Tardy Album Review | Maxo Kream – Brandon Banks

This album was released on July 19th this year. I actually reviewed Maxo Kream’s first studio album when it dropped early last year, but that was a weird time for this website. I was kind of going through a transitional period, and I hadn’t really figured out the right format for reviews. It was also right in the midst of my psychotic episode, so everything I was doing was just a bit off at the time. I think my review was more positive than it should’ve been. I made it seem like I liked the album more than I actually do. There are a lot of things that I still really love about it. I just think it was a bit too inconsistent for me to call it a “good” album. It’s a solid project though. Fun fact: when I was in the psychiatric ward a month after that album came out, I put a 29 year old cokehead named Kyle Francis onto Maxo Kream. Every night if we behaved properly we would be rewarded with the privilege of using a tablet to stream music, so I played a song for him. The funny thing is, I don’t even like the track that I played for him. I just chose a song—Bussdown—that I assumed would be pretty accessible and up his alley, and I ended up being correct. I don’t know why I’m talking about this. Anyway, I was actually looking forward to this album a lot. I didn’t love Punken, but I think Maxo Kream is fucking awesome when he’s at his best, and I really loved two of the three singles that I heard from this project.

Thankfully, this album didn’t let me down at all. I think it’s far more consistent than his debut record, and there are only three tracks on this project that I don’t like. I’m really satisfied with this album. As always, I’ll talk about the songs I liked before getting into the few that didn’t really do it for me. It starts off with Meet Again, which might actually be my favorite song on the whole album.

This track is amazing, man. It’s definitely one of the best songs he’s ever made in my opinion. I really love the chill, mellow, warm sounding production from Teej & Mike Dean. To me it sounds like pure sunlight in the form of music. The melody of the hook, which Lil Nas X bit on Rodeo, is really catchy to me. The song is basically Maxo’s version of Nas’ One Love. It’s not exactly an original idea for a song anymore, but the execution is virtually flawless. The first verse is super heartfelt, and I especially love the final quatrain.

Let me tell you ’bout your daughter; yesterday she tried to walk
Every day she gettin’ smarter; other day she tried to talk
You can’t be there like a father, and it’s fuckin’ with you mentally
Court-appointed lawyer got my bro a half a century

The second verse is even better though. It’s amazing; the way he details how his relationships have been strained and ruined by different aspects of his life is really sad, but super interesting.

My pops back in the system, he just might die in prison
My mom is co-defendant, so she got 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
See what them drugs, they took my own cousins, started actin’ different
Cookin’ drugs with my older brother, bakin’ soda whippin’
Servin’ drugs with my older brother ’til he started sniffin’
I think my bro addicted

The way that last line is delivered really hit me like a ton of bricks the first time I heard the song. I fucking love this track, man. I think it’s incredible. The following track, Bissonet, is pretty good too. However, it admittedly feels more like an interlude than a full song. The production from Kal Banx is cool, and the verse is solid. It’s nowhere near as poignant as the preceding track, but I guess it’d be hard to recapture that same level of enchantment. I feel like this song probably should’ve been connected to another track. Like, maybe it should’ve been Meet Again / Bissonet. Well, maybe not Meet Again. Meet Again is perfect enough on its own. You know what I mean though. He could’ve done more to make Bissonet more interesting. It’s still a good song though. I do like it. I just feel like it’s missing something. It’s far from a standout track on the album in my opinion, but it’s certainly not bad. I like it. I feel kinda the same way about the following track. It has a very different atmosphere from the previous couple of tracks. This is where the album kinda takes a sharp turn. I wouldn’t say it’s a turn for the worse; it’s just a really different direction from what the opening two songs had me expecting. Anyway, I think I actually may have heard Change before I listened to this full album for the first time, but I can’t really remember. Smash David flipped the same sample that was on Travis Scott’s YOSEMITE. That song is dope as hell by the way. I don’t like AstroWorld at all, but that’s one of the few tracks that I really fuck with. Anyway, I don’t like this beat as much as the YOSEMITE instrumental; this one sounds a bit too poppy for me. Is “poppy” a word? I mean, I know about poppy seeds and opium and shit like that, but I’m asking if it’s a real adjective. Whenever I say something sounds poppy, I mean it sounds like a really commercial, mainstream, Pop-oriented song. It never really sounds right to me. It sounds less awkward than “Pop-ish” or “Pop-esque” though. Fuck it. I don’t know why I’m talking about this. Anyway, I think the melodic hook on this song from Maxo sounds pretty cool, but I’m not crazy about his sing-songy delivery on the verses. It was fine on the first one, but it started feeling really repetitive by the time the second verse ended. I think the first half of the first verse was honestly pretty uninteresting lyrically, but the second half was much more compelling to me.

