When I interviewed Chicago-born Mari, I knew I was speaking with a special kid. The kind of kid you knew was going places. Not just because of his colorful, honest and lyrically-driven music, but because of his passion, persistence, perspective, and above all else, intelligence. Mari embodies these host of qualities in his new music video, “All-Amerikkka.”
A montage of New York shots introduce us to the video and are met by Mari’s pleasant flow. The topic of “All-Amerikkka” doesn’t reciprocate this pleasantness, however. The listener is invited to sit shotgun with Mari and view the world through his jaded life lens, as he explains the suffocating chokehold of institutional racism. Mari effortlessly walks the lyrical balance beam, throwing jabs at the American system and exposing its bullshit through bars like: “In separate schooling and programs / Give all the tax to the rich you take from the poor man / Then put the crabs in a bucket / Let’s give em guns and say fuck it / That’s genocide, if we wait / We can gentrify and then / Play it out like a slow jam.”
He creates a juxtaposition between the song’s message and visual. While his lyrics clearly frame his frustration, Mari’s demeanor in the video isn’t aggressive; much like his flow, it’s laid back. I’m not sure if this is the intended effect, but it almost seems like his mild-mannered attitude reflects his passive acceptance of the social injustices plaguing him and America’s minorities—kind of like saying, “Okay, I guess this is the shit that I have to deal with to achieve success.” The video’s subdued nature ironically packs a powerful punch. At its heart, it’s showing a bright kid, born into unfortunate circumstances, restricted by prejudicial surroundings, trying to make it through the day. Just like any other day.
But Mari isn’t the type of person to roll over and accept this fate. He is going to continue to grind, hustle and hone his craft to ensure a brighter future for him and his peers. “All-Amerikkka” is a deep song whose blinding truth is further contextualized through this dope visual. Don’t miss it.