03 December 2009
The Self-Proclaimed King
He does not stick out in the crowd of students constantly trudging around Morgan State University. He is not an exceptionally tall man. He is not exceptionally loud. He does not come across hard or tough. He has a kind of soft and laid-back demeanor. But one thing you will notice about Morris Ricks is a small corner of a plastic case peeking out of his back pocket. When asked about it, Morris’ face lit up with pride as he reached into his pocket and pulled out a CD case with his debut album “LLTK, Long Live the King”. Ricks, better known by his hip-hop name King Mezington (Mez), will gladly hand you a copy of his album. He will even direct you to the nearest CD player so that you can listen to it immediately.
Ricks speaks in a well paced, well thought manner, synonymous to the place where he grew up rural Garner, NC close to Raleigh. Ricks started rapping at the age of nine. He quickly became his love and passion.
“I loved music, that’s all I cared about,” declared Ricks with a chuckle.
Ricks explained that life was never the easiest for him. Ricks grew up in a two parent household; however it was still a troubled one. There was a lot of chaos between his parents and instead of allowing it to take a toll on him he used it as on outlet.
“My mom gave me lots of love, but my father on the other hand he didn’t. He tried to use money to compensate for his love, but it couldn’t,” stated Ricks.
Ricks claimed that he never would want another individual to feel the same way he felt about his father, unloved.
“I want people to feel the love in my music, I want them to feel like someone out there cares,” he says with a head nod.
As a child Ricks always wanted to be the best at everything. At the age of sixteen, Ricks focused changed to his craft of rapping. He quickly diverted all of his attention into rapping. He constantly began writing down rhymes and lyrics. Quickly, Ricks’ unconventional conscious lyrics began to pick up a fan base in his city and even some of the surrounding areas. Ricks gained big publicity when a fan of his from Georgia got him a performance in his hometown of NC at a local club.
“I respected that so much, that moment made me feel like someone really respected my music enough to push me like that,” stated Ricks.
As Ricks’ craft expanded and he reached college, he believes that some of the artist at Morgan State University needed a “push” to help them aspire to their dreams. This idea sparked Ricks’ greatest movement, the start up of the organization Hip-Hop Elite.
When asked about his purpose for the organization, Ricks states, “Someone put on for me. I see so many artists on campus who need someone to push them, who need the networking. That’s what it’s all about.”
The Hip-Hop Elite was founded by the “Starting Seven”, seven Morgan State University male students, who dress up in slacks, dress shirts, and ties at their meetings. The Starting Seven can all rap but they also have one guitar player, and two spoken word artists. The organization currently has about 40 members, with the sole mission of networking.
“If one of us gets an opportunity, we all get an opportunity,” states Morris proudly.
Four out of the seven starting seven members currently have internships in the media communications department at Atlantic records. They are a group of determined and head strong artist attempting to better the world with their music.