They looked up to their big brother, said “Maxo, I wanna be like you”
Told ’em “go for what you know, and work your move
Just chase the dough and you will get it soon”
Next thing I know, I see them dead on the news
Bad block, head shot up, blood from his shirt to his shoes

Unfortunately the second verse wasn’t as good lyrically, but overall I still enjoyed the song to some extent. It’s definitely not a favorite of mine, but I do think it’s pretty good. The next song that I really enjoyed is called 8 Figures. This one has a beat switch around the halfway point, which is what really helps keep it interesting. I really like his flow on the hook during the first part of the song, and his flow during the first verse was tight too. It wasn’t super impressive lyrically, but it was solid. I’m glad he switched up his flow and had a more energetic delivery for the final half of the song. Drizzy Draco is another one of the better songs on the album to me. I really like the flow Maxo was using on the hook. I’m pretty sure Future used that flow on one song, but I don’t know what it’s called. The production from Ryan ESL on this track in particular feels a bit skeletal, but I like how uptempo it is. The first verse is gangsta as hell.

I’m a old school fool; don’t make me show my age, nigga
I ain’t a fuckin’ rapper, I’m a fuckin’ grave digger
Bitch, what’s crackin’ then? I’m accurate, a long range hitter
Drizzy Drake when shootin’ Dracos, makin’ hits go Platinum with it

It also contains the most talked about line from the whole album.

My nina got a dick; I jack it off & masturbate her

Some people were confused about it, but I’m not really sure why. It’s not like Maxo Kream is the first person to use a penis as a metaphor for a gun. I had to explain to someone recently that pistols are very phallic. I’m not sure if he understood. Whatever. It doesn’t matter. Anyway, I don’t think the second verse on the song is nearly as entertaining as the first one. Overall I really liked Maxo’s rapping on this song; I just wish the track was a bit more adventurous sonically. It’s still one of the better songs up to this point on the album though. It’s followed by 3 AM, which is one of the best songs in my opinion.

The production from Mike Dean, Chuck Inglish & Apex Martin is kinda similar to that of the preceding track, but I like it more. The hook is a little underwhelming; it’s really conventional for Maxo. I really loved his flow on the verse though. He doesn’t usually rap like that. ScHoolboy Q also sounds awesome on this song. I couldn’t have asked for a better feature. I just wish his verse was a bit longer. It felt kinda short to me for some reason. The track is still one of my favorite songs on the album overall though. I wish Q was rapping more like this on CrasH Talk. The following song, Spice Ln. is another good track. I was pleasantly surprised by the production from Zaytoven. I think most of his beats are dull as shit, but this one is dope. The hook is a little weak on this song, but I love Maxo’s performance during the verses. The opening line in the first verse is hard as fuck.

I ain’t gotta use my pipe ’cause I could slap you like a bitch

I don’t really have any issues with the song. The hook is kinda flat, but the production is nice, and I love the storytelling from Maxo. It’s a dope song. The next track, Murda Blocc, isn’t quite as good to me, but I still enjoyed it to some extent. The beat is really hard; it kinda gives me the same feeling as Numb Numb Juice. I liked the first verse from Maxo, but I unfortunately wasn’t really crazy about the second verse from A$AP Ferg. With that said, he still had a much better performance than I was expecting. It’s a good song, but I kinda lost interest after the first verse. The final four tracks on the album are probably the best stretch of the whole project. Brenda is definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. The production from Kal Banx is absolutely stellar, and I think the song is amazing lyrically. The hook sets the tone for the rest of the track really well. Maxo’s flow during both of the verses is pretty cool, albeit repetitive. The storytelling is what makes it such a great track to me. It’s basically a sequel to 2Pac’s popular song, Brenda’s Got a Baby. This shit is way better than that song though. The tragic end to this song is really enthralling.

Her son in the trap slangin’ packs out the spot
One day she stole her son crack and got stole in the mouth
He beat her ass like his dad right before he ran off
He beat her just like his pops used to disrespect Brenda
One week later, got shot on the block; someone killed him

Jaw Drop

Again, it’s one of the best songs on the album to me. I think it’s amazing. It’s followed by Brothers, which has a stellar beat from Supah Mario. I think the first verse from Maxo Kream is pretty solid, and the hook is cool too. The featured verse from KCG Josh is really what makes the song so good to me though. I have no idea who the fuck he is, but he sounds awesome on this shit. Well, I guess he’s Maxo’s brother. It wasn’t really clear to me whether they’re actually brothers biologically or if they’re just super close friends. I guess it doesn’t matter. I actually like KCG Josh’s verse more than that of Maxo. I just really like his voice. He sounds great to me. The song is really dope. The following track, Dairy Ashford Bastard, is another one of my favorites. It’s a super heartfelt song dedicated to his father. It brought a tear to my eye. I mean, it didn’t literally make me cry, but this shit was really heartwarming. I think it’s another one of the best songs on the album, even though it’s so short. I actually think it might be the shortest track, yet it still feels like the climax of the record to me. It’s just one verse, but it’s fantastic.

