Respect The Come Up

Respect The Come Up

On Respect the Come Up, Manchester’s Meekz resurfaces with the fascinating duality that has marked his high-flying breakthrough—combining sharp-witted observation with a master class in blocking out the world around you. “I don’t think people understand or even notice that a lot of this stuff is for me,” he tells Apple Music. “It’s selfish, but a lot of this is for me to reflect on, and yeah, other people do seem to like it. But Respect the Come Up is to remind myself, ‘Get the fuck up.’ Along with the people that I might have inspired, I want to make sure I stay aware of how I’ve been blessed. And to remind myself that it’s never over, so you should never cheat the grind.” The 2020 mixtape Can’t Stop Won’t Stop occupied a much darker world—arriving on the back of jail time and subsequent self-work—and also broke down the enigma of the masked Gorton rapper. Here, he embraces the moments of progression that have followed with forensic self-examination: “Hope you didn’t think I’d panic/I’ve seen the ship sinking, it’s been Titanic/But I just think gigantic,’ he raps on “Instagram Caption.” “The whole tape reminisces and reflects on the past, present, and future. That’s why I’m looking [on the mixtape cover] in all directions with eyes to all of that,” he says. “There’s songs for the past [‘Hustler's Ambition’] and songs with a message for the future, thinking about kids [‘Patience’] and others that fall into all of the categories. I understand how that’s hard to understand, but that’s just me.” Below, he takes us through the story of Respect the Come Up, track by track. “Say Less” “I don’t need to be online. I don’t even really need to do interviews. I just say less. This is that freestyle-slash-‘Respect the Come Up’ vibe here, that core Meekz [sound].” “Respect the Come Up” “This song means so much to me. I’m taking you through the motions here. I’m talking to the inner me, like, ‘Meekz, you’ve come a long way, and you should pat yourself on the back.’ That’s why I repeat it so many times: ‘respect the come up’ for real. And I know, musically, it’s not that amazing, but I bet it hits you right in the chest. This is the alarm clock for the Meekz Manny army.” “Fresh Out the Bank” [Meekz & Dave] “The angels had me lit that night [in the studio]. I hit a pocket that I’m not sure I could hit again, even if I tried. My voice did some crazy shit that night. I’d been rapping for seven days straight, going crazy, and I thought, ‘You know what? Let’s not even rap on these n****s right now. Let me give some melodies.’ [Dave] and I were in the studio for almost a week, turning up. Some of the guys came through and, eventually, ended up a full party in there: 10, 20 of us, all dancing to this track as it’s being made.” “Don’t Like Drill” “Actually, I say, ‘I don’t like drill much’ because I do like it—just not that much. Would you like drill [music] if you could rap like me, you know what I mean? Furthermore, I don’t like the fact that it’s killing my people. Let’s just go with that one.” “More Money” “This is the ‘get money’ anthem of the mixtape. I’m just trying new things out with my vocals, finding new flows, and also switching up [my style of] beat.” “Hustler’s Ambition” “Of all the elements I tap into [on this mixtape], this song falls into each of them. I’m reminiscing on the past but still thinking on the present and future, all at once.” “Patience” “As I get older, I realize the benefit of allowing things to season and marinate. Things take time sometimes and need a bit more love and soul poured into it—that’s the general idea here. And over the years, that same patience is just something that I’ve learned to develop.” “Take Losses” “I think everyone’s taken a loss and had to bounce back, and it just feels better when you win eventually. When you come from the bottom, everything tastes better when you get it out of the mud. And lastly, those losses are where you learn from the most. These are all well-known facts—I’m just reflecting on them here.” “Killin’ Off” “The mandem named this one. I just laid down the track. We didn’t have a name for it at first, actually. And I should probably also explain, in Manchester terms, ‘killing off’ means, yeah, ‘I made a killing off’...whatever. Not killing something off. It’s just our terminology, but the world’s going to have to get to know sooner or later.” “Instagram Caption” “I was out in Essex, in the mansion we rented. Indoor pool, outdoor pool, basketball court, and I had the family over, feeling like Frank Lucas up in there. And I recorded this at 5 o’clock in the morning. The producer was falling asleep, ready for bed. Told him to stay up and hit them buttons. Some people that were asleep in the room woke up at some point, and I still carried on with the freestyle—one take, from top to bottom.”

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