MAXO KREAM – WEIGHT OF THE WORLD REVIEW

The fact that there are constantly so many great Hip Hop artists emerging these days makes the current Hip Hop landscape very fun and exciting. It seems like every week, there are new artists popping up with increasingly eclectic and unique sounds and styles; the Hip Hop landscape has never had a wider and more all-encompassing feeling to what it is supposed to sound like. Because of this fact about the development of the Hip Hop world, though, it feels like artists with a more “old school” sound do not necessarily always get the credit they deserve. It seems like the goal is to create music that had elements to its sound that have not been heard in Hip Hop yet; this is okay for the most part, except for the fact that artists who do not do this sometimes get pushed to the wayside. I feel like Maxo Kream is one of these artists who never got the credit he deserves considering how talented he is. He has always had a classic Houston Trap sound and approach to his music. A lot of the instrumentals remind me of artists like UGK or even the Geto Boys. Maxo Kream is an introspective rapper who likes to focus on his life an upbringing in his lyrics instead of what he wants and needs. He is a true storyteller with an insanely smooth flow, reminiscent of artists like Andre 3000 and Biggie Smalls(I know this is an intense comparison, but his actual style of rapping is not unlike those two). Unfortunately, though, this style of rapping does not resonate as well in the world of Hip Hop today, so he does not get he kind of hype that I feel like he should considering his talent level. With that being said, here is my review of Maxo Kream’s new album WEIGHT OF THE WORLD. Please let me know in the comments below if you agree with this review, and also let me know what your favorite songs are from this record.

The album starts with the song ‘CRIPSTIAN,’ which is a heavy and dark Trap banger with a weird yet funky riff and a sort of old-school chopped and screwed beat. The melody for this song, which is provided by an electric guitar, almost reminds me of some of the stuff Rod Wave loves to sing on. It has a very downtrodden and sad feeling to it; it is the type of funk guitar riff where you would expect to hear someone singing about heartbreak. Combined with the heavy beat this song has, this melody makes the instrumental have a creepy feeling to it. on CRIPSTIAN,’ Maxo is rapping about how becoming a famous rapper has not been as great for him as it seems, and how he still feels connected to his old life even though the people in his old life do not necessarily accept him anymore. He knows where he came from and how hard he had to work to get to where he is today, but his newfound fame and money have not necessarily made him happy. Also, a lot of the people he grew up with think he sold out and that he is not one of them anymore. Following this, we get ‘11:59.’ Maxo Kream decided to bring the energy levels up in a big way with this track, as it is a total banger, The melody starts with some Gospel-style vocals and then evolves into some sweet chime-like bells. This melody is soothing and is the kind of tune that will improve anyone’s mood. The beat for this song is crazy, It is so heavy and it bangs so hard. On this track, Maxo is rapping about some of gangbanging activities he has gotten into, and how he will always be more loyal to his gang than anyone. No woman or amount of money will get him to change, and no deal with the police will ever make him snitch. Next, we get the song ‘THEY SAY,’ which has a very interesting instrumental. This song has a melody that feels very modern and a beat that feels super old school. The melody for this track has a very atmospheric and airy feeling to it. It reminds me of a lot of modern Cloud Trap artists. I could see artists like Lil Yachty and Lil Tracy embracing a melody like this. On the other hand, the beat has a very retro feeling to it. It has that mid-2000s chopped and screwed sound, and it reminds me a lot of artists like 8Ball and MJG or UGK. On ‘THEY SAY,’ Maxo is addressing all of the people from his hometown who have been accusing him of being fake and selling out. He is letting them know that they know where he came from and that he is as formidable now as ever. Even if he is not living the same way he was before, he does same still has the same mentality and level of angst. The mood of the record changes for a bit with the next song, which is called ‘BIG PERSONA’ and features Tyler the Creator. This song is aptly named, as it has a large and foreboding sound and the rap performances on this song are menacing and bigger than life. I love the energy of this song so much, Both Tyler and Maxo let loose and are in their bag on this track. On ‘BIG PERSONA,’ Tyler and Maxo are letting the world know that they know they are the shit and that the people around them who hate on them can not compare to them. The instrumental is also very tough and intense, and it brings out the best in both rappers. The feeling that both rappers are trying to portray through their performances is intensified with the instrumental.

