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Song You Need to Know: Melodownz, ‘WHEN I’

‘WHEN I’ is the West Auckland rapper’s second single of the year, confirming his title as the local king of hustler anthems



So, what hood raised Melodownz? The hood of resilience, tenacity, and unapologetic self-belief. Melodownz, the prodigal son of West Auckland, repping his roots like a badge of honour since the dawn of time.

In his latest single “WHEN I”, he charts his journey from the humble streets of Avondale to making a name for himself on the global stage. The song thumps with his unmistakable style: catchy beats, relentless flows, and lyrics that hit home.

“When I was down and out,” he spits. “I remember when they used to hate on me, you ain’t shit, you ain’t shit, throwing shade at me / Look, now the tables turn, better ease up, no days off ’cause we gotta stack the cheese up.”

But beyond the swagger lies a message of empowerment for the underdogs, the outsiders, the ones who’ve been overlooked and underestimated. Melodownz shouts out to them in a simple Instagram post that speaks volumes: “This one for all my under dawgs.”

And if you’ve ever wondered how your favourite rapper would fare in a video game, wonder no more. Dylan Pritchard brings Melodownz to life as a digital warrior, armed with a buster blade and backed by the iconic Avondale spider statue, navigating through a world of political foes (watch below). 

“WHEN I” marks Melodownz’s second single of the year, following “BROKE”, and it’s a testament to his status as the local king of hustler anthems. But despite his undeniable talent, Melodownz found himself surprisingly absent from the nominations from the 2024 Aotearoa Music Awards. (Much to Rolling Stone AU/NZ‘s surprise.)

His debut album, LONE WOLF, was an impressive drop in late 2022, earning him the Best Album award at the 2023 Pacific Music Awards. With hits like “Money” under his belt, it’s no wonder fans were expecting big things from him in categories like Best Album or Best Hip Hop Artist. 

Melodownz’s “WHEN I” is out now.