So this is a bit of a weird one. From what I can figure out, in 2002 the Deceptikonz originally received funding for a song called “Chillin'”. A video wasn’t made, but the song ended up on the Sione’s Wedding soundtrack, released in 2006. But also in 2006 came the video for “Don’t Front on Me”, which seems to have been made with the transfered funding originally intended for “Chillin'”. There’s no NZOA logo on the version of the video I’ve found online, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t made with funding.
“Don’t Front on Me” was the first single from the Deceptikonz’s second album, “Heavy Rotation”. It comes after Mareko’s modest local success in 2003, but before Savage’s massive international success in 2008. In the video’s YouTube description, Dawn Raid describe the album as “slept on”.
So, to the video. It’s directed by Sophie Findlay who had previously done “Swing” for Savage. It’s a simple set-up – the group rapping in front of green-screened graphics, promoting the band and South Auckland.
It looks like Mareko wasn’t available for the video, so when his part comes, they use a body double wearing a Mareko-style bucket hat, pulled so far down that he looks like Dumb Donald from Fat Albert. Or maybe the real Mareko was just feeling really shy.
The best solo bit comes from Savage, having an angry rant in an old phone box. It breaks the monochrome world of the video to introduce a bit of bright red into the picture. The lyrics dish a bit of their reality – they don’t have to be nice to their fans but they never seem to win the awards they’re nominated for. Hmm, I wonder if the two are connected somehow.
It’s an ok song, but it doesn’t have the instant zing of their earlier stuff. And that’s what the video feels like to. It’s ok, but it’s not even close to the captivating “Stop Drop and Roll” bootcamp.
Best bit: angry phone box Savage flanked by two little Savages.
Director: Sophie Findlay
Ngā Taonga Sound & Vision
Next… we’re having a party and everyone’s invited.