‘CEE CEE,’ which features Monaleo, brings back that old school Houston Trap sound that Maxo seems to love. It does have a quirky and kinda out of place sound in the best that reminds me of new school production, but once again it does go back to that style which reminds me so much of UGK and Lil Keke. Maxo Kream does not tend to make braggadocious and triumphant Trap music too often, but on ‘CEE CEE’ he and Monaleo talk all about their recent accomplishments. On this track, they want you to know that they are better than you; they have had to work hard to achieve the level of success they are at and have the amount of money they have, and they want everyone who will listen to know about this. Following this, we get the song ‘STREETS ALONE,’ which features A$AP Rocky. This song brings us back to ultra-modern Trap production. This track definitely has a new school feeling to it; I would expect to hear rappers like Key or Valee on this kind of instrumental. With that being said, both A$AP Rocky and Maxo Kream sound so natural on this track. They both have flows that just sound so smooth and fluid on this beat, and they both add to the weird energy that the instrumental already has. On this song, Maxo and Rocky are talking about how they can not seem to get away from the street life no matter how rich and successful they become. They will always be drawn back to the hoods that they are from because it is what they know best. The next song, ‘DON’T PLAY WITH SHAWTY ASS,’ does have an old school Trap sound to it, albeit a completely different kind than the ones early on this record. This track has more of a bouncy mid-2000s dirty Atlanta Trap sound to it. In fact, it reminds me a lot of the ‘Snapping’ style of Hip Hop music that was popular during this time. Once again, Maxo Kream proves that he can flow super easily on any type of instrumental. I love how fast he raps on this song, as it shows off a different style to his rapping than what we have previously heard. On this track, he once again brags about all of his recent accomplishments and tells the world why he is not a guy to mess with. The next song, ‘LOCAL JOKER,’ has a sound and a style that reminds me a lot of the music that got Maxo Kream famous. This track has a slow and smooth Trap heal with a funky and soulful guitar tune as the melody; this is the kind of instrumental that be perfect to sit around a fire and smoke a blunt to while telling stories. On this track, Maxo Kream seems like he is just sitting back and telling stories himself. He is reminiscing about how he had to make money back in the day and how he is still amazed that he just gets paid to rap now. He still can not believe that this is his life now.

‘WHAT I LOOK LIKE,’ which features Freddie Gibbs, is one of the most quirky and interesting sounding songs on the record. It has a sort of off-kilter beat to it with a super soulful melody that has a bit of a Gospel feeling to it. I have not heard Maxo rap on a beat that does not have a traditional Trap feeling to it, and I like that he is trying something a bit different on this one. Because the beat is a little off-kilter, both Maxo and Freddie’s flows are cool and different. As rap about how they are always about money and all they are trying to do is get richer, both rappers ride the beat in a way that one would not necessarily expect to hear from them. Next, we get ‘FRFR,’ which is another song with a sound that is not very similar to the music from the rest of the record. This is a laid-back Trap track with a Jazzy piano riff providing the melody; I would expect to hear artists like Kendrick Lamar or Lupe Fiasco rapping on. This track has a dark but very true meaning and tone to it. On ‘FRFR,’ Maxo is basically saying that the more money he gets, the fewer people he can trust. He can not tell if the people around him care about him or if they are only near him for access to his wealth, and this feeling is making him want to cut everyone off. Following this, we get ‘WHOLE LOTTA,’ which is another track that reminds me a lot of the music that Maxo Kream came up making. It is has a slow and smooth old-school funky guitar riff to drive the melody, and an easy-going beat that is once again so reminiscent of the kind of beats you would expect from the old Houston artists I have been mentioning throughout this review. On ‘WHOLE LOTTA,’ Maxo talks about the way he grew up and how he will always feel like a gangster no matter where he goes. That life and his upbringing are in his DNA, and nothing can happen to get that persona to leave him. If ‘WHOLE LOTTA’ is a song that has a familiar sound for Maxo Kream, ‘WORTHLESS’ has a sound that I would not necessarily expect to hear from him. This one has a Jazz-Rap feeling to it that almost feels a bit underground; I would expect to hear this kind of instrumental rapped on by an artist like El-P, Aesop Rock, or even Freddie Gibbs. I honestly love hearing Maxo Kream on this kind of instrumental. His calm and laid-back style of rapping works so well on this kind of Jazzy instrumental. ‘WORTHLESS’ is a song with a lyrical theme that is a bit different than what one would expect from Maxo Kream. It almost has a Schoolboy Q lyrical tone to it On ‘WORTHLESS,’ Maxo is talking about his drug problems and how he is struggling to stop taking pills and sipping lean. He feels like he is a better artist and more creative when he is on these drugs, though, so he is in a juxtaposition on whether he should stop taking these drugs.

