Maxo Kream understands both the light and dark within him, the duality in his rap: "I know I'm Christ but I know I got the devil in me." It makes perfect sense; all over Quicc Strikes, his sophomore mixtape following Retro Card, Maxo not only relishes robbing people to further his sneaker fascination but brandishes a warning at every turn.
Quicc Strikes as a whole is ambitious. It's smart at times and attempts to bully its way out of problematic situations in others. The year has been rather void of authentic street tapes, at least ones that adhere to full-blown nihilism and survival above any other human thought. "Whitney Houston" pumps over 8-bit drum claps and synths, a freewheeling exhibition of slanging drugs, King Kong posturing and fetishisms: "Posted with a Puerto Rican, she gon' suck and swallow, chew it/ I'ma break her Walls like Jericho and give that ass a bruisin'."
What makes Quicc Strikes such a linear tape from start to finish is that Maxo completely understands who he is. His faults are adhering strictly to being a gun-toting, robbing menace with eye-wells about as black the abyss. In other words, whatever chance Maxo has of wooing casual listeners is lost withinQuicc Strikes. Instead, those roles get left to Le$ on the shimmering "Purple City Stars" and Doughbeezy on "Invisible Tops," also featuring fellow Kream Clicc member Lyndo Cartel.
Kream only knows two speeds, a drowsy haze that slings to and fro, evident on the steeled-out haunt of "Lewinsky," and a sticky double-time flow that exists on almost every other space of the tape.
Whatever clear goal Maxo achieved with his "Rigormortis" freestyle that went viral, Quicc Strikes makes clear he chose to exercise every muscle that got him such acclaim. He just doesn't stop stacking bars in a double-time flow that checks off wants and needs, like a kid doing his best to acquire everything on his Christmas list. Even when you should be chuckling at punchlines like "house full of white bitches, call me Bob Saget," he immediately switches to the flow, squarely focused on hypnotizing listeners into a trance.
If Retro Card was the project that Maxo wanted to make strictly about being fly and an obsessor of shoes (see "LeBron South Beach," feat. Young Von) then Quicc Strikes is its utterly violent cousin who takes a trip through the West wearing said shoes and itching for more.
Houston needed at least one purveyor of perverted violence to obtain success -- it now has Maxo Kream to deal with. Maxo Kream, rap star, is coming.
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