#IndieSpotlight

The Journey: Jersey Rapper Maxi Maxx Stays On The Grind

Maxi chats Meek Mill, industry politics, and more.

If one were to ask “who is the most played artist in Jersey via SoundCloud,” there’s a good chance Maxi Maxx May not be the first name to pop in your head — even though he ranks second in the state only to Fetty Wap with 50 million plays. The Jersey rapper has been in the game for just over seven years, working with some incredible notable acts along the way, like the recently released Meek Mill. So why hasn’t the young upstart ascended to the next level? He’s on his way.

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Currently, he’s connected with Interscope — strictly as a host for distribution of his music — but Maxx is hopeful the relationship could blossom further as he preps his full 2018 LP. Today, though, he’s reveling in positive feedback from his latest mixtape, Everybody Raps, which features (aside from his crew) vocals from songstress Kehlani (“Cum Thru”).

“This tape was just to let everybody know who I am,” he tells AAHH. “The official album is [going to drop] when they get more comfortable … this tape was just to let them know that I’m still here.”

It’s an understandable motivation; though he’s had some incredible looks, he’s had some disheartening false-starts and setbacks. His first significant opportunity came after a chance meeting with Meek Mill, who was impressed by songs off of Maxx’s Lazy K hosted debut.

 
Meek was interested in remixing one of Maxx’s records, but due to clearance issues Maxx couldn’t facilitate it; that led to them working on the song “Weak People,” which to date has over 1.6 million plays. “He sent it back 48 hours, no charge,” he says. “[Meek] was like ‘this one is on me, the next one is on you.’ Ever since then, we kept in contact. We were in touch through the whole Nicki Minaj relationship; he kept calling me, putting me on game … kept motivating me like that. Like a big brother.”

The deal was on the table, however — much to his chagrin — it was a writing deal for lesser-known MMG artists. As well, during that period, Maxx saw a situation his cousin Choo Biggz went through during a video shoot for the song “Tonight” featuring Tank, Fetty Wap, and 50 Cent. Though he was paid, Fif was a no-show. The experience left a bad taste in his mouth and jaded him on the prospect of signing to other artists.

 
“That’s what made me not want to sign to other artists because other artists don’t want to see you grow,” he states.

He’s grown from the situation, and is more motivated than ever; with a catalog that includes the likes of Jeremih, Weeknd, and Yachty, he is ready to be more than just an artist you’ve heard here or there. Instead, he’s aiming for the spotlight — and a chance to share his whole truth on a larger scale.

“I will be the best rapper then come out of Jersey,” he says with a laugh. “Shout out to Redman.”

Riley here — father, artist, videographer, professional writer and SERIOUS hip-hop head. I'm a member of the Universal Zulu Nation, and I think everything is better on vinyl. Add me on Twitter! @specialdesigns
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#IndieSpotlight: Quintin Tarintinto’s “No Self Pity” EP Is A Sure-Shot Hit

After a lengthy hiatus of over three years, UnderClassXLX recording artist Quintin Tarintinto–hailing from Tallahassee, Florida–dropped his new EP, No…

After a lengthy hiatus of over three years, UnderClassXLX recording artist Quintin Tarintinto–hailing from Tallahassee, Florida–dropped his new EP, No Self Pity. On the project, which he says is close to his heart, he breaks down his personal experiences dealing with depression and explores how he was able to overcome his deepest fears. With Mental health continuing to be a growing topic around the world, this release is sure to strike a deep chord with many fans able to identify and relate to the experiences.

 
Led off with the melodic, piano-driven single “Ground Zero,” dripping with a soulful undertone, the 15-song release is loaded with vibes, bops, and flame emojis. Quintin’s magnetic aura draws listeners and keeps them listening. With too many potential hits to list, and well over a million plays on SoundCloud alone, No Self Pity is a must-listen this week.

Listen to Quintin Tarintinto’s No Self Pity, below.

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#IndieSpotlight: Tre Cartel’s Collaborative EP With CashMoney AP Is A Moment For The ATL MC

ATL MC Tre Cartel is someone who we’ve championed quite a bit in the past, which it’s exciting to finally…

ATL MC Tre Cartel is someone who we’ve championed quite a bit in the past, which it’s exciting to finally get his three-song EP Obtain This Grain — as it feels like a moment for him. Produced entirely by CashMoney AP — a platinum-selling beatsmith whose crafted hits for the likes of Lil Wayne, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Ski Mask The Slump God, Tory Lanez, Dave East, Jay Critch, and MANY more — the offering is concise but poignant.

