Each week we invite music lovers to share the songs that have soundtracked their lives.
This week, we speak to Peter Wadams aka P-Money, who appears on Prime's new show Anthems: New Zealand's Iconic Hits, which premieres this Sunday, April 28.
1. MAKE IT BETTER - Anderson Paak (2019)
What a brilliant song. It was released only a couple of weeks ago. I put this on the list because it's my new favourite song.
Anderson Paak is a great artist. I wasn't hugely impressed by the previous album (Oxnard) which was only a few months prior but I really loved the Malibu album (2016).
This one, Ventura, is produced by one of my favourite producers, The Alchemist, who has been doing underground hip-hop beats since the late 90s.
I've always followed his career as well, so the combination of the two meant I had to check out this track and I was just blown away. It's a modern take on a vintage soul sound, so it's right up my street and I just love it.
I love the melodies, love the production and the Smokey Robinson thing just takes it to a special place as well. It's just a wonderful, wonderful new tune that I really enjoy.
2. GONNA LOVE ME - Teyana Taylor (2018)
This track is from Teyana's release K.T.S.E. and my favourite song off that album.
Teyana signed to Kanye West's GOOD Music and they had this idea to drop five albums in a month, which is a kind of crazy marketing scheme. I feel like her album missed out on a lot of attention because Kanye was doing all of his crazy stuff and saying outrageous things, and that overshadowed the creative excellence that is showcased on K.T.S.E..
It's on a similar wave to Make It Better - you could put these two songs on a playlist together and they would suit really well.
Once again, it's like a modern take on a vintage soul R&B sound. The production reminds me of the old Kanye that I really love. With production, I always go to the beats first but Teyana is an amazing singer and vocalist. I love her tone and it's just a sweet song, I really enjoy it.
3. THE PAYBACK - James Brown (1973)
Wow, man. How good is this? James Brown, you can't really go past his catalogue when you're talking about the origins of funk and soul.
Funk music in general then goes into a lot of the roots of early hip-hop, when there was a lot of James Brown [being used], and The Payback is one of those key records. It's been sampled a thousand times.
I was hearing it through all of the samples in hip-hop through the late 80s. As a kid I started listening to rap and a lot of the break beats like Funky Drummer was underpinning all the hit songs of that era.
Then when I was in my mid-teens and understanding what sampling was, and (learning) that James Brown was a key figure, I started to realise that all of these (hip-hop) records - they're all James Brown.
KRS-One, and Boogie Down Productions was another group that l loved a lot, and Public Enemy, of course, which is also on my list - and on a lot of their drums and voice samples, James was the one shouting and screaming, and the horn stabs are by The JB's, his band.
It was really hard to pick just one James Brown song, but I felt like he was a key artist in forming my sense of groove and rhythm that I want to inject into some of the music that I make. It's a reference point at least. So The Payback is just special, it's a jam.
4. FLASH LIGHT - Parliament (1978)
I'm not sure when I first heard Flash Light, it was just one of those songs that I must have heard, even as a child somehow. It was a hit, I presume globally, but it was definitely on one of those Solid Gold compilations from the year of my birth.
It just got my imagination going. Just the synthesiser . . . Bernie Worrell, his synth bass - Bernie was just a legend. I learned more about him later when looking at videos of the band and realised he had his own album and that he was a synthesiser virtuoso.
He even worked with Talking Heads, another 80s band I really enjoy.
Then during my teens, going through old records from secondhand stores and finding what were mostly pretty cheesy compilations and then landing on a great song like Flash Light.
And at the same time I was hearing and listening to Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg and putting all of the links together. And then it also leads to that X Clan track that I have on my list which is a more P-Funk sample.
All of these things made up my musical education. Listening to rap from '88 through the early 90s period where there was a lot of samples, and then figuring out 'oh the beats and grooves come from this generation before' and then discovering that music as well.
