So, the Deceptikonz had come along and caused a bit of a ruckus, and Mareko seemed like he was going to be the group’s breakout star. He was handsome, his rhymes were clever – it had to work, right? cough Savage’s international hit single. cough
“Mareko (Here To Stay)” seems intended as an introduction to the artist, possibly inspired by Eminem’s kick-arse “My Name Is”. But “Mareko (Here to Stay)” doesn’t have a catchy chorus. Everyone can sing along with Slim Shady and feel cool, but the line “All I know is that my name is now here to stay – Mareko!” is a weak-as anti-hook.
The video sees Mareko performing the song down a narrow alley, surrounded by people wearing t-shirts promoting his album and waving banners with his name on them. It feels like there was a marketing manager on location, fiercely monitoring the shoot to ensure that everyone in the video had at least one piece of Mareko branding visible on camera.
The only bit of charm the video has is the group of little kids in the audience. In the narrow brick alley, the kids make it all seem like scenes from an urban production of a musical like Annie or Oliver, which I would actually like to see.
Otherwise all the constant brand pushing in the video becomes annoying. There are some smart rhymes in there, but they’re overshadowed by the video’s insistance in showing yet another person waving a Mareko banner at the camera. I can’t help thinking that if the video wants me to do something (i.e. remember Mareko’s name), it has to do something for me in return (i.e. give me a good song). It doesn’t hold up its end of the deal.
But then a curious thing happens. After two and a half minutes, the song comes to an abrupt halt and suddenly we get a minute-long preview of Mareko’s next single “Stop Drop and Roll”, featuring the Deceptikonz. And suddenly there it is. There’s the hook-laden single with an in-your-face Savage (sporting a black eye!) delivering the ultra catchy chorus. It totally overshadows the main single, making all the shenanigans with t-shirts and banners seem like a boring waste of time. It’s a sign that something isn’t right with the original single when the preview at the end of the video is the best thing in it.
Best bit: the small kid brass section.
Next… you think things are good but they’re not.