CITY: Sunset Beach
SONGS THAT GOT US: “Ashes of Da Past,” “Old School Toyota”
ON THE TUBES: MySpace
RECORD LABEL: Ill Valley Productions
WHY THEM? After suffering through years of Magnum, P.I. and a Brady Bunch story arc featuring a missing tiki and a tarantula, Hawaiians must be pissed about mainland interlopers. Hawaiian hip-hop outfit Ill Valley’s MC/lyricist Hoku Haiku takes the high road of sorts, simply noting that, one day, the islands will be rid of the damn fat tourists once and for all. In “Ashes of Da Past,” over an addictive, mournful acoustic-guitar riff, he summons the “haunting sound” of “the conch shell” and warns of a time when “the tourist traps will get no water for their courses/No leis made of plastic and tacky tiki glasses/Every single condo can’t have koa cabinets.” In other tracks, like “Old School Toyota,” he celebrates the bra-therhood of cruising the islands in a sweet whip while inhaling Maui’s finest.
BONUS BIT! Hoku is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools, founded by Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, great-granddaughter and last royal descendant of Kamehameha the Great.