Mez’s third EP ‘Tyrone’ released January 2018; opens with the sparsely but expertly Lewi B produced ‘Angles’ (who produced ‘Outbursts from the outskirts’ by Manga). Mez makes sure we know he’s putting in work to hone his craft to ensure his skills are sharp and angular; with each angle representing his many sides. ‘Tyrone Freestyle’ brings minimalist production again; as a series of mischievously quirky, xylophone taps and spacious electronic synths play out, as Tyrone tells us “Look at the way I’m lyrically stretching myself to a place nobody’s ever gettin’. that’s why man are stressin…” There is also a shout out to Mez’ 2017 singles ‘Normal Shoe’ and ‘Magnum’ throughout the EP; demonstrating that Mez is also in touch with his roots and remembers where he came from.
Mez eases us into the EP; as it is not until the threatening and skittish riddim of the third track ‘Follow us’; that the gully joins the grime. He matches his bars with the warning instrumental; and makes it clear he’s fully aware man are trying to slyly steal his style; but he’s unfazed as he is a leader not a follower. Mez still has imitators on his mind as he opens with the question; “Why are they copying me?” on the very quiet and sonically strange ‘Knowledge.’ The nominal production allows the Notts MC to air his complex thoughts; and enables his knowledge to have breathing space, making it easy for the listener to digest and understand him as a person, not just an artist.
The track that has had my bootie rotating like a fidget spinner on steroids at 8 am every morning; is the PHENOMENAL ‘Octopus.’ This track has it ALL – it’s grimey, it’s hyperactive, it’s energy personified. There are sci-fi sounding, rocket launch pad computer bleeps (which I’ve missed in Grime!). Interestingly, ‘Octopus’ is all underscored with a dancehall tempo and the unmistakable shouts of “Ay ay ay ay ay’s” familiar to sound bwoys and dancehall queens inna the dance. Mez throws flames, with bars like “I’m in the dancehall kicking man down and I’m dressed in blue so man would think I’m Chun Li’s son.” ‘Octopus’ combines the perfect hybrid of electronic / Dancehall and Grime and I thought it was the best Grime track of 2018 so far until…
The very next track on Mez’s EP is ‘Ready to Skeng.’ After first listen I felt speechless, spun and superhuman! This.IS.Grime. ‘Ready to skeng’ has ADHD, it has anger issues. It’s antagonistic with a short fuse and it’s out of control. The high pitched drum pattern interjected with a hollow bell; is reminiscent of one of the greatest Grime tracks of all time; Dizzee Rascal’s ‘I luv u.’ ‘Ready to Skeng’s’ production is minimal but effective; especially when Mez is spazzing on the riddim; unleashing bars which form a tornado in your brain to the point you can feel the G-force of Mez’s lyrics; which makes for an exhilarating and dizzying 4:48 mins. When the track ended I flopped down on my bed, exhausted; as though I’d spat those lyrics myself and thought; – OK Grime has a fresh young king on its hands here, that much is evident.
Mez lets us have a little rest on closing track ‘Different Places’; a helter-skelter of a track encompassing a melee of instruments; including synths, piano, flutes(?) combining in a disjointed fashion. The track sounds jazzy like the ‘Mission Impossible’ theme (The Sly and Robbie reggae version of course), as Mez laments over the last few years of his fast track journey to acceptance within the grime scene as he candidly reveals “I’ve been puttin’ in so much work in London, that certain words in my Nottingham accent’s changing”; this sentence alone conveys the non-stop graft Mez has put in…
Upon listening to the ‘Tyrone’ EP; it becomes apparent early on that Mez is not on this journey alone; he has a companion, a side kick and a wing man all rolled into one. Meet Mez’s co-star – his durag. Mez’s durag is with him when he rhymes, when he’s chilling or when he’s challenging; and he proudly states he wears his durag for the soldiers; revealing his durag is not just a fashion statement; it’s also a symbol of strength, to other young kings coming up in the struggle. Mez’s Durag is along for the literal ride of its life when he’s getting amorous; humorously proclaiming on the brilliant ‘Octopus’; “Beatin the ting with my durag on and my durag strings are jumping around.” (If Mez and JME link up on a track they WILL be the most powerful durag duo of all time!)
Mez brings his durag along for the action on 5 of the 7 tracks; with ‘Follow us’ almost becoming a full blown tribute to his durag’s powers of sorcery; which Mez seems to draw upon to expertly slay anyone who is brave enough to step to him. The ability Mez possesses to incorporate his durag, an inanimate object; into a fully realised character and co-star throughout the EP; points to Mez’ capabilities and quirky persona. He has also brought the weird and ‘other’ sound back to grime; rhyming ferociously over threatening grime riddims that would even have the fearless bally gang shook; therefore making this offering “The great grime EP of 2018.” My only complaint is, this should have been a full length project, we are all ready for more of Mez’s microphone mastery preferably for over an hour, we can handle it!
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