Maxo has never shied aware from sharing his vulnerabilities to the world, as exemplified with his exceptional 2019 album LIL BIG MAN. The California rapper has always been able to articulate his pains and struggles through introspective raps and soulful production, and has improved considerably as a writer and storyteller over the last few years. All of this culminates in Even God Has a Sense of Humor, his most defined and complete work to date.
The 14-track album features production from the likes of Lastnamedavid, Madlib, Beat Butcha, Graymatter and Devin Morisson among others, and guests Pink Siifu, Liv.e and keiyaA. There’s so much to digest on this album, but it’s Maxo’s seamless flows and introspections about his own life that makes this an interesting listen. The soulful and lush “Still” opens the album with a beautifully introspective track that sets the tone perfectly for the rest of the album. “If it ain’t my race / why am I fighting for a spot” is a reminder to stay grounded and focus on self without getting distracted by shit that doesn’t matter. There are gems of line sprinkled throughout the entire album. The infectious “48” featuring Pink Siifu is another excellent and inspiring track, with thoughts on how growth really is the way to achieve a sense of happiness and meaning. “My heart full of fear but I’mma die if I don’t live, eyes closed” is a potent and poetic line, showing his desire to grow and embrace life to the fullest. The flute sample on “Nuri” is excellent, as Maxo’s immersive lyrics are incredibly dense throughout. The keys on “Falls Down” are infectious, as Maxo’s reflective lyrics and delivery about what to do when shit hits the fan are both passionate and contemplative. keiyaA’s feature on “onedayatatime” is another highlight, while “If It Was” has this spoken-word delivery over an eerie, unassuming beat, before it blossoms into this jazzy groove, as Maxo reflects on life after death and what that may look like, as well as depressive thoughts that have led to these thoughts in the first place. “Like I Don’t See U” featuring Liv.e is a soulful, lush closer to the album, a delicate track that captures an emotive, reflective tone, with an optimistic outlook that is complemented by Liv.e’s angelic vocals that are just sublime. A beautiful closer to a soulful and beautiful album.
Maxo shares his heart and vulnerabilities on an album that is cohesive, raw and emotional, with reflections on his mental state of mind and depressive thoughts that have shaped who he is as a person and artist. He really exceeded all expectations with Even God Has a Sense of Humor, and he’ll only get better with time.
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