Things in life tend to come full circle, which is the best way to understand the pairing of Tyler, the Creator and Maxo Kream on the latter’s new single, “Big Persona.” Both rappers, now in their early thirties, set off distinct movements in the cities in which they reside. Tyler’s band of Odd Future hooligans forged a path for a wholly reimagined rap industry from their home of L.A., and Maxo gave rise to a resurgent scene in Houston driven by youth culture. Their career trajectories, however, seem decidedly split: Tyler’s ascent to becoming a household name and TV personality stands in stark contrast to the homegrown hustler ethos of Maxo’s ground-level raps. And yet, the pair team up like cross-regional mob bosses, commiserating over the shared riches of being at the top.
And why not? Real recognize real, no matter the scale. “Big Persona” features Tyler stretching his muscles as a producer, infusing his penchant for glittery synths and stuttering hi-hats with Maxo’s braggadocious Southern sensibility. In what feels like a nod to the Mannie Fresh classic “Real Big,” triumphant horns make way for trunk-rattling bass as the two rappers proceed to list off the gargantuan-sized achievements under their belts. In the accompanying video, we see the pair treat expensive cars like Hot Wheels toys.
No one can argue that these artists haven’t paid their dues to get where they’re at, and it’s only right that they’re now firmly seated in the driver’s seat of today’s generation of hip-hop. Style, too: Maxo and Tyler both proffered the streetwear powerhouse Supreme enduring cultural relevance — the pair certainly played a part in the company’s recent multibillion-dollar valuation. So it’s fitting that “Big Persona,” from Maxo’s upcoming album Weight of the World, due next month, is a nod to his ascendant streetwear label Persona. Like Tyler’s Golf Wang, it’s the next step for a rapper doing big things.
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