Lil Big Man – [Maxo]

As an artist, longevity can often be found in honesty. Rather than painting pictures of the life that an artist wants or sees others living, it’s more impactful when music speaks on reality, regardless of how difficult or easy reality truly is. For Def Jam-signee Maxo, this honesty is a virtue, and no better body of work could exemplify this than his new album, Lil Big Man.

10 tracks long, Lil Big Man finds beauty in the eyes of struggle, using dense, weary-eyed bouts of introspection to show the ways in which Maxo makes peace with himself and his life each day. The LA native is figuring it out just like us all, and his latest project is simply an open-book reflection of this sentiment, allowing him to achieve a level of candid authenticity that can’t be imitated. That said, to be human is to be flawed, and Maxo is here to document his own struggles in a cathartic manner that we can all relate to and learn from.

In addition to the lyrical prowess presented on this record, the soulful bed of production here is what truly pushes Lil Big Man to become the standout project that it is. Each beat knocks with a beautiful degree of personality, allowing Maxo’s deeply honest verses about the trials and tribulations of life to find an increased sense of identity in the soul-stricken instrumentals. The sonic direction also fits this project energy-wise, as things are kept to a relaxing pace in which the lyrics can find their maximum scope of impact.

Packaged with features from Lojji, Liv.E, and PinkSiifu, Lil Big Man isn’t a confessional, but rather a diary of sorts. Maxo’s rhymes reflect the end-of-the-day introspection and reflection that we all seem to do, giving this idea a new sense of life as he puts things in a perspective that a wide base of listeners can resonate with. Even so, the budding talent’s purpose on this one doesn’t seem to be to speak for his listeners; Maxo is speaking his truth, and Lil Big Man is simply a culmination of the ups and downs that this truth is comprised of.

That said, this one is truly one of my favorite projects of the year so far, so be sure to stream it below. Maxo is one of the best doing it right now, and Lil Big Man is a remarkably well-executed testament to this.

Production by Swarvy, lastnamedavid, Vik, and Roper Williams