By Grant Golden
September 1, 2020 (updated)
Raleigh native Mez continues a streak of fantastic releases with the unveiling of his newest single, “Loading.” Mez propelled to national fame with his heavy contributions to Dr. Dre’s 2015 release, Compton, and in recent years has continued to gather acclaim as a frequent collaborator with J. Cole and Dreamville. Between directing music videos, like J. Cole’s “Middle Child,” and featuring on 2019’s Revenge of the Dreamers III compilation, Mez has stayed busy. But all that collaboration leads fans to yearn for new music of his own, and “Loading” doesn’t disappoint.
Mez follows his last release “Southside Mez” with the new single alongside producers DJ Dahi (Kendrick Lamar, Drake) and Frank Dukes (Post Malone, The Weeknd), crafting a song that’s as poignant and powerful as it is playful. “Loading” initially hooks listeners in with a sparse soundscape– a warbling synth pluck that sits atop snappy snares, crisp kick drums, and a warm, rolling bassline, launching the track into a heavy groove for Mez to lyrically navigate.
“Loading” is a remarkably balanced and nuanced track that shows Mez delving into topics like systemic oppression, wealth disparity, and healthcare while still fitting in clever and humorous punchlines to help break tension. Mez has found a way to articulate both his own and society’s larger struggles in a way that’s both heavy and light-hearted. As he rhymes about his own hardships growing up in South Raleigh, Mez muses that “If life was a mothafuckin drink machine / That bitch stayed outta order.”
“Just got insurance for Audi, but no insurance for health,” Mez spits, “but I’m just being myself.” He then ties this back to childhood struggles with wealth, divulging about how uncomfortable he would get when “white boys always broke out the Lunchables,” and how he “wished [his] family could be more like the Huxtables.” But before the verse ends he again lightens the mood by ensuring the listener that “No, I don’t play / That’s Derrick Rose shit.” It’s this tactfulness that makes “Loading” such a strong single.
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As the track comes to a close, there’s nearly a full minute of sonic exploration with new sounds and textures that include embellishing vocalizations and ambiance, a small touch that helps to outline the ambition and scope of Mez’s aural visions. It’s been nearly six years since Mez released a full-length project of his own, and tracks like “Loading” make hip-hop heads all the more excited for the inevitable return of the “King,” Mez.
Watch the new music video for “Loading” by Mez.