Meader is a rapper hailing from New England and has been rapping since 2006. In 2017 he released his first EP Jamais Vu, which is French for “never seen”. This title was apt as the rapper prefers to remain largely anonymous, which is refreshing in the very much “in your face” approach of many hip hop artists. Now Meader has returned with his second EP, Presque Vu, which means, wittily, “almost seen”.
The EP consists of six tracks that all clock in around the two minute mark but those two minutes are crammed full of lyrical content delivered in Meader’s inimitable, mellifluous style. His lyrical approach is comparable to Eminem in its brutal honesty and often dark tone, though his delivery style is very much his own. He raps in a low, gravelly voice with great conviction which backs up the authentic, heart-on-sleeve vibe of his rhymes.
This is encapsulated by the EP’s opening track, Simon Says. Over a dark, unsettling backing track with a slick hip hop beat, Meader soon let’s rip on what he dislikes: “I’ve been throwing up from drinking in the mediocrity that’s flowing through the airwaves – streaming into my TV and while I see that it’s appealing as a circus, once you’re peeling back the surface it’s just painted faces asking for a purchase.”
It’s a visceral and insightful takedown of modern celebrity culture and Meader sees this lyrical skewering as his artistic duty: “I shoot off truth like it’s my horse and I’m a cowboy dude, it’s kinda rude to think I’m on the brink of sinking all our ships when yours are built with lies and sins.”
He’s also scathing about the conformity culture and groupthink going on which will eventually backfire: “… the second that you think you know the rules with which we play, that’s the moment that you lose it all cuz Simon Didn’t Say.”
Second track Subsequence sees Meader turn his wrath on inferior rappers in general who he regards as clogging up the hip hop scene. Here, Meader displays his rapping skills to the max, with a breathless, rapid fire delivery over a strong beat. He again takes no prisoners and shows his understanding of what makes a great rapper: “It’s hard to hear a rapper talkin’ guns and drugs and bitches when their parents in the kitchen tellin them to do the dishes. What made Biggie, Pac and Eminem so vicious and appealing wasn’t cooking crack and stealing, it was visionary realness.”
Meader’s authentic style makes him the perfect candidate to critique artists who are basically fake: “So don’t be frontin’ just be honest, to yourself and to your art and then I promise it’ll come across to all the people watchin”.
Next, he turns his ire on another rapper with Lil Sheff Diss, an acerbic and amusing roasting of a fellow artist that Meader most definitely doesn’t rate highly. Over a toe-tapping swing beat and a haunting piano refrain, Meader gives both barrels and shows his gift for wordplay: “it aint like your chopped up, stuttered out, crop dust, blubber mouth, bullshit even got a point, bitch…”.
Eminem would be understandably proud of hilarious lines like, “you named one of your songs after an 80’s lady drama – that’s a comedy bit and you’re acting hard on that shit? Sayin’ you got guns and money? Ya I’m sure ya got plenty honey you bought em with the funds from mommy.”
Loose-Leaf is more about explaining his own personal style and approach to the rap game: “I didn’t invent it, I wasn’t a member of the rap club back when the music ascended;
I ain’t a bad boy, brat, toy, beast or a legend; just the rat king rapper with the best of intentions…”.
Meader revels in his outsider status, having no time for the mainstream which he rightly perceives as phony: “I aint the main stream, cut clean, play it on your boom box, tell me what the fox say, relegate to comedy.”
Over a dark, claustrophobic backing track with an insistent beat this is another display of virtuoso rapid fire rhyming and lyrical flow from Meader.
Mind Vault is delivered in a languid, laid back style yet finds Meader digging deep within his psyche and doing battle with his personal demons: “Lock the closet while I’m gone, leave a bomb in the bedroom, light it with a mic boom, blow apart the bits of me I wish I didn’t have to listen to at night….”.
He is fiercely honest about the tough times he has endured along the way: “How about the scars on my hands from the anger when they left, or the pain in my chest from the messages unread. Maybe back when my name with a viciousness was spit into my face like every day….I knew hardship, then I blew a hard left, snow would flow from the sky, up my nose, leaving scars in my throat, head to mend, going broke, then I woke all alone and my home was so cold shattered glass on my stove….”.
It’s one of the EP’s finest tracks where Meader lays bare the demons that drive him and makes him all the more “real” and relatable as an artist.
After the “dark night of the soul” depicted in Mind Vault, the EP closes out with the life affirming message of Summit. Set to an upbeat, piano driven backing, Meader waxes philosophical: “I mentioned a whole lotta shit that’s abysmal, but really the bits that I’ve been through are blessed, yeah we fall in the pits sometimes, you need to dive so you can fly, once you’re top side”.
There’s a quiet heroism to his tenacity against his struggles and devotion to his craft: “I kitty rangle the syllables and line ‘em up to rhyme in time with life as viewed through eyes imbued with lighter fluid – fighting for a brighter future – every day ain’t gaining from the last but persistence in my passions gunna get me what I am after…”.
The final verse is a testament to Meader’s lyrical ability that you could almost say stands up as poetry: “It’s a massive undertaking staying focused on a change and it keeps shifting with my vision as I’m turning the page; but til’ my soul turns to ink, I’ll till the ground with my rage, and sow the seeds of growth so I can see some flowers on my grave…”.
Overall, this is a brilliant, hard hitting hip hop EP from a rapper with a unique style and gift for wordplay. Unafraid to confront and depict the darker side of himself and life in general, Meader proves that he’s an artist to be reckoned with on Presque Vu. His reputation will only grow on the underground hip hop scene and may well go much further beyond it.