“Super Maxie Flow” just may be Indianapolis-Artist Antonio Maxie’s best project to date.
(Derek Elery: Black Indy Live Music Team)
“Super Maxie Flow” is the 11th mixtape from Indianapolis rapper Maxie, a.k.a. Yung Tone, who has been a force in the local music scene over the past decade. Keeping a strong buzz alive this long is an impressive feat, especially for a hip hop artist in Indianapolis. In this same time period, local rappers have come and gone without much of a commotion. Not Maxie… On his latest project, he is at his finest. This mixtape is offers a barrage of imagery of the street life, aspirations of a young and hungry entrepreneur, and human emotion, all delivered in a professional format with strong execution.
The title of the mixtape is a play on words of the classic video game “Super Mario”. The inspiration for the title comes from I gotta get it, a track off his “Rubberband Lingo Vol. 4”. The track features Daniel Thomas referring to Maxie’s delivery as “that Super Maxie Flow”, and the concept of this album was born. Throughout the project you can hear sampled sound-effects from the Super Mario series, most notably on the Intro. The album art displays Maxie infused into the world of the Mario Brothers — He even rounded out promotion of this album with a mascot dubbed “Mario World-Maxie” complete with the famous overalls — brilliant!
Let’s get to the highlights of this album — first, the production and songwriting. Exceptional production credits from the likes of Geechie, Kid Quick, and Swift Tha Gift make this a stand out project in the local music scene. Hard hitting bass, melodic waves and smooth samples permit high replay value of the mixtape. The songwriting skills are fully developed, and he proves it many times throughout “Super Maxie Flow” album. On songs like Swish, Maxie shows his ability to make a hype track with a catchy hook. However, the finest example of song writing shows up on the song Sunrise featuring another artist that hails from Indy, Steve James. Maxie and Steve James mesh extremely well with complimenting styles, but Maxie is able to create a real feeling on this song, and will have you bobbing your head and singing along.
Maxie is at his absolute best on Indiana MindState. He impeccably illustrates the dichotomy of being a rapper aware of his environment in 2017, but having to continue to muscle on as if it has no effects. He opens the track describing the world around him, then seamlessly transitions into the braggadocios rapper that the fans demand to hear. Even though his family and community are affected by drugs and violence, he still has to flex. Maxie dives into a harrowing truth about how the drug epidemic has hit especially close to home with lines like:
“Homicides, black babies killing black babiesIt’s 2017 and we still having crack babiesUsed to call it Blue MagicThe dog food package, got my family strung out so we can’t all move past it”
But since he is a rapper, he can’t be human for long and has to go back into a format of a person that appears to be unfazed by the reality around him.
Now to the few downsides — Although Maxie has developed into an extremely talented artist, he has a tendency to make cliché rapper moves. My primary complaint is the subject matter, specifically glorifying the trapping lifestyle. I don’t doubt his street credentials, and this content may very well be a reflection of the life he knows, but it’s been done…time and time again. It would be refreshing to hear more introspective aspects of life explored.
I get that this is a mixtape, but Maxie chose to rap over the “Bad and Boujee” beat. Why is that a bad thing, you might ask? Well, that song has already lost its steam. It was played out. Even if the beat is phenomenal, and he made a great song using that beat, I typically skipped it while listening to this album. I find it more beneficial for rappers to use classic beats that have stood the test of time, versus a flavor of the month beat.
My final criticism is the track length — Many of the tracks with the most potential wrap up with less than 2 minutes of running time, WE NEED MORE. Maxie is an artist fully capable of creating full length songs with a traditional verse chorus format. My best guess is that, as a local rapper, many of his live shows leave him sharing the stage with headliners, allotting a limited amount of time to perform. Making shorter songs allows him to perform several songs within a 15-20 minute window.
Overall, this is one of Maxie’s best efforts to date. And like I said, I am a fan. I keep Maxie on my regular playlist right next to mainstream artists. He has mastered his style on this release. But there is still a little something missing; a certain “Je ne sais quoi” that will set him apart from all the other locals. Not sure what it is, but that final special ingredient should allow him to break out of the local scene and into the national spotlight. All of that said, I’m confident he has everything in his cupboard to bake a masterpiece that will send him to the next level!