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The narrative provided by the rise of a young rapper from the streets to music's top table is one so well-tread it can sometimes feel cliché. While it's hard to find fresh perspective when relating stories from such a journey, Manchester rapper Meekz brings an intensity and steeliness to his origin story on new mixtape Respect The Come Up. The debut project features big-name guest appearances from Central Cee and Dave (who Meekz has opened for on tour) but it is when he's on his own that his voice is heard the clearest. The rapper knows about stacking it all up on his words as he is never pictured without a balaclava obscuring his face. Whether that is to focus attention on his lyrics or to evade Britain's oppressive policing of its rappers, it remains a fact that Meekz puts his whole identity into his music.
"Say Less" sets the table for what is to come on Respect The Come Up, acting as an introduction to both of Meekz' worlds. His clear delivery makes every word ring out as he delivers a sermon from a pulpit halfway between the trap ("I ain't gotta send a text to make a pack flip") and the office of the music world he's sure he is set to conquer. Producer M1OnTheBeat's drums hit hard but the pacing is set to ominous, creating space for Meekz to speak his mind. He seems to relish the opportunity, making it clear that every step forward he takes is a blessing for someone who "never thought I'd see twenty-two anyway." Right now Meekz is rapping like he's invincible.