Hypnotically stacking syllables over dark and innovative production, Maxo Kream’s music inhabits an insular and grimy sonic universe of its own fashioning. Returning with his highly anticipated third full-length, the Houston emcee shares Punken, his most mature and fully-realized project yet. Titled after one of Maxo’s childhood nicknames, Punken takes a deep and revealing look into the rapper’s past, especially on “Grannies,” an intensely detailed and personal track that made over 5 million streams on Spotify, which focuses on Maxo’s childhood living at his grandmother’s with a motley cast of relatives. Building upon 2015’s debut Maxo 187 and 2016’s accomplished and self-aware The Persona Tape, Punken is emotionally and sonically diverse, with weighty tracks such as “Grannies” and “Roaches” sitting side-by-side with insanely fun drug-dealing bangers like the recent single “Bussdown.” Featuring appearances from Trippie Redd, 03 Greedo, and Houston up-and-comer D. Flowers, and with production from The Wlderness, Beatboy, Sonny Digital, Ethereal, Honorable C Note, $uicideboy$, Tommy Kruise, Wolfe De Mchls, Teddy Walton, and MexikoDro, Punken delivers on the promise of Maxo’s previous work and more, as the young emcee experiments with new flows, tightens his songwriting, and sharpens his observational pen.
Maxo Kream broke out in 2015 with the haunting street epic Maxo 187, earning critical praise and winning a cult following. He turned even more heads with Persona Tape, his second full-length, released in Summer 2016. Featuring appearances from fellow Houston rapper Paul Wall and rising 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 comprehended. Though Maxo did not loose a full project in 2017, he kept a high profile by releasing some of his best and most successful singles, such as “Mars,” his collaboration with Lil Uzi Vert, premiered on OVO Sound, Radio, and “5200,” which spent a few weeks on Spotify’s Most Necessary playlist and appears as the closer on Punken. Max also impressed on the live tour last year, performing in Rolling Loud Bay Area and starring in Spotify’s Rap Caviar Houston live showcase. With Punken, Maxo solidifies his street credentials and cements himself as an important emcee for the present and hereafter.
3. “Capeesh” Feat. Trippie Redd
6. “Go” Feat. D. Flowers
7. “Beyonce (Interlude)”
8. “Astrodome, Pt. 2”
9. “Love Drugs”
10. “Pop Another”
12. “Atw” Feat. 03 Greedo