Compared to most of the other songs on this record, ‘GREENER KNOTS’ probably has the most traditional sounding Trap instrumentals out of everything on this record. Most of the beats on this record have had a Houston feeling to it, and this one just feels like more of a regular Atlanta Trap beat. This song was the lead single for the record, so I understand why it has more of a regular-sounding beat that would appeal to the masses. Maxo whips out one of his most addicting and intricate flows on this track; his rapping on this record is clean and crisp and sounds so good. On ‘GREENER KNOTS,’ Maxo is rapping about where he came from and how everything he does is for money so he can provide for his family. No matter what, he will do whatever he has to accumulate as much money as possible so his loved ones are always okay. After this, we get the song ‘MAMA’S PURSE,’ which sonically is a bit of a switch up for Maxo Kream. This song has a lullaby-style keyboard instrumental that has a Cloud Trap feeling to it. I could see someone like Father or Playboi Carti rapping on this kind of melody. There are some soulful humming vocals sprinkled into the melody as well, which just adds to the allure of the melody. On ‘MAMA’S PURSE,’ Maxo Kream is reflecting on how far he has come. When he was younger, he used to steal money out of his mom’s purse to buy what he wanted. Now he can buy his mom the most expensive purse she could ever want, as well as anything else in the world that she wants. The next song, ‘TRIPS,’ is another track that reminds me a lot of some of Maxo’s older music. I love the subtle complexity of the melody of this song. It is led by a funky piano riff, and there are some sparse horns in the background which add a lot of emotion and texture to the sound of the song. On ‘TRIPS,’ Maxo uses one of his signature flows that make it sound like he is telling a story directly to the listener. It is amazing how engaging he can make his vocal style and rapping cadence. The story he is telling on this song is very sad. He is rapping about his brother who he was extremely close to who ended up getting killed. He feels an emptiness inside of him because he will never get to see this person again. The album rounds out with the song ‘BELIEVE,’ which features Don Tolliver. This song is very different from anything I would expect from Maxo Kream. In fact, the instrumental sounds a lot more like a Don Tolliver song than it does a Maxo Kream song. This track has a sultry and sexy R&B Trap sound. There’s are so many artists I could see on this track(Drake, The Weeknd, 6lack, Future, etc) and none of them are Maxo Kream. With that being said, I appreciate that Maxo Kream took a risk like this, and it paid off. His flow and cadence work very on this kind of instrumental. On ‘BELIEVE,’ Maxo Kream and Don Tolliver are talking about how they remember who they are and where they came from. Even though they are not living in the hood anymore, they are still not the kind of people you would want to mess with. They will always keep the mentality they had when they were growing up no matter where they end up.

I feel like one of the best worst to describe Maxo Kream is consistent. His style of rapping may not resonate with people who like more melodic Hip Hop, but if you love old-school Texas Trap music he is so solid. No matter what, listeners can count on Maxo Kream to have a super smooth flow and you can count on him to tell an interesting story about his life. One thing I appreciate about WEIGHT OF THE WORLD is the fact Maxo tried out some new kinds of instrumentals on this record. His rapping style stayed pretty much the same as always, but it was cool to hear him on some Cloud Trap, R&B Trap, and Jazz Trap beats instead of only retro Funky Trap beats. WEIGHT OF THE WORLD shows us Maxo Kream is willing to step outside the box and explore new sounds while keeping his same level of quality. It is full to the brim with awesome and catchy Hip Hop, and once again proves he’s one of the most underrated rappers in the game.

FAVORITE TRACKS – 11:59, THEY SAY, BIG PERSONA FEAT. TYLER THE CREATOR, STREETS ALONE FEAT A$AP ROCKY, WHAT I LOOK LIKE FEAT. FREDDIE GIBBS, GREENER KNOTS, TRIP, BELIEVE FEAT. DON TOLLIVER

8/10

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