#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.

https://instagram.com/p/Bg2SNnxlCmU/

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, Main

Pressure Dommer Teases His New EP With ”Dopeman” Single/Video

The big record is a brilliant look into the crystal ball of what to expect going forward.

Orlando, Florida, rapper Pressure Dommer is currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on his upcoming EP, 8. Set to be his biggest release to date since signing on with No Convo Entertainment — headed by acclaimed record producer Fye Jones — and to wet our appetites, has dropped off a new single and video, Dopeman.

Directed by Brill Adium, the shadowy visual is a cinematic experience, with Pressure on the late night grind; the at times frantic camera motion plays up the almost paranoia-ridden state of being experienced by a trafficker in the trap amid a sea of potential downfalls. The big record is a brilliant look into the crystal ball of what to expect going forward.

“I would describe my sound as reality music,” he tells AAHH, “very influential and soulful … full of jewels.” As he describes it, his grandad and grandma influenced him the most; “seeing them work hard to provide for multiple people — and do it from the bare minimum — [pushes me to strive for the best].

He also tells us that signing with No Convo rests among his most significant achievements. “It’s an opportunity for me to do what I love and be supported by a company that believes in me,” he says.

With his eye on the prize, and the goal of creating a lasting legacy in the music industry, Pressure is one of the hungriest rappers we’ve come across in a minute. “We’re getting this project ready for the masses,” he confidently, pointing toward the near future. It’s about to be a hot summer!

Check out the visual, below. 

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#IndieSpotlight, unsigned hype

Detroit’s Own Arius Is Our New Singer Crush

She has a gorgeous voice, and a great vibe about her.

23-year-old Detroit-native Arius is a star on the rise with a cadence that commands attention; her debut LP Pandora’s Box dropped last summer — and she’s about to drop another project this summer.

Her latest, the super impressive “4U,” is an airy R&B appetizer that’s building buzz as she finalizes her upcoming project Reality. The track itself gives off an aura reminiscent of Ashanti’s “Foolish,” in that it’s easily relatable for many females, making it an almost anthemic single that you could picture a packed audience singing along to. It definitely has replay potential.

Having rocked shows in cultural hubs like LA, Miami, and ATL — and releasing her music through independent label MafiaSoul Records — the songstress has her sights set on a major label look.

She has a gorgeous voice, and a great vibe about her; she’s an artist to put on your watch list. Check owut “4U,” below.

 

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#IndieSpotlight, Main

#IndieSpotlight: Mr2theP Emerges With Two New Singles

For South California born emcee Mr2theP, it all started in the trenches as a battle rapper. He grew up living…

For South California born emcee Mr2theP, it all started in the trenches as a battle rapper. He grew up living an almost stereotypical party surfer lifestyle, which when mixed with his love of Hip Hop made him unique — to say the least. He and his group Alwayz Double Dippin’ gained a very healthy regional following but disbanded following the murder of their manager.

Since that point, P broke out as a solo act, dropping a bevy of projects and rocking festivals and sold out theatres across the country. His discography includes three solo, which features iconic artists like Mistah Fab, and two collaborative releases, The Black & White Project and Friday The 25th, both of which he recorded with battle-rap superstar Daylyt, who most recently asserted as status as king troll by releasing a mixtape focused on rapper Young MA.

“When I came to, that’s what the pain do … either you grow or you die like a tree do.”

Currently, he’s in the lab putting the finishing touches on the first installment of his upcoming series, Island Fever — produced by Darren Vegas. He relocated to the island of Maui following the loss of his daughter. This, among a host of introspective revelations, makes up the super deep new song “Ocean.” The song dropped as part of a two pack on 4/20 along with “Milk and Cereal,” which sports a more boom-bap aesthetic and bars, packaged as ‘shower thoughts’ that he’s thinking over a bowl of cereal. Unlike “Ocean,” he more asserts his lyrical dominance here: “I say I’m coming for they head, I’m a cereal [play on serial] killer, none iller, they can’t fuck with my material.”

Both songs also sport similar art direction, which we can likely expect from the upcoming series. Check out both of the new songs, below.

 

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#IndieSpotlight, unsigned hype

Donny DoomsDay Goes Against The Grain

Three listens had us open!

Going blind into an album is a liberating experience; with preconceived notions, it’s easier to take a raw listen at the actual material — without politics and BS. I had such an experience just this week with an artist name Donny DoomsDay. Everything about this guy is intriguing post-three listens. His latest LP, the hefty 17-song slice of hip-hop that is Reality Raps is loaded with positivism, a good amount of relatability, BARS, and unabashed nods to his Christianity.

To top it all off, he delivers a healthy tribute to the screwed up sound Texas is synonymous with.

What was most intriguing about the album was the layers I uncovered during my three top to bottom spins. Upon the first pass, I was taken in by the production. The project begins with “Moonlight,” which has an eerie/jazzy sound; “who’s the dealer and who’s the fiend,” he asks rhetorically. Elsewhere, I found myself running back “Fifth Wheel Motion,” his (sonic) salute to the style Texas became famous for, where you can almost imagine his dense wordplay getting a “chopped not slopped” treatment.

“Texas Made,” which walks you through life in the section was another one that got a few run backs, with it’s slick, atmospheric record pops.

Upon the second pass, I got deeper into his wordplay. He’s a Christian rapper, as I’ve come to know upon more research, but he doesn’t at all shove it down your throat; instead, he makes positive music. Not rainbows and shit, just … positive. Let me break that down.

 
“Graveyardz” follows him as he comes home from a literal graveyard shift at a plant, only to look at the face of his sleeping with and realizing his grinding is all worth it. “Selfish” is another example, where he raps about how he — despite circumstances — manages to stay out of jail, chases degrees rather than selling drug; he even raps about paying taxes on the second verse.

Keep in mind, the production on this LP is amazing, so he has these trap tinged, dark, southern tracks made for rolling around to in a candy painted Cadillac at midnight, but it is at points, (lyrically) swimming against the grain like a hip-hop salmon.

Then there are these really powerful records in the mix, like “Nothing To Something,” where he addresses the sameness of emcees in the game: “concepts are the same … the producers are the real artists, I’m a say it.” Another clear standout for me was “Villainy,” where he discusses the illusionary nature of the “things” that hip-hop culture consider important. This particular song is two-fold, also looking at the way he perceives himself as being viewed, despite being anything but a basic “rap guy.”

“You can run the trap; I’ll run to the bank with a business plan.”
–Donny DoomsDay

“Many Blessings” was probably the song with the most overt show of his faith, though he does instill it into bars throughout the album, and you can’t overlook “Been Praying,” either.. Tracks like “Coach Store” and “Give It and Go” do throw you off the trail though, without really listening to the bars, a light listen of this LP lets a lot of amazingness go over your head.

There is a ton to love and unpack on Reality Raps, but it’s worth getting lost in for a day — or two.

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More in #IndieSpotlight
#IndieSpotlight: Mr2theP Emerges With Two New Singles

For South California born emcee Mr2theP, it all started in the trenches as a battle rapper. He grew up living...

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