Mareko Profile

aka Mark Sagapolutele, Rex Martel, Big Rex
Gareth Shute
13 Mar 2014

Mareko was one of the biggest all-around talents to emerge during NZ hip-hop’s breakthrough era in the early 2000s. He produced beats and rapped in Deceptikonz and was then picked as a flagship solo artist by his label, Dawn Raid.

His album, White Sunday (2003), was recorded in New York and two singles hit the Top 10, but Mareko's time in the spotlight was brief. His follow-up was more of a critical success than a financial one and he moved to Australia to expand his horizons. Yet he kept his hand in with the underground hip-hop heads, through a succession of mix-tapes and an online radio show, proving that there was life after death for the MC known as Mareko.

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Mareko performing at Auckland University
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Real Groove, July 2003
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Mareko
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Mareko as Rex Martel - Free At Last
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Mareko in Auckland's Conch Records
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The Deceptikonz
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Death of Mareko, the 2012 mixtape released as Rex Martell
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Groove Guide, May 2004
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Mareko - Free Food
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Trivia:

Mareko first met Alphrisk/Frisko during a fire drill at school. Mareko was told by mutual friends that he should try his freestyle skills against a boy from another class - Daniel ‘Alphrisk’ Moate. The two were impressed enough with each other to form a crew together.

In the slang of the Deceptikonz, “horsin” means to get drunk. This in-joke led to the name of their wider crew, The Horseman Family.