19 Jun 2024

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New Zealand Hip-Hop artist JCK is all about creativity and originality. Gothic imagery, catchy well crafted songs and captivating music videos set JCK apart from the legions of look alike, sound alike Hip-Hop artists currently flooding the market.

"Most Hip-Hop artists seem to want to take you on the same journey with their music. That's usually a trip through the hood they grew up in. It's like the hoods getting over crowded with rapper tour guides. I might take you to the hood for a quick look around, but only on route to the carnival"

JCK is a multi instrumentalist as well as a rapper and singer. He produces his own music and even films, directs and edits his own music videos.

"I use lots of vampiric imagery in my music videos and art work. The Vampire is trapped between worlds. He walks in the world of the living and the world of the dead. But he doesn't belong to either. I feel like that with the worlds of music. I walk between Hip-Hop culture, Rock culture and Pop culture but I don't really quite fit in any of them."

JCK has a unique approach to rap and his strong New Zealand accent gives his music and sound a whole new dimension. Similar to what you would find in the evolution of U.K grime music. If you were going to compare his sound he would be somewhere between Eminem, Everlast, Die Antwoord and Dizzee Rascal. His songs range from synth heavy and danceable club bangers to organic sounding rap ballads that are stripped back to drums acoustic guitar and harmonica.
"Like most Kiwis I've been totally brainwashed by American culture my whole life. But I try to keep my sound Kiwi and all that takes is me being myself. Other than that I've never wanted to keep it real. I spend most my time trying to escape reality. Reality is where the pain and boredom and monotony of everyday life resides. My art in many ways is a complete break from reality"
So If you're tired of the same box ticking industry Hip-Hop clones that seem to be endlessly paraded through the media, JCK offers an alternative.
"I'm inspired by larger than life artists like Marilyn Manson, Eminem, Die Antwoord, Insane Clown Posse and Rob Zombie. I'm not interested in being cool, I'm interested in being interesting"

JCK formed in music school in 2002 as JCK and the Dirty Ho Bags. Back then it was James Castady-Kristament as MC and 3 female back up singers and dancers. They played a live performance on Maori TV and James won scholastic awards for Songwriting and Production that year. That incarnation didn't last long but one of the singers Lou Ludbrook would go on to be the second member of JCK in its second incarnation as a boy/girl duo.

The two musos worked hard writing recording and playing shows around Auckland city which eventually paid off. In 2004 they caught the attention of respected Indie label Pagan/Antenna records and scored a record deal.
Soon after, they were successful in receiving funding from New Zealand On Air and recorded their debut single Freak In The Club with an accompanying music video, Freak In The Club was a Hip-Hop single that took the nation by storm and played on all of New Zealand's music television shows for a good part of a year. The single was play listed on radio station Flava and JCK were invited to play to a select audience on the roof top.

The harsh musical climate of the time and the decline world wide of album sales saw their record label cease activity after 20 years. Undeterred JCK went on to release the 5 year anniversary album independently with the album being chosen as Kiwi FM album of the week.

Their self funded music video and single Spirit X was the second single off of the album making it to NZ television music station Juice TV and receiving over 10,000 downloads on USA website www.garageband.com.

Their song Hollow Soul off of the same album also charted at number 5 on the U.K's KIAC Independent Music Charts Big 100,000 in the Dance category and attracted tens of thousands of listeners.

They also had 2 singles make it to the Kiwi Hit Disk from the album. Their single Truly Mine and the ever popular Freak In The Club.

In 2010 song writer MC and producer James Castady-Kristament went solo losing the female vocals of Lou Ludbrook and bringing the male vocals to the forefront.

In April 2011 JCK's music video for his single Cars And Money was play listed on C4's Homegrown and received thousands of YouTube views. That year he also teamed up with The Robba to collaborate on a song called Swearwords which attracted over 100,000 YouTube views. JCK and The Robba released a single in 2007 called Like A Virus with a home made music video. The video got play listed on Alt TV and JCK and The Robba toured New Zealand on the Odd Get Even tour.

In 2012 JCK released the full length album titled The Bees which got him noticed by Urban/pop label Empire Records. James signed a deal with Empire in August 2012.