Could’ve been divorced my mama, but he stayed up for his kids
Act like they don’t love each other, but I knew they really did
‘Cause she been with ’em since the struggle, then he moved ’em out the gutter
Even raised my older brother even though the kid ain’t his
Respect everything you did, but I ain’t respect the way you treat her
Disrespecting mama crib, I lost respect the day you beat her
Used to fight you as a kid, but I got big and whooped your ass
I shoulda hit you with the stick, but used my hands ’cause you my dad

Certain parts are kinda fucked up, but overall it’s a super earnest and sincere verse. I love it. The closing song, Still, is one of the singles that I’d heard from this album before listening to the full project, and I fucking love it.

This might actually be the hardest song on the whole album. I love how dark the production from ChasetheMoney sounds, and Maxo killed this shit. These lines right here are probably my favorite part of the song.

Still sellin’ you know what to you know who
Law still on my ass, gotta watch my moves
I still sell a four like two times two
Hit the pint two times and he still ain’t knew

I just love how his flow sounds during this part. It’s fucking awesome. The song has a very simplistic structure. It’s pretty much just a gangsta version of L.A.Z.’s Still interlude from Clear Soul Forces’ album of the same name. It’s red hot fiya though. I don’t have any issues with it. It’s definitely one of my favorite songs on the album. In fact, I think my two favorite songs on the whole album were singles. So yeah, those are all the songs that I like from this album. Unfortunately I have to talk about the songs I didn’t care for now. There are only three of them though. In fact, I don’t even hate them. There’s only one track on the album that I thought was legitimately bad, and it’s not like the worst thing I’ve ever heard. If you know me well, it probably shouldn’t come as a surprise that I didn’t care for She Live at all.

The content just doesn’t interest me even a little bit. I don’t care for the hook at all, and the production is really weak to me. The first verse from Maxo Kream didn’t impress me at all.

Bad bitch down in Miami like Trina
Bougie bitch, only ride Benz or Beamer
Bitch named Katrina; tell me, have you seen her?
Hurricane pussy so wet, call FEMA

Corn

Megan thee Stallion had an okay verse I guess. It was definitely more interesting than Maxo’s verse. This just isn’t the kinda song that I’d ever listen to personally. I’m not into strip club music. I’m not into strip clubs period, so I’m never gonna hear this ever again. It’s easily the worst song on the album in my opinion. At least the music video was fun. Anyway, I didn’t really care for The Relays either. The production was kinda cool, but, once again, it’s basically just another strip club song. The content doesn’t interest me at all, but at least Maxo had kind of an interesting flow, especially on the hook. The background vocals from Travis Scott that come in during the hook are annoying as hell to me. The way they’re mixed just sounds strange to me. There’s way too much reverb. His actual verse sucks ass, but that shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. I think the song is okay overall, but the only aspects that really stood out to me in a good way were the production and Maxo’s flow. The only other track that I haven’t mentioned yet is Pray 2 the Dope. I don’t think it’s a bad song. It’s just kinda tedious. I think the content about Maxo selling a shit ton of drugs is kinda interesting, but I was a little annoyed that he kept rhyming the word “work” with itself. I’m also not crazy about his melodic delivery, and I don’t think the production from D.A. Doman is that great. The song’s okay overall, but I won’t be listening to it again personally.


This album is pretty goddamn good in my opinion. As I said earlier, I was very satisfied. I think it’s a major step up from his debut album. Maxo Kream is becoming my favorite Trap artist. Hmm… Now that I think about it, I’m really not sure what other Trap album I’ve enjoyed this year. It’s rare that I get more than a handful of good tracks out of a Trap project, so I guess it says a lot that I think this is so good. I think my only real gripe with this project as a whole would be that some of the production and his flows can start to feel a bit redundant after a while. That’s why 3 AM stood out to me so much because his flow was really different on that track. I think one thing that would’ve made this album amazing would be if the mood of the first couple tracks permeated the rest of the project. I guess those songs aren’t really Trap though. I just really like when he’s writing more introspective, emotional verses. Meet Again might actually be the best song I’ve ever heard from him honestly. I think that’s one of the best singles of the year. Some of the features were also a little weak. ScHoolboy Q & KCG Josh were really good, but A$AP Ferg & Travis Scott didn’t need to be here. I think this would be a pretty good introduction for first time listeners of Maxo Kream though. It’s dedicated to his father, but it’s not like every single track is about his dad. It’s really about his entire neighborhood and the way he grew up. He really gives you a strong sense of who he is as a person, and where he comes from. I don’t think it’s an amazing album, and I personally wouldn’t even say it’s great, but I’m very satisfied. It just feels very cohesive to me even if I didn’t love every single track. This is really good. I fuck with it.

Favorite Song: Meet Again
Least Favorite Song: She Live

78

Watch the videos below for more thoughts on this album.

B flat
Grade: B

Tell me if I'm trippin'

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s