By Jack Barnes
This past January, Maxo Kream took a moment to break from the usual excess and bravado of rap.
Choosing instead to expose the bleak reality lurking beneath the surface, Maxo returns to Southwest Houston in the disturbingly placid visual for the Complex-premiered single “Grannies.” In the visual, Maxo’s neighbors and friends are at the forefront, tattoos, scars, and all. The sun shining off his glittering grill provides a brilliant juxtaposition to Maxo’s gut-wrenching stories: “Grindin’ with my family through the struggle, hold em down regardless.” Enjoy this video stream below after the jump.
Explains Maxo to XXL, “I made this song so people could understand me. A lot of my fans are in the white hipster internet crowd. They like my music, but they don’t know why I say certain shit. They can’t relate to it. ‘Grannies’ describes a typical scene at my Grandma’s place which is where I lived after Mom and Dad kicked me out when I was 14 or 15 years old. Everything I said in that song, n*ggas know. Ain’t no secret, it’s real.”
After breaking out in 2015 with the critically acclaimed Maxo 187, Maxo Kream elevated his artistry with The Persona Tape, released last June. Featuring appearances from fellow Houston rapper Paul Wall and Atlanta rappers Playboi Carti, Key!, and Rich the Kid, the tape finds Maxo Kream exploring the intricacies of his public profile and how he is perceived. “Your persona is how you carry yourself,” said Maxo Kream to Complex. “It tells people everything about who you are, so it’s more important than a social security number. This tape is everything I’m about. Persona shit.” Featuring tracks such as the grime-tinged “Big Worm,” which earned co-signs from Skepta and Wiley, and garnered nearly 1.5 million SoundCloud plays in the process, and video singles such as “G3” and “Smoke Break,” The Persona Tape was one of the most celebrated rap releases of the year. Maxo recently finished touring the nation with Danny Brown, and provided a guest verse to “Running Man,” the first Cool Kids track since 2011. Starting with “Grannies,” Maxo will make further strides in 2017, refining his aesthetic and winning new fans in the process.
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