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Melodownz Goes for ‘Broke’ on New Single

The West Auckland artist taps into the raw energy of Southern rap for his first new music following his 2023 Best Pacific Album win



Melodownz has started the year strong with new single “Broke”.

The track follows his long-awaited and lauded debut album, LONE WOLF, which earned him Best Pacific Album at the 2023 Pacific Music Awards.

“I was broke on the benefit, tryna’ hit a lick,” spits the West Auckland artist on “Broke”, reflecting on his struggles living off yum yum noodles, hustling to get by.

While familiar lyrical territory for the Aotearoa rap star, his smooth and fiery rap style never gets stale, speaking volumes to his loyal fanbase. Melodownz‘s message of chasing dreams while scraping by hits home for many.

Produced by GHOS of Tāmaki Makaurau duo DUSTY & GHOS (known for MOKOMOKAI and Avantdale Bowling Club), the track taps into the raw energy of 90s Southern rap and Houston chopped and screwed soundscape. With a woozy, pitched-down 140 BPM beat, it cranks up the intensity, delivering a punchy, fast-paced vibe that grabs hold and doesn’t let go.

“I was listening to a lot of Southern rap around the time I wrote ‘Broke’. I started recording and freestyling – chanting, eventually I had the hook,” says Melodownz. “Me and Ghos were just going through beats in the studio, he initially had the BPM at 80 BPM but because I had been listening to a lot of Southern vibes, I asked him to bump it up around 140-145 BPM. And that’s how the song came about.”

The accompanying video (watch below), directed by longtime collaborator Connor Pritchard, brings the heat to Melo’s Avondale hometown suburb. It follows him and his crew around familiar spots like the supermarket, laundromat, and bus trips, capturing the essence of his upbringing, complete with the iconic Avondale spider statue.

The rapper and performer’s new single follows a stellar 2023, which saw him head to SXSW Sydney alongside some of Aotearoa’s finest up-and-coming artists. Ahead of their SXSW Sydney appearance, Melo and MOHI got together for a fun conversation for Rolling Stone AU/NZ.