A major part of a rapper’s introduction to the industry is how you come up.
In 2016 a song called “Panda” took a young we have all come to know as Desiigner, from the streets of boss town Bedstuy to a deal with GOOD Music and then some. With a career that blossomed so fast you have to ask how did this all come about. One of those influential factors was the young rapper/producer Mekado.
Mekado, Desiigner, and another you might know of as, Phresher all come from the same neck of the woods and originally came together because of the music; around the time they worked on a single entitled “Hulk Hogan”. But, Mekado’s first industry recognition would transpire from his touches on the chart topping hit “Panda”. Before being handed over to Kanye West and the GOOD Music team, Mekado laid the vocals, ad-libs and everything excellently enough to help propel “Panda” to airwaves success, therefore marking Desiigner as a chart-topper.
Before all of that RIAA talk, Mekado and Desiigner had been in the studio working together molding their sounds, being friends for about 10 years prior. Since a young teenager in Bedstuy, Mekado made it his duty to be in the music industry. Once he started engineering at the Show Up studio, Desiigner’s joy in music blossomed. In fact, Desiigners first video appearance was on the set of Mekado’s “First Things First” video, a single off of his first tape NY State of Mind; where the young squad ample in making a name for themselves showed crew-love and support for one another in bringing the team up.
And with the signing of Desiigner due to the later success of “Panda”, Mekado’s name was attempted to be washed out; but you can’t keep a great one down.
Throughout his projects, Mekado’s love for music can be heard over the various instruments and riffs that compliment the patterns of the bass. With trap music dominating the trend in Hip-Hop as of right now, Mekado gives you nostalgia with his classic story-telling flow; and his love of the arts doesn’t stop with music. As you may recognize him as the part time hustler, full-time rapper on your favorite webseries Lanes. In 2015-2016, he played the role of himself in the series; a fictional tale of the life in the new generation of Bedstuy’s youth, where the dreams and aspiration of young black kids are constantly pushed to the test in order to overcome obstacles while on their way to achieving their goals. And a lot of times there are unknown factors working against them before one even has a chance to make a plan. In the series, Mekado grinds his way to get his foot into the industry and unbeknownst to him, it would be a reality 1 year later.
To follow up after Panda, Good Music released Desiigner’s next hit “Da Day”. On this track, Mekado was the rapper that added more substance to the song as he swayed the minds of the listeners to a day in the life of living in the Stuy. Despite owning the original song, Mekado’s name was left off of the YouTube upload that reached almost 1 million plays within the first month of its release. Fortunately though, avid iTunes users and supporters broke the mystery by saying his name in the comments. The fans clearly adore the pair and want to hear more of them. Seems to me GOOD Music may have missed out on a 2 for 1 deal. But considering all of the controversy surrounding artists understanding their rights as a profitable business, some deals just shouldn’t be taken. But that’s a conversation for another time.
With features and production credits on Desiigners first album, New English, Mekado had made that first step in the doorway. Outside of his production and engineering skills, he had been working on his craft and getting better every step of the way. Gimmick free, he’s been shooting videos and diversifying the music circuit with verses that aren’t drowned out by funny ad-libs. In a bold fashion, he released a song called “the Goat”; a song foreshadowing his future accomplishments,with some of his castmates alongside of him.
For his latest videos, he teamed up with Fly Features Media to demonstrate the duality of the mental strain of growing up in the hood. In “Tied To the Streets”, Mekado is seen telling the audience how the streets have built him to be the man that he is today, which is why he can work his way up with no problem. The graffiti drawings emphasizes the creative sparks that he comes up with to create the pieces he produces, and his friends that supported him since the beginning.
In “Trenches”, he takes you back to the projects where they all came from, reminding you success in music isn’t always what it appears to be. Unlike the vibrant feel of “Tied To the Streets”, “Trenches” is a dark grungy video that brings the negative aspects of the hood which encourages talents like themselves to make a way out for them and their families by any means necessary.
“I love making music ‘cause it gives me inspiration, motivation, and keeps out of trouble.” – Mekado
Outside of his rap career, his production resume has jumped. In the last year, he has worked on projects for Jay-Z, Pusha T, A Boogie, Jay Critch, Manolo Rose and others. He was even a candidate producer for the 4:44 album. Mekados beats were among the final contenders for the project, but didn’t quite make the cut. All that he has done thus far has lead to Charlamagne the God notifying the world to keep an eye out for him. Between producing, engineering, and rapping, he has more than enough to leave a print on the game.
You can find his latest production work on Phresher’s “Cookin’ Up”; and on his latest release, Mekado gives you a new rendition of the “old New York” storytelling style mixed with a mainstream flavor. The full project is available on iTunes and Spotify. You can check out the summer single “Some More” featuring the popular West Indian vibes and authentic Brooklyn swag.
Check out that fire “Some More” here now. And let us know what you think down below.
Keep up to date with Mekado and what he has going on now. Rapfest, putting you on.