It’s a new year and Maxo Kream hit the ground running with his new album, Punken. It dropped a few days ago on Jan. 12th and the internet streets have been buzzing since then. The Houston heavy hitter makes it his business to kick in the door with every project he releases.
“Everybody know what I do with the package / Trappin’ like a heathen, I’m a vegan with the cabbage” – Maxo Kream, Pop Another
Maxo has a certain versatility that sets him apart from most “trap rappers” if we want to call him that. The soundscape he selects for his projects is a conglomeration of that screwed up, H-Town sound along with soul samples, heavy bass, and kicks, plus old-school grooves. Punken attests to this flexibility he possesses in dictating what type of sound represents him.
There are a few things you’ll learn quickly about Maxo whether your first listen is Punken or if you’ve been a fan since 2012. He’s a 52 Hoover Crip, he’s had a few run-ins with the law, and he’s nobody to disrespect. Maxo thoroughly embeds his life within his rhymes and shares some experiences most of us couldn’t fathom. Even though we aren’t keen on all the gritty details, he continues to pull us in to listen.
Punken and You
The first track,”Work”, meets us by introducing Maxo but by his birth name: Emekwanem Ogugua Biosah (Jr.). His father is Nigerian and probably is the voice we’re hearing that offers the translation of what meaning their name carries.
“Emekwanem means ‘don’t fuck with me / And the word don’t fuck with me means don’t mess with me” – Work
This song recounts the days when Maxo had to move drugs. With “Work”, he reflects on his upbringing and how it eventually led him to the Crips. He admits to making certain decisions that presented heartbreaking consequences at times. Other moments he walked away with no harm done.
This track was produced by The Wlderness and Beatboy where the first half possesses a slightly upbeat melody paired with trap hi-hats. An easy sound to bop along to while Maxo recalls a harder time in his life. The second half slows down a bit more with a soul sample. Maxo’s flow takes on a song-like cadence to enrich the soul and bring the track together cohesively.
This album is yet another look at what makes Maxo Kream, Maxo Kream. There are features from Trippie Redd, D. Flowers and 03 Greedo.