 
It kicks off with “That Guy,” which is a dollar-sign tinged profession of why he’s that catch that “she” has been looking for — featuring a guest verse from YFA King, who smashes the melodic flow. “Knock Your Hustle” is another song aimed at a female, quite cohesively playing off the thematic elements of the first track.

The special sauce though is the absolute banger “Formula,” in which he notes “I think I found out the formula,” adding that he’s just warming up. His evolved Migo-esque flow with his cadence and the gorgeous flute in the bridge of the record make this song almost ironic in it’s prophetic in its overall message.

At three songs, it’s an appetizer at best; yet Tre Cartel appears to have hit his stride over this batch of insanely fire beats supplied by CashMoney. While we may see him open up a little more below the surface when we’re blessed with a larger body of work to digest, Obtain This Grain has a hearty helping of replay value worth adding to your playlist if you’re in search of the next-big-thing to pop from the hotbed that is Atlanta.

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#IndieSpotlight: Tre Cartel’s Collaborative EP With CashMoney AP Is A Moment For The ATL MC

ATL MC Tre Cartel is someone who we’ve championed quite a bit in the past, which it’s exciting to finally…

ATL MC Tre Cartel is someone who we’ve championed quite a bit in the past, which it’s exciting to finally get his three-song EP Obtain This Grain — as it feels like a moment for him. Produced entirely by CashMoney AP — a platinum-selling beatsmith whose crafted hits for the likes of Lil Wayne, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Ski Mask The Slump God, Tory Lanez, Dave East, Jay Critch, and MANY more — the offering is concise but poignant.

 
It kicks off with “That Guy,” which is a dollar-sign tinged profession of why he’s that catch that “she” has been looking for — featuring a guest verse from YFA King, who smashes the melodic flow. “Knock Your Hustle” is another song aimed at a female, quite cohesively playing off the thematic elements of the first track.

The special sauce though is the absolute banger “Formula,” in which he notes “I think I found out the formula,” adding that he’s just warming up. His evolved Migo-esque flow with his cadence and the gorgeous flute in the bridge of the record make this song almost ironic in it’s prophetic in its overall message.

At three songs, it’s an appetizer at best; yet Tre Cartel appears to have hit his stride over this batch of insanely fire beats supplied by CashMoney. While we may see him open up a little more below the surface when we’re blessed with a larger body of work to digest, Obtain This Grain has a hearty helping of replay value worth adding to your playlist if you’re in search of the next-big-thing to pop from the hotbed that is Atlanta.

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#IndieSpotlight: Reíne Imoan Sets The Tone With Her Soulful Debut “Soul Sista”

Long Island, New York, singer Reíne Imoan is about to make a splash in 2019 with her debut VWR. Her…

Long Island, New York, singer Reíne Imoan is about to make a splash in 2019 with her debut VWR. Her first official single “Soul Sista” produced by Shepard X is out now — and as Imoan recounts to AAHH, the track was fun to create. “It was made off of groove and straight vibes … brings me back to the late 90’s early 2000’s, which was one of my fave eras of music.

“I remember Shepard X introducing the beat to me with the concept and instantly I started bopping and knew I had to have it,” she continues.

She has always been involved in music — and it all started with her father, who used to play his vast music collection constantly. “From Roots Reggae to R&B soul every Sunday dinner,” she recalls with a smile.

“I remember singing the first verse I ever wrote to my friends and they hyped me so much,” she says. That push made me want to keep going and see what else I can do. I searched on youtube for beats and just kept writing. I felt it in my heart that this is what I’d be doing for sure.”

All roads have led to her upcoming project, but she’s not rushing anything. “I want to take my time with this one and give people something they can relate and bump to,” she says adding that the collaborations lined up are worth waiting for. I used to rush things because I saw other people putting stuff out … I was just so eager to get out there. But I had to center myself and say Fuck that, take your time and don’t let others make you feel like you have to rush anything. Quality over quantity, always.”

Ultimately, she’s crafting a first impression that she hopes will be great. “I’m working every day and practicing my craft to be one of the best entertainers in the industry. I plan on writing songs for other singers and artist in the industry, along with working with them on projects,” she says, describing her long-term objectives.

“After I drop my EP, I’m going to keep creating and see where the universe lands me. I plan on doing lots of performances this year and putting myself out there. Later in my career, I plan on dabbling into acting — another art that I’ve always enjoyed. When God gives you a talent, I believe you have to share it with the world.”

Check out her debut single, “Soul Sista,” below.

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