Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tributes flow for OMC founding member and hip-hop artist Herman Loto

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

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Gladys Hartson | Senior Journalist

Family, friends and fellow artists and DJs have taken to social media to express their love and condolences for rapper Herman Joseph Loto who died suddenly on Monday.

Known to some as the Godfather of South Auckland Hip-Hop, Loto’s career spanned over 25 years in the industry. 

A founding member of the well known Otara Millionaires Club (OMC) from South Auckland, he also released music under his stage name ‘Ermehn’ .

In an interview in 2021 with Radio 531, Herman recalls how OMC came together.

“We were experimenting with music and spending a lot of time with the Fuemana family in Otara. One night Phil just pulled us into the garage, Paul and me, and decided that we are going to call ourselves the Otara Millionaires Club.”

Also known as Radio Backstab, Herman was part of the regular crew who spent time and recorded tracks at the Otara Music Arts Centre (OMAC). Over the years he collaborated with local hip-hop artists such as Chong Nee, King Kapisi and Dei Hamo. 

Herman shared his memories of OMAC and said it was, “pivotal back then, we could express ourselves in the arts so that place was a blessing.” 

Ermehn’s debut Album Samoans Pt 2.

His debut album Samoans Pt II was praised and described as skillful and insightful, he was known for performing dressed in his ie lava lava and waving a machete over his head.

During the mid 2000s Herman was involved with well known Auckland gang The King Cobra’s however he left the life behind and established a security company called Pride Company.

Herman was also well known for his passion for MMA ( Mixed Martial Arts) and created his own MMA gym on the Hibiscus Coast. 

In the 2021 radio interview, Herman shared that it was time for a change of scenery and decided to seek opportunities overseas for his family. The fresh start came via West Australia in Perth. 

At the time, Herman also shared in his pride for his children. Herman’s son Lukhan Salakaia-Loto played rugby for the Wallabies and the Reds while son Rhyme is an MMA fighter who was also trained by Herman.

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