North Carolina native Mez has released songs with Leon Bridges and Isaiah Rashad, set to unveil a new EP after long hiatus

By Cameron Lee

March 28, 2024

Photo: Sophia Schrank

Raleigh native rapper, producer and director Mez is gearing up for the release of his first official music project through Mass Appeal Records, The Loading EP. Morris W. Ricks II, better known as Mez (f.k.a King Mez), is probably best known to many for his writing work on Dr. Dre’s 2015 album, Compton, and for directing J. Cole’s 2019 video for “Middle Child.” 

Leading up to the release of the highly awaited EP, Mez has dropped three singles that feature Texas soul singer Leon Bridges (“Around The World”), TDE rapper Isaiah Rashad (“Hot Spot”), and Trinidadian R&B artist Kurtis Wells (“Call On”). After a nearly four-year hiatus, in which Mez produced and directed commercials and music videos for artists such as Ari Lennox, Isaiah Rashad and Sir through his production company Made By Heirs, the tracks indicate a strong shift back to music for the multifaceted artist.

On “Around The World,” Mez reminisces about his days growing up in Raleigh in the early aughts, making references to 50 Cent, Dipset, cell phones, and outlet malls while Bridges bellows, “Can’t wait for the weekend / See the sunrise on the southside.” Mez reflects on his time at Garner Magnet High School, with his gravelly voice and breezy delivery on full display, as he waxes poetic about the days when he just wanted “to write songs” and be discovered. 

“Hot Spot” blithely compares Mez’s love interest to a source of energy and vitality in the lyrics: “I’m the plug and you’re the outlet / And I really love your outfit / But that shit would look much better on the floor.” Produced by Monte Booker, Phoelix, and Cam O’bi, the bouncy but unorthodox instrumentals serve as a playful canvas for Rashaad’s sultry lo-fi guest verse.


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On the dreary track, “Call On,” Mez ponders how art has been lost in translation, a concept visualized in the self-directed music video for the song released in February. His swift lyrical style on the track is what endeared him to many fans from his earlier works; featuring a hypnotic hook by Wells, “Call On” is a standout track from the forthcoming EP. The video, centered around cello player Margaux Whitney passionately playing her instrument with television screens attached to it, Mez makes references to contradictions in the current creative landscape, and the multi-hyphenate Japanese streetwear designer, Hiroshi Fujiwara, who he draws inspiration from. 

The Loading EP will be unveiled this spring through rap icon Nas’ Mass Appeal Records. The seven-song project features Leon Bridges, Childish Major, Isaiah Rashad, Saint Jhn, Kurtis Wells, and will hopefully serve as a prelude for a steadier pace of releases for the talented North Carolina native.

Follow Mez on Instagram for updates on the  The Loading EP, set to be released on April 19.


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