Also that same year JCK was privileged to be involved with being the rapping voice for Benvolio in the musical movie remake of Romeo and Juliet: 'Romeo & Juliet A Love Song'.

In 2013 JCK released The Vampire Trilogy of singles and music videos through Empire Records. With a new image and fantastic visual aesthetics. JCK's single Stroke The Cat was play listed on C4 and his single Straitjacket received thousands of YouTube views.

These were the first videos to introduce the character and JCK mascot. Jumpygeusse, a top hat and coat tails wearing, black lipped and white faced Ghoul.

JCK's third full length album titled Land Of The Wrong White Crowd is now available.

Band Members:
James Castady-Kristament


Member Managed Listing

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  • Auckland

Media Downloads

  • Freak in the club

    Everybodies favourite pop song and anthem of 2005. Freak in the club love it or hate it. It's gonna stick in your head for weeks and weeks. Infact probably the rest of your life. The 'Freak in the club' video is available on you tube. As seen on C4 and Juice tv.
    Download Now [Size: 4.5MB | 3:56 | 160kbps]

  • Like a virus

    Haberdash Rap/Alternative styles. Collaboration with Alt rapper The Robba. Request the video on Alt tv C4 and Juice. Or google like a virus to see the video.
    Download Now [Size: 4.16MB | 3:38 | 160kbps]

  • Long White Cloud

    This is a straight up Hip Hop track about nucleaur warfare and the end of the world. Here is what Andrew Fagan from Kiwi thought of Long white cloud. "Been playing Long White Cloud' in the new song slot for a couple of weeks. It sounds great and quite arresting. Lyrics wise and catchy as! Aoooow Long white cloud" "Its going into high rotate category next week" Andrew Fagan Kiwi FM
    Download Now [Size: 4.09MB | 3:34 | 160kbps]

  • Radio Song

    Radio song is one of the first songs we ever recorded. Back then we were called 'JCK and The Dirty Ho Bags' With Lou Ludbrook Anji Sami and Kat Theo dancing and singing their hearts out and basically being silly and taking the piss.
    Download Now [Size: 2.78MB | 03:01 | 128kbps]

  • Spirit x

    'Spirit x' is based on a true story of a family friend who was raped and murdered by gang members. Not a happy subject but a great song thats been getting loads of attention and thousands of downloads on www.garageband.com and a 5 star rating.Dedicated to Jodi. Rest in Peace you were a beautiful soul.
    Download Now [Size: 5.95MB | 5:12 | 160kbps]

  • Your Love Mr Boinkin remix

    'Your love' as remixed by Mr Boinkin.
    Download Now [Size: 3.67MB | 3:12 | 160kbps]

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Reviews / Interviews

Comments (Newest First)


Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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Posted: Mon Feb 6, 2012 9:39 pm


This message was edited by jck2 on Mon Feb 6, 2012 9:40 pm.


Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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New JCK official website with free download
Posted: Sat Mar 19, 2011 12:40 am


Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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JCK Spirit X Video on Juice TV
Posted: Mon Feb 9, 2009 5:36 pm
Hey if you've seen it we'd like to know what you think?

If you don't know what I'm talking about you can see it here.




Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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Rap it up. a blog on alternative rap in NZ
Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2008 11:28 pm
If that sounds like your cup of Mountain Dew then check out the Rap blog on Yahoo http://new.nz.music.yahoo.com/blogs/rapitup Evil


Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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Att: Rap and Hip Hop Groups
Posted: Mon Apr 7, 2008 1:22 pm
I'm doing a weekly column on the NZ xtra home page called 'Rap it up'. A blog on alternative rap music. So if you're in an upcoming rap group drop me a Bio to [email protected] and I will do a write up on your group and get you exposure to 30,000 readers.

This message was edited by jck2 on Tue Apr 8, 2008 12:09 pm.


Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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Thanks for buying the album
Posted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 2:47 pm
A big thanks to all of you who checked out our album on line at


We have sold a bunch of singles and quite a few entire album downloads so thanks guys! Surprised

Let us know what you think If you got it.


Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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Two new videos on the way from JCK
Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:08 am
Hey Friends

James CK, Lou Ludbrook and Alex Santes headed off to Wellington on Friday the 21st of September in a rental car to shoot a music video for the JCK song Spirit X.

