Midwinter mildness, like a human version of the Easter Show thing where you squirt paint on a rotating circle, a band on tour, pulsing graphics, a peaceful show and women with different eye colours.
Raging against the machine, a boring road trip, high school musical, an ’80s celebration, a dark disco corner, rocking in a forest, fake tropics.
Continue reading June 2008: Mareko, Nathan King, Nesian Mystik, Opensouls, Over the Atlantic, Shihad, Sweet & Irie
A celebration of the glorious proletariat, work-related travel expenses, subterranean homesick New Zealander, nature porn, and cramped working conditions.
Continue reading February 2008: Katchafire, Mareko, Opshop, Salmonella Dub, Spacifix
Aaradhna shakes it, Bic is an elusive chanteuse, Adeaze get romantic, Anika gets hopeful and, hey, whatever happened to guy who came second on Idol?
Continue reading February 2006: 5Star Fallout, Aaradhna, Adeaze, Anika Moa, Bic Runga
Best use of $5000 video funding ever, a punk house, petrol crimes, at the movies with the boys, and an ode to a girl.
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.
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.