King Mez Jumps “In the Mix” [DJBooth Interview Exclusive]
In a world twisted by disagreements, two-sided arguments and split decisions, is there anything that’s not up for debate? Yes - the South has turned out some of the greatest hip-hop artists in the game. Ask almost anyone who their favorite artists are and chances are Ludacris, T.I., Weezy, or Jeezy will roll off of their tongue in response. So can we expect North Carolina up-and-comer King Mez to join this elite group? With excellent music, unmatched drive, and consistency on his resume, we absolutely can.
With his recent Booth features “Blow” and “I’m Dreamin” earning him some much-deserved respect, Mez knows how to grab and keep a firm hold on our attention. He also happens to know that two heads are better than one, and after joining forces with friend and producer Commissioner Gordon, the duo plan to release their collaborative emcee/producer project The Paraplegics on June 1. No doubt we can look forward to a series of hits from this talented team in the very near future; when the DJBooth.net-sponsored Paraplegics drops, that future will continue to grow brighter and brighter.
In this exclusive, five-question interview, King Mez jumps back into the Booth to talk to us about how his partnership with Gordon was formed, where his inspiration comes from, and everything we need to know about The Paraplegics.
You’ve made it known that you admire the work of Lupe Fiasco, Rakim, and Nas. How do you draw inspiration from them while maintaining your own voice?
When listening to such great, innovative artist I do my best to note everything that's most important to me. I'm only interested in making music that timeless, you know. So I try my best to only learn from music that has stood the test of time, or music that I believe will eventually. With that being said, I take what I think to be the best attributes of those artist and put em up against my own. Whatever I fall short on, I work on. Growing up everyone else was comparing their music to the best in our city, I wanted to be able to hang with Rakim and Esco and Jada. That's probably what sets me apart for real.
Many of your records are lyrically introspective. Do you write to get things off your chest, or to give your fans something they can relate to?
Both, to be totally honest. My music in general is for the betterment of the listeners though. I do my best to set a good example for anybody. So I kick what I think is moral and just. No curse words, no derogatory statements, I really use music like a tool to say what I feel like needs to be said. You'll be able to tell much more with the content in The Paraplegics.
In one of your most recent Booth features, “Blow,” you celebrate your come-up in the industry. What steps are you currently taking to reach that next level?
Honestly man, I'm taking every step God gives me. I'm in college, I don't party, I'm not real social, I don't do anything that isn't in direct or vicarious connection to my success, and I mean that. I've been networking as hard as I possibly can, getting turned down all the time. Writing the best verses I can possibly write, not always getting the feedback I want. But I love the whole process. I'm getting better and stronger every day. No matter what I accomplish I don't ever see myself not wanting to get better. I do everything in my power to advance.
How did the King Mez/Commissioner Gordon team form?
MySpace. LOL. I heard some dope joints online and hit em up. Then we did a joint for my mixtape LLTK. After that dropped we came up with the idea to do an album. It was one of those things that just happened.
Your Booth-sponsored collaborative project The Paraplegics is set to drop in just a few days. I have to ask, what's the story behind the title?
The Paraplegics is based on society and how dependent people have become. It's about how some girls depend on makeup to make them whatever they think is beautiful, and how some guys think their cars, clothes, and shoes make them who they are. Everyone is dependent. It's like nobody mans up and walks on their own two feet anymore. People won't go do things without a group, or a support of some sort. We're just saying do you. Life is too short to be worried about what everyone thinks about you.
Final thoughts? Shouts? Confessions? Plugs?
I appreciate this opportunity and all the support from DJBooth. I'm glad y'all took a chance on me posting Winter. Shout out to KevinNottingham.com, Fisd Foto, and RCS all for being proud sponsors of the album. Thank God for the skills. We'll see y'all June 1st. And be on the lookout for a new album featuring me and Sinopsis of Kooley High to drop later on this year. Peace and Blessings.