Houston, TX, Click here for updates on the evolving COVID-19 situation at Rice, Rice University Plants Undercover Detectives In GroupMe Chats to Protect Honor Code, Former Rice professor awarded Nobel Prize in Physics, Now what? a master class in storytelling from his 2018 album, , Maxo remembered how he sold drugs out of his grandmother’s house after his parents kicked him out at age 15. Like many young Houstonians, “Whitney Houston” was my introduction to the legend of Maxo Kream. But as Maxo’s dad insists in a voiceover from the album-closing “Still”: lood is thicker than water. “Spice Ln.,” named after a street in his hometown of Alief, details capers with various levels of success, from a burglary in which the victim texts the robbers that they missed the money in the attic to a drug boost in which the victim later buys the drugs back. “Drizzy Draco” is a showy fusillade of gun bars that's as much about wordplay as always standing his ground. His superb major label debut Brandon Banks is sprawling autobiography overflowing with dense, unflinching, granular detail sourced from his 15-odd years of toting guns, staging robberies, and selling drugs in Southwest Houston. In fact, when “Paranoia” begins with a local news clip mentioning a “particularly violent gang,” Kream’s rapid-fire rhymes show how ridiculous the commentary is.
Houston rapper details the generational nature of poverty and crime in bracingly personal terms. By Maxo perhaps gives him too much credit for holding their family together by a thread. All Rights Reserved. All images are used with permission or licensed. Mirroring the album cover, a collage of their faces, Maxo builds stories around their points of overlap and distinction. While Travis Scott pioneered an autotune-drenched celebration of Houston debauchery and Megan Thee Stallion began developing her hottie mantras, both preparing to go global, Maxo Kream kept himself laser-focused on the day-to-day of his communities. Afterward, she told me stories of the murders she saw growing up in Alief and how Kream’s music resonated with her lived experiences.
He began making a name for himself by appropriating the tracks of famed Houston artist DJ Screw. First of all, it is fucking insane that Maxo Kream is able to list four friends in jail for murder and three friends who were murdered on the hook. His superb major label debut. However, the murderer is set up by his baby mama and discovers it was her cousin that he killed. On “Meet Again,” a letter to an incarcerated comrade, he matter-of-factly details his profoundly fucked-up family dynamic: “My little bro on the run, he think he on vacation/My pops back in the system, he just might die in prison/My mom is co-defendant she just might get locked up with him/He got snitched on by his own sister, she the eyewitness/Now every time i see my blood cousins, I don’t even feel ’em/Cookin’ drugs with my older brother, baking soda whippin’.” With dozens of shoutouts and a track literally titled “Brothers,” Maxo extends his family tree to include close friends, to whom he is forever bonded by shared struggle and criminal partnership. Maxo Kream's look-a-like brother was reportedly shot dead in Los Angeles, with some fans initially thinking it was the rapper who had been killed. “People could not pronounce Emekwanem,” he says, “I spent 18 hours a day explaining my name...so I changed it to Brandon Banks.” In this telling, which Emekwanem delivers with a jolly charisma, the handle is born from a comedy of errors: his name was hard on American ears, so Emekwanem made it easier. However, the most startling part of the song is the story told throughout the three verses. He gained popularity for his remix of Kendrick Lamar's hit "Rigamortis" in 2012. But as Maxo’s dad insists in a voiceover from the album-closing “Still”: “Blood is thicker than water. Writing an epic in 4:48, Maxo Kream shows just how essential his singular voice is. It doesn’t matter how far you insulate your experience within university hedges or white-collar parts of town, you will encounter Houstonians living out what Maxo Kream describes over the dark beats whether you know it or not. As he moves from neighborhood gossip to personal news to lawyer updates, his casualness feels practiced. Street names pop up everywhere, especially in song titles (“Murda Blocc,” “Dairy Ashford Bastard,” “Bissonnet”), as Maxo zooms in on hyperspecific locations to initiate memory recall. In the context of Emekwanem’s goofy interludes throughout the album, this revelation can feel like a reversal, but Maxo yokes these failures to his dad’s strengths, detailing his father’s overall commitment to his family and to Maxo. Biosah, also known as Mmadu Kream, was reportedly shot dead in Los Angeles on Monday morning. On “Meet Again,” a letter to an incarcerated comrade, he matter-of-factly details his profoundly fucked-up family dynamic: “My little bro on the run, he think he on vacation/My pops back in the system, he just might die in prison/My mom is co-defendant she just might get locked up with him/He got snitched on by his own sister, she the eyewitness/Now every time i see my blood cousins, I don’t even feel ’em/Cookin’ drugs with my older brother, baking soda whippin’.” With dozens of shoutouts and a track literally titled “Brothers,” Maxo extends his family tree to include close friends, to whom he is forever bonded by shared struggle and criminal partnership. , Emekwanem appears as a shadow. Emekwanem’s booming voice appears intermittently to impart messages to his son; he could be delivering a pre-ass-whooping tongue-lashing in an imagined flashback, or serving as Maxo’s greatest hype man: “My father was winning, and I’m winning, and now you, Maxo, you’re winning, still.”. Maxo embraces his inner cartographer, mapping not only the geography of his small corner of Houston but also a vast family tree that blurs the line between biological and spiritual brotherhood. On its surface, Brandon Banks doesn’t scream “Houston.” Maxo, 29, doesn’t have the kind of thick drawl that some Houston rappers swing around like a tangerine slab. — Inspired by the diversity and creativity of on- and off-campus life during a pandemic, ON/OFF is an upcoming student art show meant to be a window into that new mode of living. Emekwanem Ogugua Biosah, Jr. (born March 29, 1990) , known professionally as Maxo Kream, is an American rapper and songwriter from Houston, Texas. He has a dark sense of humor and a wry charm that, combined with his choppy flow and gruff voice, give his music a buoyancy. His latest project is such a major leap in craft and style, it becomes a superpower. His debut album Punken was released on January 12, 2018, and the follow-up and major label debut, Brandon Banks, was released on July 19, 2019. Maxo Kream. On the record’s best songs, the action is the prelude to soul-searching. Jack Wright. Maxo Kream recalls his wild early teenage years in "Grannies." On “Spice Ln.” a song that plies surreal, sun-bleached production indebted to 21 Savage and Metro Boomin’s Savage Mode, he raps, “Niggas screamin’ ‘fuck Kream,’ they know exactly where we be/Spice Lane, Stone Ridge, by the Mickey D’s/On the same block where we lost Baby John and Cheese.” Maxo’s precise language extends to his penchant for drug math; he scrupulously catalogues and describes sales and home invasions (“four deep, six sticks, one blood, three Crips”) and uses numbers to spell out his worldview (“Rather be carried by six before I’m judged by 12”). “8 Figures” is frank about the slipperiness of fast money, but then explodes into flexes. Most of it was standard mid-2010s rap fare (“Mercy,” “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” etc.)
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