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After signing to the independent powerhouse Strange Music earlier this year, Maez301 has been consistently feeding the streets with a series of EPs that served as tasters for his brand new self-titled full-length album, Maez301.  He dropped this project on November 8th, 2019. From the front to back, Maez301 shows his versatility as rapper as he balances conscious emotional subject matter and braggadocio feel-good rap.  He brings his life experiences to wax over carefully picked production.  On it he also presents a brand of uplifting yet carefree hip hop that the industry desperately needs.  Let’s jump into a few of the highlights off this 20-track collection.

On the first track “Change,” you’re met with the conscious side of Maez301.  He drops a self-reflective track that explores the concept of change in his life and career.  As he progresses and reaches new levels of success, he remembers where he comes from but also embraces new beginnings.  As the song enters its outro, Sway Calloway drops a yoda-esque monologue with words of encouragement and wisdom for Maez301 as he enters this new chapter of his career.

Another stand out track was the second one called “Advance”.  Maez301 grabs the jumper cables and jolts the listener with this high energy track.  On this jam, Maez301 deals some classic hip hop content as he tells the listener that he’s come from nothing, but still might just drop $15(k) on his wrist.  It’s a feel-good story of commercial success.

You can’t talk about Maez301 without mentioning the godfather of Strange Music, Tech N9ne. Tech N9ne assists his label signee on the track “Ay” as they both drop a verse each of hard-hitting technical rhymes over a chill beat that showcases their lyrical prowess.  The chemistry on this song is unmatched, and it all makes sense why Tech N9ne signed Maez301 to begin with.

If there’s a shining example on how rappers can explore vulnerable moments in their life in their music, “Fucked Up For You” is it.  Over a jazzy instrumental, Maez301 emotionally sings his chorus and drops reflective verses about a relationship with an ex.  The chorus sent a chill down my spine as you can literally hear the pain in his voice.  Another standout track that deals with similar subject matter is “Break Your Heart”.  On this track, Maez301 raps about the other side of coin, questioning what he can do to make things right with a significant other.

The last highlight for me is “Made It”.  Maez301 reflects on his successes in the rap game.  He remembers how he used have to fight every night about bills but now he rocks the mic for bills.   The song has a long melodic two-minute outro and is perfect for a lonely late-night drive.

Prior to the album release, I was also lucky enough to attend Maez301’s guest-list-only album release party at Game Sports Bar Restaurant & Lounge in Inglewood, California.  A couple of days before the album hit all streaming services, Maez301 threw an exclusive listening party which featured all 20 songs off the album – 17 off wax and 3 of which he performed live.  The event was a family affair, with an unlimited supply of hot wings flowing all night for guests.  They also celebrated a couple of birthdays including Maez301 (born November 3rd, 1993).  Maez301 killed his performance with his signature braid bouncing around as he performed live renditions of “Advance” and “Fucked Up For You”.  He spent the majority of the night mingling with supporters and fans.  I got the opportunity to chop it up with the rapper himself and I got a deep sense for his hunger for success in the rap game.

Over the course of this 20-track album, Maez301 not only proves he’s got the ability to break out in the rap game, but he’s here to stay.  Backed by GOATs such as Tech N9ne and Sway Calloway, it seems that Maez301 is just getting started.  I’m stoked to see where things go from here.  He’s proven to make good music in all areas of hip hop and can kill a live show.  I can’t wait to see him go tour this new content and then make it back into the studio to whip up some more music for us.  The party is just beginning.


As always, rock on my friends!     Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  9.3 out of 10

Artist:  Maze301  EP: Self-Titled  Release Date: November 8th, 2019,  Label:  Strange Music, Inc.

Kris Kuganathan

Photojournalist - Orange County

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