The phenomenon of “Mareko feat. The Deceptikonz” was like when the Supremes became Diana Ross and the Supremes or Miami Sound Machine became Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine. Except in this case, Mareko isn’t the star – he doesn’t even show up until halfway through the song. Instead it’s Savage who gets the impossibly catchy hook, making it very much Savage feat. the Deceptikonz.
The fire-safety catchphrase of the chorus is turned into a military command for the video – which would be a whole lot easier than shooting people with flaming clothes. It’s filmed at what looks like actual military barracks, complete with the New Zealand flag flying.
The video opens with Mareko broadcasting over the camp’s PA, with his personality flipping between Robin William’s cheerful Good Morning, Vietnam DJ, and R Lee Ermey’s draconian drill sergeant of Full Metal Jacket.
The action alternates between the day and night. In the AM, drill sergeant Savage keeps the troops in line. There are outdoor exercises, head shaving, bunk inspection and some attempts at formation dancing. While at night, the troop’s barracks have been transformed into a party zone, with dancing girls wearing sexy camo. (This is actually what happened with Work & Income’s Limited Service Volunteer programme under Labour.) There’s also a bit of jungle action, where waterguns take the place of serious weaponry.
By the way, this song has one of the greatest lines in New Zealand hip hop, where Devolo tells all opponents to bring it on, adding, “I’ll pay for your minibus!” Yeah, that’s serious.
This is a really fun video, playing along with the cheeky spirit of the song. After the previous branding-intense video for “Mareko (Here to Stay)”, it’s very refreshing to just have the Deceptikonz being these cool dude MCs.
Best bit: the lack of discipline during the bunk room inspection. Eyes front!
Next… a menace II society.