Tipene Harmer - tūpuna (ancestor) driven (#13)

You’re either growing or you’re shrinking. We’re like plants, none of us stays the same. We’re living things. We’re either going this way to higher things or back this way, to death.— Tipene Harmer


Tipene Harmer is a rapper, a kaiako (teacher) of mātauranga Māori, and an all-around awesome dude.


Patreon whānau exclusive: my favourite tāonta from this kōrero was around decision making. I wrote about how I've been working on mine here.


We spend the first chunk of the interview talking/geeking-out about Aotearoa hip-hop and the connection to te ao Māori and American culture, then we move onto our standard (delicious) fare of kai, how he got to the position of living a life he loves, what could have stopped him, his new album Heritage Trail, and a whole lot more.


As well as the above, here are a few of the taonga (treasures) Tipene shares:


  • The best advice he got from Scribe.
  • The purpose and motivation behind his latest album. 
  • The motivation behind his first mixtape and forays into rap.
  • Getting out of our own way.
  • The power of decision making and the influences on those decisions. 
  • The hard way, and the hard way and how 
  • The strength we get from connection.
  • The power of music and kotahitanga (bringing together). 
  • What he’s learned from the rangatahi he works with as a teacher.
  • His song-writing process and how he used his song Turangawaewae to teach tīkanga marae to his students.
  • How rap encouraged him to read.


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Resources and mentions


Dam Native

Takitimu book


Question: what was your favourite quote or lesson from this episode? Comment below and let us know!

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