"LIL BIG MAN" is an album which despite it's strong first half and groovy rich sound, remains little more than relaxing background music that just doesn't go far enough neither lyrically or instrumentally; to leave a seriously meaningful impression once we go further than 18 mins in.

"LIL BIG MAN" had an explosion of a start. The first five tracks had incredibly smooth and groovy atmosphere, and Maxo came on the beat with energy, focus and an immaculate flow. It's abstract hip-hop somewhat reminiscent of Earl Sweatshirt's "Some Rap Songs" however it doesn't go as far - this is a much more contained and easier to digest album. The songs are also more flushed out and have much more of a structure compared to Earl's stream of consciousness style. So therefore I'd say that the "abstract" and experimental nature of the album isn't quite as strong since it does follow a traditional rap structure most of the time. The song "Kingfolk" is my personal standout highlight track. I absolutely love the groove and the extra dimension that the guitars add. I also thought from a songwriting perspective it was the best written song on the album.
"Been tryna get my head right, stuck up in these headlights. Seem like ain't nobody real no more. Like, why they lying? Like, why they lying? Seem like ain't nobody real."

However after the short interlude "Lucky", the album's second half quite honestly pales in comparison. The song "605" kinda felt like a leftover that was just placed there randomly. It left me scratching my head as to why the album ran out of gas in the way that it did. I like the jazzy and chill groove of "Crown Heights" it's the definitely a chill out smoke out song. But the instrumental didn't quite feel abstract enough, it felt too normal and with the lack of diversity it got old pretty fast. Also Maxo's energy and charisma that he had in the first half was missing here. I also quite enjoyed the closing track "Quiktoldme" and especially the song's hook and also minimalistic piano melody I thought was very infectious and effective. I also thought the lyrics here were pretty good. "If it don't make money, It don't make sense". I.... Agree!

All in all I thought this was quite a solid album. The first half of the album is immaculate. Second half felt messy and occasionally fell flat. I think Maxo as a rapper has got a ton of potential especially as I believe the subgenre of "abstract hip-hop" is on the rise. But he needs to up his poetry, make his instrumentation more cryptic and just push it further. That's what I thought "LIL BIG MAN" lacked the most - payoff. But I thought this was a very promising start.

Fav Tracks: Time, Strongside, Kinfolk, No Love, In My Penny's, Quiktoldme
Least Fav: 605

"LIL BIG MAN" by Maxo 6/10
1 Comment
Apr 1, 2019
Yeah, I have actually listened to this, but I haven't yet rated it because despite sounding nice, I kept on never paying attention to it
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