5. FUNKIN' LESSON - X Clan (1990)
X Clan is maybe not as well known or celebrated in this era (late 80s and 90s) of hip hop but they were a really special group in my mind. A lot of that is the P-Funk sample reference in the music and doing that before Dr. Dre's G-Funk sound and using those loops.
Also, the messaging was something I'd never heard, what Brother J is saying, speaking in quite a militant way about Civil Rights in America, and talking about the plight of the African American man.
Getting these messages in a really unfiltered way as a 12-year-old white kid in New Zealand was quite eye opening and educational. It was a whole new world and a little bit confronting at first but also just fascinating. The music was politically motivated, it was educational, but it made you dance and it sounded cool to rap along.
I thought I'd throw Funkin' Lesson in because it's the kind of thing that I miss in modern hip-hop, is really overt messages. It's not often in the forefront of a lot of modern hip-hop, to have really strong political and somewhat controversial kind of messaging, but it's definitely politically important in this era.
Those guys really didn't hold back what their opinions were, what they thought were injustices and the messages they wanted to tell the world. They are one of my favourites from that era.
I used to go to the Sounds record, CD and tape store in Papakura every day after school and just look through every album and take the covers out and read them.
The staff got to know me and with whatever spare pocket money I had I would get albums. Sometimes albums got discounted, so maybe X Clan was one of those in a clearance, because it wasn't a huge commercial success. I might have picked it up cheap.
6. MICROPHONE FIEND - Eric B. & Rakim (1988)
I wanted to try to bring light to the late 80s era of hip-hop and those artists, and Rakim at the time was really very forward-thinking and trend-setting with his approach to rap.
He slowed down the tempos a little bit and the flow and his lyrics and voice were very inspirational. Before him everything was a little bit more upbeat and maybe not as deep.
So Rakim is just one of the all-time best MCs. Most people would put him on that list. So once again it's hard to choose a song from the catalogue but I also particularly like Follow the Leader with the funky guitar at the start that is (a sample from) Average White Band looped, and then the drums are just sick, and then he just comes in with so many quotables.
They do all these mutes on the track, they mute the instrumental at certain points so his vocals just really pop out and then they bring it back in. And that whole method, it sounds like they're DJ-ing and he's a live MC at a show; it gives you that feeling.
They drop the music out on all of the punchlines, so at the end of four bars he'll say his quote, and all of that stuff is the purest hip-hop to me. That's the archetype. When you want to make a real rap track I still hold that up as a bar. The impact, the voice, the lyrics, the beat, everything is kind of perfect. But it's also very raw and feels like it's going to fall apart in places but it doesn't.
Maybe because of the age I was and the time that I heard Microphone Fiend, it still brings me back to that wonderment of "wow". It transports you to a place and a feeling that once again was very far from where I was living in Papakura.
Growing up and being a kid it was the coolest sounding thing and it was like "who is this guy, he's like a wizard!" How did he come up with these lines? It sounds so cool.
If there wasn't a Rakim there'd be no Jay-Z, no Nas. And they would say the same thing, like he's the benchmark.
7. PUBLIC ENEMY No.1 - PUBLIC ENEMY (1987)
My all-time favourite group, the most inspirational and motivating group, is Public Enemy.
I go with their title track, which they had actually recorded before they even named the group, so they named themselves after the song rather than the other way round.
It has a Fred Wesley sample so it kind of ties back in with James Brown and the P-Funk thing as he worked with both of those groups.
It has the crazy synthesiser line and then the drums drop in, and (Flavor) Flav does his thing and is such a character. There's just something magic about that record, the way Flav sets it up, and then Chuck D comes in with this booming voice over the top of this monotonous one note and the drums.
It was almost the antithesis of music when it came out. Everything else is melody, harmony, different sections in a track, and a different movement with a bridge and a chorus. This is just rap over one note and it's relentless and uncompromising and it's in your face and it just sounded amazing. I still love it.
Public Enemy's albums were so well crafted. I don't know if there will ever be anything like it. They were just a really special group.