MAXO KREAM – Punken
Houston’s Maxo Kream certainly has Star quality. His unique flows slip and slide effortlessly over varied production on this extremely creative project. Not only does each track induce non-stop head-nodding, but lyrically, Maxo has given us something thought-provoking, family oriented, and deeply personal. The album’s title Punken (pumpkin) is an affectionate name that his family calls him.
Maxo told Complex that he wanted to give his fans more emotion, telling his real story. The album is a “walk with Maxo.” On his hit single, Grannies, Maxo isn’t vague at all with the details of his upbringing, flowing for three minutes straight. He’s also hitting a syllable on each beat, creating a nice rhythm with words. A Houston hustler through and through, Maxo reveals his struggles growing up, from sneaking around using his Aunt’s car to commit robbery to getting kicked out of his parent’s house and trapping at his grandmother’s. I was blown away by Grannies. This is his approach to the entire album. It’s raw and uncut, creating an authentic, all-encompassing story that comes with many characters: Maxo’s family.
On Capeesh, we find him and Trippie Redd going back and forth talking braggadociously sipping codeine and trapping. Although Maxo admits to partaking in drug use as well as hustling, he comments that many rappers these days are just junkies, which is not a good look. Maxo on the other hand, has balance and is able to work, party, hustle and do whatever else without too much obstruction.
From front to back, each track slaps. Production from Sonny Digital, the Wilderness, Beatboy, Mexiko Dro, Honorable C Note, Tommy Kruise and Ethereal are all impressive. Each track sounds different from the previous track, and the album somehow still sounds seamless. On Go, Bob James’ Nautilus sample provides an eerie backdrop to Maxo and D. Flowers’ drug dealing pursuits. D. Flowers’ harsh voice and sharp delivery also provide a nice contrast to Maxo’s smooth bouncy vocals. On Beyonce (Interlude), the sharp, bell-like percussion only enhances Maxo’s Texas trappin’ musings.
Not only does Mr. Kream speak on family and hustling, but he also describes relationships with women and THOTS like on Astrodome Pt. 2, which show a different side of him.
Hurricane Harvey and its affects on him and his family are mentioned multiple times on the album. On Atw ft. 03 Greedo, it would seem that he takes the role of a seasoned veteran of hustling and aims to teach and warn the younger generation about the dark parts of hustling and life.
Closing out with 5200 (different ways), Maxo gloats and boasts, “I be ridin’ Ubers for the free.” He flexes and describes his come up, stating that he made it out the trenches from washing dishes to buying his bitches Louie bags, moving everything (acid tablets, xanax, percs), and even doing ” a fake event with no promoter.” It’s the perfect way to close out a stellar project from an up and coming, versatile artist with influential connections (Playboi Carti and Uzi Vert are mentioned in one of the skits/interludes) whose unique sound is certainly something every hip-hop and trap head should look for more from in 2018.
Maxo Kream blew up after releasing a remix to Kendrick’s Rigamortis. Click that link to watch him FLOW. I’ve been looking for new lyricists in the game, and I think I found my guy.