After several mixtapes and plenty of internet fame Maxo Kream drops his debut album “Punken.”
This album was never going to be my favorite thing to listen to, but I was surprised by how much I didn’t like it. There are two Trap aspects that are prevalent throughout the album: the beats and the subject matter.
The beats are whatever. They sound repetitive and basic. After “Work” and “Grannies”, the first two songs on “Punken”, it became apparent the album was going to sound the same throughout. And it did. There are a couple attempts at “love” songs that are a bit slower. “Love Drugs” at least has some mixed metaphors, so there’s that.
Most of “Punken” is not concerned with love or any other redeeming human characteristic. Almost every song on the album is singularly focused on the Trap and nothing but the Trap. Occasionally this narrative does reveal that Maxo has layers. When he raps about his grandmother or his brother cooking with baking soda you can understand that Maxo has had a tough life because his antecedents had a tough life.
Unfortunately “Punken” doesn’t have too many sincere moments on it. The album, like so many albums, is front-loaded with supposedly catchy tunes that don’t bop. The back end of the album aims for sincerity and misses.
Maxo Kream’s flow is solid. It’s necessary to point out because Maxo has talent. The trouble is that his subject matter and sound need some variance.
That being said, Kream’s flow isn’t strong enough to make up for the album’s shortcomings.
I’m going to admit that I didn’t listen to this album two times through like I normally do. I couldn’t. There wasn’t a single song that made me stop and rewind.
That’s not to say the album is un-listenable. It just so happens that everything on “Punken” is something you’ve heard before. A serious Trap-head might find the album promising, but anyone else really liking this album is hard to believe.