Brooklyn-based, Dominican native Jarina de Marco just dropped the busy, autobiographical tropic banger “Main Dish” via Wyclef Jean’s newest mixtape, April Showers, and it’s a doozy.
Jarina’s voice channels all sorts of spirits on this track: angelic, anthemic, and bratty horny chick all at once. The song is a tad overcrowded, stuffed with competing elements that want to bury her voice and charm. “Main Dish” doesn’t need the “Khosara” sample—you know it from Jay Z’s “Big Pimpin’”—we don’t need the gimmick to be sold on this. Jarina’s presence is enough. By using such a well-known sample, one linked to Jay Z’s misogynistic call for indentured sexuality, we automatically hear the song in that context. So is this the female version of “Big Pimpin?” The video definitely makes a case for it, but not in the way we might expect.
Directed by Daniela Vesco, the video makes heavy use of its very attractive star and an M.I.A.-reminiscent aesthetic—lots of color pops and GIF-like images. The boating lifestyle represented in the video and the myriad shots of our bikini-clad vixen and her maybe boy-toy seem to be in conversation with Jay’s yacht-themed video from 16 years ago (holy shit, I feel old!). But Jarina’s version seems to be pro-women, pro-expression, and pro-monogamy (at least in this video). At times it walks a fine line between hyper-femme badassery and a little too boobtacular and gropey for its own good, but her assertion is clear: you can try to pull her down but you can’t hold her.