rails as a teenager until he spent a year at South Auckland’s Polynesian boarding school Wesley College in the late ’90s.

His passion for music distracted him from taking a more negative path. In the ’90s the entertainment label Dawn Raid became a medium for Savage and other South Auckland hip hop artists to create and promote their music.

The rapper first hit the airwaves with his crew, the Deceptikonz, along with fellow artists Mareko, Devlolo and Alphrisk. Since 2005, he has pursued a solo career culminating in the smash hit single ‘Swing’. The success of this song has secured him a four-album deal with New York’s Universal Republic, also home to like-minded artists Akon, Lil Jon and Lil Wayne, as well as big names like Jack Johnson and Amy Winehouse.

‘Swing’ has sold 1.5 million copies to date in the USA. It is the biggest-selling New Zealand single in American history and has surpassed the global sales of ‘Don’t Dream it’s Over’ by Crowded House and OMC’s ‘How Bizarre’.

Tonight in the season finale of Hip Hop High, Savage is now ready to choose the three students who will join him in New York City to perform for major record label, Universal.

5:30pm Saturday, November 13 on TV2

New Zealand’s biggest-selling hip hop artist and the South Auckland god-father of hip hop, Savage, is going back to school in TV2’s brand new local series Hip Hop High.

The bling-encrusted rapper has accepted the challenge of turning a classroom of traditional South Island students into a hip hop elite group. Deep in the heartland of New Zealand are two of the oldest schools in the country, Otago Boys and Otago Girls High Schools. Now both schools are set for an infusion of unadulterated South Auckland hip hop, Savage style.

In just six weeks, Savage will turn a class of classically trained musicians, dance, poetry and sports-mad students into a hip hop crew with killer beats, street style and hip hop attitude.

Each week, Hip Hop High follows the journey of the students, from their first auditions through the pressures of learning to rhyme, scratch, dance and rap. From MCing, composing lyrics and music beats, break dancing, krumping, DJing, rapping, mixing, beat boxing, the lingo, the look and the attitude – these Dunedin youngsters are embarking on a hip hop voyage of discovery.

But what the students don’t know is that the kids who come top of the hip hop class will travel to the home of hip hop, New York City, to perform with Savage at a famous New York Hip Hop club in front of Universal Records.