We were supposed to fly but on arrival at the airport we discovered that we had booked the flights for the 21st of November because of the stupid computer system defaulting to the nearest available flight rather then the one we requested.

But we made it safe and sound after 8 hours of driving had a few beers and then crashed out.

In the morning we headed off with director and film maker extraordinare Mr James Manntan from Get This One productions to our first location by the water near Tepapa in Wellington city. After that it was off to Mt Victoria where we shot most of the footage in the forest with the dappled light playing to que through the trees.

From what I could see from our handycam footage its going to look dope.

On the second day we went to the studio's to film against a plain white background and having finished all the shots that needed us we retired back to Jame's house were we got on the piss and started filming another video for 'Radio song'. Since we had all the equipment we needed and a plain white wall in the house to use as a back drop we thought we'de just nock one out for fun. It was a bit rough because we had all had too much to drink but we took enough footage to peice a lil something together.

All in all a great adventure! So watch out for them on C4, Alt and Juice around November. Should be a great success!


J Happy


Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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The New Zild accent and music Can I get a Yea Yall? No!
Posted: Tue Jul 31, 2007 1:58 pm
I just read an Interesting article in Rip it up mag by some guy called Ben Weaver called Can I get a Yes Yall? No! Outlining his aboration of americanised New Zealand Hip Hop.

Well I'm thinking... fair enough Its our accent we should use it. But then again have you ever heard a straight Kiwi or Australian accent on a hip hop track?
Oooh Its a bit rough makes me want to gnaw my ears off.

The other thing that came to mind was why do they always just look at Hip Hop? because its absolutely rife in Rock and Pop also.

If it was good enough for Led Zepelin, and David Bowie, Tom Jones you know British folk who didn't exactly sound like they were singing in cockney accents, why is it not acceptable according to the gate keepers of popular opinion for kiwis to pronounce words in a understandable uniform well pronounced way such as american english. I see it as the universal language of music, its easily understood and well pronounced and can't rhymes with rant which in NZ or English cockney does not. Just an example.
After all Rock n Roll and Hip Hop are both black american in origin and shouldn't realy have anything to do with us down hear at the bottom of the world anyway.

I'm not saying that NZ accents shouldn't be used because they should, but where do we draw the line between 'I cant understand a word your saying because your swallowing all the vowel sounds' and 'you sound like your yankin off'?



Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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JCK 5 Year Anniversary Album
Posted: Mon Jul 16, 2007 10:34 am
For collectors of rare and unique music. Haberdash Rap its like Hip Hop but not. The JCK 5 year anniversary album is available at CD Baby. 17 Tracks spanning 1 hour of music to sample tracks from the album go to



Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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'Like a virus' music video by JCK and The Robba
Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 7:05 pm
NZ music peoples If you want to check out this Indie vid feel free to request it on C4 Juice and Alt tv. they got it and will probably play it. Or you can go to


Joined: 06/06/07
Posts: 45
Location: Auckland
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JCK getting radio play
Posted: Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:52 pm
Hi people Haberdash rappers JCK are getting radio play. We've sent almost every radio station in NZ our 5 year anniversary album. So you can request a song by us any time you like. Mr Green

Bfm are playing our version of 'Jesus I was Evil'

Kiwi FM are playing 'Like a virus' colab with The Robba .'Long White Cloud,'and 'Positive', and they will play more as time goes on. We are also being featured for Album of the week in August so listen out.

George are playing 'Freak in the club', 'Victoria' and 'Jesus I was Evil' but they need encouragement from our fans because they dont do too much indie music.

Radio 1 Dunedin are playing 'Positive' and hopefully this list will keep growing.

Oh and the music video for 'Like a virus' can be requested on Alt tv and C4 and seen on youtube. Google it!

Peace out

JCK Blue Razz

This message was edited by jck2 on Wed Jun 27, 2007 3:53 pm.

This message was edited by jck2 on Wed Jun 27, 2007 4:05 pm.

This message was edited by jck2 on Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:10 pm.


Joined: 07/06/04
Posts: 2
Location: Auckland
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The odd get even tour
Posted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 7:23 pm
JCK, The Robba and Drums taking the freshest music to New Zealand.
Come and check it out this is soooo fresh!!

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