Rolling Stone



“Before I made it rapping or anything, I was popular,” Maxo tells me in his Houston loft. “I’ve been popular all through high school.” Maxo and his Kream associates were the start of a new wave in Houston rap. He arrived just as social media was beginning to break down the regional barriers that had defined modern hip-hop. It was a period when everyone from A$AP Rocky to Playboi Carti were making their way through the city, soaking up the emergent streetwear culture, along with the unique creative flexibilit­y present. “I was putting on rappers before I was rapping, coming out to the city and shit. I was fuckin’ with Travis, fuckin’ with A$AP Ferg. You know what I’m saying? All before I was even rapping.” Maxo’s keen sense of business comes from a mix of traditiona­l hustling and sneaker culture, which puts a premium on authentici­ty and taste. His music has the same appeal. He strictly speaks the truth when it comes to the real-life snippets in his raps, and he’s careful never to glorify violence or street life. “My goal was initially to get money — to really get like a legal job, to be honest,” says Maxo, who is preparing the release of his next album this summer. “I just embraced it and took everything that came with rapping.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States