Keen Cotter better known by his stage name Mecca or Young Mecca, is a St. Lucian Hip Hop artist and songwriter. Growing up on the island, he was one of the brave to defy norms and to move towards a more urban musical art form despite the dominance of other genres like Soca and Calypso. Part of his early popularity arose from his performances at stage shows opening for regional and international acts.
Early life and career beginnings
Mecca was born Keen Cotter on July 22, 1983. He grew up in the southern fishing village of Laborie, St. Lucia and While in secondary school, Mecca began to pursue a music career. He started off by performing dancehall tracks by Red Rat and then moved on to hip hop tracks by Puff Daddy, Mase and Biggie Smalls. He was invited to perform alongside toasting champion Dj Grinch and this led to a healthy songwriting relationship for a few years. Mecca's first original single and release was "Punk Daddy" in 1998.
2001-02: Riddim Rydez
Teaming up with fellow Laborian artist Shepp Dawg, the duo formed Rhymaz Inc and released two mixtapes within six months - Riddim Rydez Vol. 1 & 2. These mixtapes allowed for Mecca and Shepp to open for Elephant Man, Wayne Marshall, Kyprich and Assassin.